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No. 16 in a Series of
Amphibious Operations


For Instructional Purposes Only.





October 1945

"Amphibious Operations--The Shore Party" is approved and published for instructional purposes in the Marine Corps Schools.

Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps,



The primary purpose of this manual is to provide a guide which will assist in the standardization of the organization, training, equipment, and employment of shore parties. Its secondary purpose is to provide a common approach toward the solution of the problems encountered in the transition from the amphibious phase to the land-warfare phase in amphibious operations.

For the purpose of this manual, the following assumptions are made:

  1. That a complete shore party organization organic to Marine divisions or corps is uneconomical insofar as personnel is concerned and, in view of personnel difficulties (numbers, primarily), is not likely to be adopted.

  2. That the pioneer battalion, as presently organized (Marine Corps T/O G-40), and the shore party communication section, assault signal company (T/O G-88) are the basic elements or cadres organic to Marine divisions to perform shore party functions.

  3. That the division is the basic large troop unit in troop organization and is the echelon in the chain of command that actually organizes, trains, and employs shore party teams and groups.

  4. That echelons participating in an amphibious operation above the division provide only over-all plans and the means of coordinating and controlling division shore parties after they are set up and functioning ashore.

  5. That shore party teams and groups are not released to landing teams and combat teams of the divisions unless the latter are operating independently.

  6. That certain garrison force personnel, replacements, and supply personnel will be furnished by the higher echelon to divisions to augment and reinforce basic shore party elements organic to the division.

  7. That the primary objective of shore parties after the landing of assault troops is the landing of supplies and equipment in the proper quantity, at the right time, and in a serviceable condition in order to support these troops.

  8. That shore party organization, training, planning, employment; and control are functions of command, and that since it is a logistic organization, it is a primary concern of the logistics section.

  9. That since a system of control for the landing of assault troops in amphibious operations is mandatory, it follows that a system of control for the landing of shore parties and the subsequent landing of equipment and supplies is necessary.




Section 1
  Paragraph Page
History and Development       1         1-2    
Section 2
Necessity for Shore Party   2     3  
Functioning of a Supply System During Unloading Operations   3     3-4  
Necessity for and Results Obtained by Establishment of a Composite Shore Party   4     4  
Section 3
Individual   5     5  
Morale   6     5  
Esprit   7     5  
Unity   8     5  
Leadership   9     5-6  
Section 4
Basic Components   10     7  
Command   11     7-8  
Allocation of Shore Parties   12     8  
Section 5
General   13     9  
Supply   14     9  
Service   15     9  
Security   16     10  
Evacuation   17     10  
Communication   18     10  
Special   19     10  
Section 6
General   20     11  
Military Component   21     11-16  
Naval Component   22     16-18  
Command Component   23     18-19  
Section 7
General   24     21  
Basic Shore Party Training   25     21-22  
The Naval Beach Party   26     22  
Reinforced Shore Party Training   27     22-23  
Section 8
General   28     25  
Responsibilities   29     25  
Liaison   30     25  
Estimate of the Situation   31     25-26  
Activation   32     27  
The Shore Party Plan   33     27-30  
Section 9
General   34     31  
Logistic Control Groups   35     31  
System of Control   36     33-34  
Time of Landing Shore Parties   37     34-35  
Handling of Supplies and Equipment   38     35-40  
Section 10
General   39     41  
Organization of Communication Troops   40     41  
Equivalent Naval Organization   41     41  
Naval Radio Nets of Joint Importance   42     41-43  
Shore Party Communication   43     43  
Forward Echelon of Shore Party   44     43-44  
Shore Party Team Ashore   45     44  
Shore Party Group Ashore   46     44-45  
Division Shore Party Ashore   47     45  
Function of Landing Force Shore Party   48     45-46  
End of Controlled Unloading   49     46  
Conclusions   50     46  
Section 11
Beach Markers and Beach Organization   51     47  
Beach Dumps   52     47-51  
  Figure Page
Employment and organization of the military component of the shore party team   1     13  
General organization of shore party, showing relationship with logistic control groups   2     32  
Floating crane for use in transfer area   3     35  
LST unloading directly on beach   4     37  
Use of mobile hydraulic crane in unloading small amphibious craft   5     37  
Use of beach sled to transport bulk cargo to beach dumps   6     
LST being unloaded at reef line   7     39  
Use of pierced steel plank to form beach roadway   8     40  
Shore party communication nets   9     42  
Unloading point markers   10     48  
Beach markers   11     49  
General unloading of large landing craft directly on the beach   12     50  
Typical beach layout   13     51  


