Landing on Utah Beach

74 years ago today

ship_lst14
US Navy LST-134 beached at Normandy, France as jeeps driving along the invasion beach carry casualties to the waiting vessel, 12 Jun 1944 [1].
74 years ago today, a Saturday, the 145th ECB landed on Utah Beach after sailing from Portsmouth the night before in an LST (landing ship, tank). The ship ran up onto the beach at high tide in the early morning of July 8, 1944, and the Battalion came ashore after the tide receded and the ship’s bow doors were opened.

The photo above, taken 26 days before the 145th landed, is a good illustration of how troops and equipment landed in France in the days following D-Day. Even more than a month after D-Day, the beach was still being hit by sporadic artillery fire when the Battalion landed.

July 8, 1944, was the first of 534 days the Battalion was in Europe. Of those 534 days, 306 days – 10 months – were spent at war. While individuals left the Battalion and returned home earlier, as a unit, the 145th remained in Europe until Christmas Eve 1945.

[1]. U.S. Navy photo. From World War II Database website, ww2db.com/images/ship_lst14.jpg.

Welcome!

My name is Andy, and I’ve launched this site to provide information to anyone interested in the activities of the 145th Engineering Combat Battalion during World War II. For now, this is mostly about the bridges built by the 145th. I have added information about the Battalion’s path across Europe, photos of the bridges they built and where they built them, and what those locations look like now. So far, I have 155 photos of 64 different bridges built by the Battalion from central France into Germany. Click on the “Europe” menu above to see the photos.

I have also added a couple of videos from home movies taken during construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 and 1943, by the 35th Engineer Regiment, the predecessor unit of the 145th. Click on the “Alaska Highway” menu item above to see the videos.

Most of the blog posts are quotes from Robert Greenwalt’s unit history and follow the Battalion’s progress across Europe.

If you have information about the activities and the men who served in the 145th, please contact me using the Contact item in the menu or in the comment box below.