CGC 16 Log
Home Up D-Day and After D-Day & After 83415

 

 

 

Chapter XVII
Normandy

. The following is an extract from the log of CG 16

“Cutter Sixteen 1730, 5 June joined invasion task force (Convoy U-1A) off Portland Bill. 0300, 6 June, arrived area -- 0530, accompanied invasion barges into shore under severe shelling attacks and with mines going up all around us. 0730, LCF-31 hit by shell 800 yards off shore, sinking immediately. While engaged in picking up survivors, shell struck PC-1261, which disintegrated, scattering men and debris over a wide area. While so engaged, shells and bullets were falling near by, and just after last man picked up, small landing craft only few hundred yards off shore blew up. Proceeded to spot and picked up all living survivors. Then proceeded to APA Dickman and unloaded survivors. Two men pronounced dead, but one was revived later and put aboard an LST. Departed again for invasion coast. 1045 sighted LCT-777 down by stern 1500 yards from the beach. Moored alongside and took off all wounded. After leaving this ship, which was being used as an ammunition ship, was told by one of the survivors (soldier) that a wounded man with two broken legs was still inside one of the gun tubs, so returned alongside for the second time. Crew passed line under wounded man's arms and haled him clear just as LCT turned turtle. Those survivors turned over to an LST which was acting as a hospital ship. No more rescue work during balance of day or following night. Received orders to return to base. Arrive 1700, 7 June, 1944.13

            Medical Comment

The majority of survivors were so weak that help had to be provided in bringing them aboard. Davits for hosting 400 pounds of weight were on some of the cutters, and RAF valise type life rafts, scramble nets, and life lines were also used. Reports indicated that approximately 50 percent of all survivors picked up during the first 48 hours were either seriously wounded or suffered from shock. Although pharmacists mates were not aboard, first aid on the cutters saved a number of survivors. In some cases, even where two limbs had been blown off, survivors were kept alive until transferred to hospital ships. In addition brandy issued as a stimulant, coffee and tea were available to each unit, as were blankets. As the brandy and blankets proved insufficient in some instances, several crew members gave their own clothing to keep survivors warm and dry. In addition to straight rescue work, an assortment of miscellaneous duties was performed, including the urgent transfer of blood plasma, spotting of mines, and engagement with enemy aircraft.