Section 1

1. History and Development.--a. Although amphibious operations are as old as war itself and military history is replete with the strategy and tactics employed by the invaders, there exists almost a complete dearth of written material on the logistic support of these operations and the methods used in getting supplies ashore for the support of the landing forces.

  1. The first realization of the inherent problem of supplying a large force over a beach appears to have been made by the British at Gallipoli. Here, for the first time in history, an organization was set up to handle and control the supplies transported to the beaches for the support of the landing forces. The British called their organizations "beach parties," and they were composed of both military and naval personnel and commanded by a naval officer. These organizations did not function too efficiently and many mistakes were made, which in the light of what is known today on the subject, appear reprehensible. However at Gallipoli the seed of the present shore party was planted.

  2. As the concept of the Marine Corps of amphibious undertakings was (and is) based on the premise that any landing would be made over a beach rather than within the safety of a previously seized port, officers of the Corps assiduously studied the Gallipoli campaign and quickly realized the importance of a special organization for unloading the vast amount of equipment and supplies required to support a modern amphibious operation. During the Navy-Marine Corps maneuvers at Culebra in 1924, and during the joint Army-Navy-Marine Corps maneuvers at Hawaii in 1925, much thought and study was given to amphibious logistic supply.

  3. During the late 1920's and early 1930's, the Marine Corps was busily engaged in the pacification of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Santo Domingo, and in protecting American lives and interests during the unrest in China. It was thus precluded from engaging in large-scale amphibious exercises, none of which were held by any service during these years. However study and experiments in amphibious landings continued, culminating in the publication by the Marine Corps Schools in 1934 of a Tentative Manual for Landing Operations. In this text, which was later developed into Landing Operations Doctrine, United States Navy (FTP-167), appears the first mention of the shore party, its organization and duties.

  4. In all of the large-scale amphibious training exercises, beginning with Fleet Marine Force Exercise MM in 1934 and continuing through the six Fleet Landing Exercises which


    terminated in 1940, shore party cadres were set up and their operations closely observed and reported with a view to continued improvement in their organization, technique, and functioning. During these training maneuvers, Navy and Marine Corps officers quickly saw the need for ships' boats with sufficient speed and certain other characteristics to allow for proper beaching. The need for other types of boats to handle particular items of equipment, such as tanks and artillery pieces, was also envisioned, and work was begun toward the designing of these craft. The need for amphibious craft to cross coral and swampy terrain was also anticipated, and steps toward their designing were taken. The results are the now-familiar LCVP's, LCM's, and LVTs. The need for unloading aids such as small cranes, tractors, and beach-roadway matting was also discovered as a result of training maneuvers in the Caribbean and off San Clemente Island on the West Coast. All these items were directed toward the landing of large forces over hostile beaches with a minimum amount of confusion.

  1. Although forced economy prevented the handling and landing of large amounts of supplies and equipment during peacetime, the Marine Corps' theory and long study of shore parties were sound, and their practical application has been worked out in the many amphibious operations in the war just brought to a successful conclusion.



2. Necessity for Shore Party.--a. The growth of the shore party was very gradual, and its development was retarded by the reluctance of both military and naval commanders to recognize its importance. This hesitancy on their part was due chiefly to the fact that the presence of a shore party meant sacrificing combat personnel for this task. The shore party may thus be said to have been born of necessity. However, today, full appreciation of the importance for an adequate shore party is almost universal among all naval and military commanders.

  1. Although during World War II great strides were made in overcoming the many problems which arose involving shore party operations, complete uniformity in the approach to these problems was not achieved, nor was any one shore party organization satisfactory to all services realized.

  2. While assault troops participating in an amphibious operation may be said to complete the "amphibious phase" of the operation as soon as their feet are on dry ground, in the case of supplies and equipment the "amphibious phase" continues until all assault ships have been unloaded and these supplies have been moved into beach dumps or inland behind the assaulting troops.

3. Functioning of a Supply System During Unloading Operations.--a. The unloading phase of an amphibious operation has been aptly described as a period of "organized confusion." Unless proper organizational planning and control measures are taken ahead of time, it is quite possible for the unloading phase easily to become confusion rather than the "organized confusion."

  1. The theory behind prompt and efficient supply in the unloading phase of an amphibious operation is to consider the ships as mobile depots and to establish the usual (i.e. land-warfare) supply channels and procedures for maintaining supplies between ship and shore. The plan must be flexible enough to furnish supplies when and where needed by the attacking forces.

  2. The actual functioning of a proper supply system during this phase depends primarily on the following factors:

    1. Early activation of an adequate shore party and beach organization.

    2. Careful initial study of the contemplated objective, together with all factors affecting unloading.


    1. Careful initial loading of all ships so that all types of supplies and equipment in adequate quantities are readily available at all times in the holds.

    2. Provision for a controlled set-up during the unloading phase of the operation.

    3. Provision for the echelonment of supplies in depth from the line of departure outward toward the transport area.

    4. Provision for adequate communications between front lines, beaches, control vessels, transports, and cargo vessels.

4. Necessity for and Results Obtained by Establishment of a Composite Shore Party.--a. From a study of past amphibious operations it is evident that, to function properly, shore parties must be organized in their entirety in sufficient time to allow thorough tactical training with the troops they are to support in a specific operation.

  1. The establishment of a composite shore party capable, of performing independently its assigned mission accomplishes the following:

    1. Relieves the infantry battalion commander (a basic tactical unit) of the responsibility for shore party functions.

    2. Provides a decentralized organization that is highly flexible, operating as a special task organization in the chain of command.

    3. Places responsibility for planning, organization, training, and employment in the echelon (division) that is in the best position to accept this responsibility.

    4. Provides for a uniform method of planning, organization, training, and employment of shore parties from the highest to the lowest echelon participating in the operation.

    5. Visualizes a system for the controlled landing of supplies, equipment, and personnel in the early phases of the operations under a centralized group.

    6. Provides for the constant liaison and coordination with naval echelons in the chain of command.



5. Individual.--Machines and techniques have been devised for the efficient handling of material in amphibious operations, but the basic element of this supply procedure is the individual. As a "strong back" in the labor element, or as a technician assigned to a mechanical function of the shore party, the individual must be made conscious of the relative importance of his duties to the success of the amphibious operation.

6. Morale.--Nowhere is morale more susceptible to deterioration through a feeling of unimportance in the accomplishing of the big task, and nowhere is maintenance of morale more necessary than to the cooperative effort required in successful shore party procedure. Unlike the emotional surge of competition which contributes materially to the building and maintenance of morale among combat troops, the shore party worker must draw the will to perform his given tasks from a disciplined determination to do the job well despite hardship and reverses.

7. Esprit.--The instillation in the individual of the military essential of pride in organization, will to cooperate, discipline, and loyalty are nowhere more important than in the shore party organization, where the accomplishment of its basic mission is largely dependent upon these elements of primary training. The individual and the group must be made conscious of their specialty and its importance to the success of the operation. The high degree of group proficiency necessary to the efficient performance of the shore party mission cannot be exaggerated and may adequately serve as a basis for pride in specialty and unit.

8. Unity.--The components of the shore party are organized about a specially trained and equipped element providing a technical nucleus on which the task units may be formed. This basic element of each component may be adequately indoctrinated with a feeling of organizational solidarity, but when its entity has been diminished through the addition of reinforcing personnel, time and training are required to restore the unity and cohesion necessary to the efficient functioning of the group. Once a shore party organization has been activated, it should be retained intact through the phases of training and employment, performing its tasks as an integrated unit until the status of its mission precludes its further requirement.

9. Leadership.--The standards of performance required of a shore party organization are in no respect below those demanded of other tactical or service groups, and officers known to lack characteristics of combat leadership should under


no circumstances be considered as "good enough" for a shore party command. The qualities of initiative, determination, and aggressiveness so essential to accurate and effective decisions are preeminent requirements in the coordination and direction of a shore party organization. Experience in the field has proved that officers who are merely good administrators are not capable of satisfactorily leading a shore party. The shore party, as the key logistic instrument of amphibious supply, must be led by forceful officers aware of their responsibilities for keeping the flow of material going forward to the combat elements.



10. Basic Components.--Irrespective of tactical and logistic consideration, shore parties are composed of elements from both the naval attack force and the landing force, and the following specific units around which the shore party may be formed are available:

  1. One unit (platoon) from pioneer battalion, organic to the Marine division.

  2. One communication team from assault signal company, organic to the Marine division.

  3. One naval platoon (beach party) from assault transports (APA's, AP's) of the organization as an integrated and coordinated team.

11. Command.--a. For operational control of shore party teams, the shore party group headquarters, the division shore party headquarters, and the corps shore party headquarters are separately constituted to correspond to the higher echelons of command of the attack force.

The components of the shore party group headquarters are: (1) command (naval and military), (2) medical, and (3) military police. This group is designed to coordinate the shore party support for a combat team.

Division shore party headquarters effects command, control, and coordination of shore party groups and is organized with command (both military and naval), medical, and communication sections.

Corps shore party headquarters effects command, control, and coordination of division shore parties. The headquarters company, corps shore brigade, forms the nucleus for corps shore party headquarters.

  1. Reinforcing.--In order to effect an organization to discharge adequately the duties of the shore party team, additional personnel must be assigned the basic components. The strength of these reinforcing elements is dependent on the tactical and logistic requirements of the proposed operation and is arrived at after the commander has made a complete study of these requirements.

    Personnel for reinforcing elements should normally be assigned from support, garrison, and replacements units and, where expedient, from division service troops.

    The shore party should be brought to full reinforced strength sufficiently in advance of an operation to insure functioning. Efficient training with all reinforcing elements can usually be effected 30 to 45 days prior to embarkation. Reinforcing personnel and attached units should remain under


    shore party command until specifically detached by order of the senior landing force commander present.

12. Allocation of Shore Parties.--a. The number of shore party teams required will of necessity vary with the size of the landing force and the character and number of beaches to be utilized. Normally, a shore party team is provided for each assault landing team. Frequently those beaches which offer the best tactical possibilities do not lend themselves to logistic exploitation. When combat elements can best be supported from a beach other than that which the assault personnel crossed physically in landing, transition to that location is considered normal and should be made.

  1. Combat records show that it is unusual for a division employed in the assault in an amphibious operation to utilize more than six battalion landing teams simultaneously. Three or four are ordinarily employed, and it is considered that the activation of six first-line shore party teams per division will give the necessary flexibility to meet practically any new situation.

  2. Shore party operations are of a continuing nature. Once established, the shore party team continues to operate a specific beach until all the assault shipping is unloaded, unless otherwise ordered by the landing force commander. The passage of serials in column through a beach area will thus continue for several days under the supervision of a stable directing and coordinating agency. In some types of operations shore parties of the assault division may have to participate in resupply and garrison shipping and unloading. Where this is the case shore parties must be so organized and equipped as to be able to perform this mission.

  3. First-line shore party teams utilizing the bulk of the special equipment of the pioneer battalions and the specialists who comprise the unit should be organized so as to bring the mass of the potential shore party effort to bear on the assault beaches early in the operation. Second-line provisional teams built around attached engineer or service units may be organized to meet possible situations. In general, first-line shore party teams should support assault landing teams of assault combat teams; second-line shore party teams should support reserve landing teams of assault combat teams; and only ship's platoons should be organized for the support of reserve combat teams and other nonassault elements.



13. General.--Shore parties are organized to meet the needs of amphibious attack forces for ship-to-shore supply and evacuation. Under the 4-section, the shore party is charged with the responsibility for movement of material and supplies in the unloading of assault ships, the handling at the beach, and the movement to the beach dumps; and for evacuation of wounded and prisoners of war from the beach.

14. Supply.--The shore party, when functioning normally, is responsible for not only the efficient movement between ship and beach, but for the maintenance of an accurate record of supplies afloat and in beach dumps. It is specifically responsible for the following:

  1. The unloading of ships, the movement of all supplies and equipment from ship to shore, the unloading of landing craft, and the establishment and segregation of supplies in beach dumps.

  2. Direction and control of boats and amphibious vehicular traffic in the vicinity of and across the beach and the control of motor transport traffic on beach road net.

15. Service.--The shore party performs the following service functions:

  1. Establishes an information center for incoming troops and provides guides to inland installations.

  2. Keeps a situation map showing major dispositions and access routes.

  3. Establishes and marks beaches, dumps, and navigable channels to beach unloading areas; marks hazards to navigation; and where necessary, clears channels through natural or enemy-placed beach and underwater obstacles, including traps, barricades and mines.

  4. Retracts, salvages, and effects emergency repairs to boats, amphibious vehicles, and such equipment and vehicles as require emergency repair or maintenance prior to operation.

  5. Locates, constructs and maintains landing and unloading facilities, exit routes, beach road nets, parking areas, and such culverts, piers trestles, or allied construction as shall be construed as part of those facilities; provides refuse disposal-areas and latrines in the beach areas, and maintains sanitary discipline.

  6. Maintains liaison through the shore party liaison section with the senior troop commander within the zone served.


16. Security.--The shore party is responsible for the security of its beach area and, in the event of enemy attack, may employ all shore party elements in the defense of its beach. Tactical units, as indicated by operational considerations, may be attached for specific defensive measures and will remain under shore party command until relieved by competent authority. All tactical defense plans must be coordinated with the senior troop commander within the zone that the shore party serves. Specifically, the shore party is responsible for the maintenance of local security against enemy attacks, land-, air-, or water-borne ; the establishment and maintenance of air raid and gas alarm systems; and the location and neutralization or marking of enemy mine fields or contaminated areas in the beach area.

17. Evacuation.--The return of personnel to ships is a responsibility of the shore party, and all such movements, except those tactically required and specifically directed by higher landing force authority, will be controlled by the shore party. The shore party is responsible for the location and establishment of medical aid and collecting stations and prisoner of war stockades; and the evacuation to ships of prisoners of war and casualties in accordance with standing operating procedures and operations orders.

18. Communication.--The shore party is responsible for establishing and maintaining contact with all elements of the attack force, for providing information under the cognizance of the shore party, and for relaying and transmitting such information and orders as shall be routed expediently to the shore party for forwarding or dissemination. Specifically, the shore party is responsible for liaison and communication with naval attack forces and transport forces, and with landing forces ashore, including those on adjacent beaches.

19. Special.--When specifically assigned by operations order, the shore party is responsible for the provision of technical and specialist services such as the supply of water, electricity, or designated repair and maintenance facilities not included in general responsibilities. Technical personnel or units, such as ordnance or engineer, attached to the shore party for this purpose are considered an organic part of the shore party organization unless otherwise designated and their employment, administration, and command procedure is like that of any normal component of the shore party.



20. General.--The shore party is an organized operating unit in the same sense as the assault elements of the landing force. It is designed to serve as a tactical logistics team and must be trained, organized, and employed as a coordinated unit. While the normal organization of the shore party encompasses the principal elements required in amphibious supply, changes arising from the development of new equipment and techniques, requirements peculiar to different theaters of operation, and tactical considerations may indicate special organizational features.

The three primary components of the shore party team, (basic unit of the shore party) are the military, the naval, and the command. Variance from the normal organization is infrequent in the command and naval components, the latter being fixed by naval doctrine (FTP-211), and the flexibility of the command organization being adequate for diversified employment. The military component, however, is stable only in its basic elements. In some elements, the military components contain reinforcing naval personnel assigned for specific naval tasks.

21. Military Component.--a. The military component of the shore party team is the principal primary element of this organization, with the established mission of beachhead supply and secondary missions which include tasks of evacuation, salvage, construction, traffic control, and area defense. The organic functions and operating elements of this component are directed and coordinated through echelons of command in the same sense as other units of the landing force. While its composition is essentially determined by its basic mission, the formation of the shore party team is further influenced by logistic and tactical considerations, and its training for a specific operation must be effected with these considerations in view.

  1. Specially organized and equipped personnel must be readily available as a trained nucleus around which amphibious military units may form the shore party team. As the beach party supplies a pool of naval personnel trained -in the performance of certain specialized naval tasks, the basic military shore party organization must furnish military personnel trained in the essential technical aspects of normal shore party procedure.

    The basic military shore party team elements are:

    1. For Marine units:

      1. One platoon from pioneer (shore party) company.


      1. One communication team (ASCO).
    1. For Army units:

      1. One engineer company (combat).
      2. One communication team (ASCO).

    In addition to basic elements, military units will provide for each shore party team medical personnel trained in the performance of special shore party duties.

  1. To bring the military components of the shore party team to a strength adequate for its contemplated tasks, it is usually necessary to attach reinforcing elements drawn from the tactical or service elements of the landing force and from designated naval sources. Tactical troops such as antiaircraft or antiboat personnel, whose initial employment may be planned for the beach area, may be attached to the shore party team in the interests of proper coordination. Naval personnel, in addition to that organized in the beach party, may be assigned for the performance of naval tasks and for the coordination of military and naval components. Operational considerations and logistic requirements will indicate the assignment of service troops required to support the basic shore party team elements. They will normally include:

    1. Labor.
    2. Engineers (specialists).
    3. Military police.
    4. Motor transport.
    5. Quartermaster.
    6. Ordnance.
    7. Amphibious vehicles.
  2. Since the successful employment of the shore party team requires a high degree of coordination and organizational training, it is important that its composition be determined at an early stage in the planning of an amphibious operation, that is formation be effected, and its training expeditiously carried out. Personnel and units attached to the shore party for training or employment should remain under shore party control until relieved by order of the landing force commander.

  3. The employment of the military components of the shore party team and its organization is as follows (see figure 1):


Figure 1.--Employment and organization of the military componnt of the shore party team.
Figure 1.--Employment and organization of the military component of the shore party team.


  1. Headquarters platoon (forward echelon.--(a) Command and reconnaissance group.--The command section consists of two officers and two enlisted men--normally the assistant shore party team commander, the assistant beach-master, and one naval and one military enlisted man. This section is responsible for the establishment of the advance CP, the relaying of all requests for supplies from the liaison section to the control vessel, reporting on the suitability of the beach and landing areas for the unloading and movement of supplies, and the direction of activities of the reconnaissance section. The reconnaissance section consists of two military enlisted men (range markers) and four Navy enlisted men (hydro-graphic section). It establishes range flags in the center of the landing team beach, marks suitable landing points and hazards to navigation, selects and marks beach limits, and makes preliminary road-net and beach-dump reconnaissance.

    1. Communication section.--The communication section is composed of four enlisted men (ASCO, military), equipped with radio (type TBX). This section is responsible for furnishing communication from beach to control vessel and for the operation of the beach end of the liaison section telephone communication net.

    2. Liaison section.--The liaison section is composed of one officer and two enlisted men with sound-powered telephone and combat wire-laying equipment. This section is responsible for establishing wire communication from the beach to the landing team CP; relaying requests in proper terminology; and reporting the development of the tactical situation with respect to the landing time of the remainder of the shore party team. This section reverts to the control of the shore party team commander after the shore party team is set up and functioning normally.

  2. Headquarters platoon (rear echelon).-- (a) Command section.--The command section is composed of the shore party team commander and eight military enlisted men. Upon landing, this section assumes control of all shore party team activities, maintains a record of all material landed, provides available information to group leaders landing in reserve and support waves, and maintains guides to conduct personnel of units to forward or adjacent areas as required. All personnel of this section are normally provided from the basic shore party team elements.

    1. Dump markers section.--The dump markers section consists of 12 military enlisted men. This section establishes unloading point and beach dump markers and performs special tasks as designated by the shore party team commander. Personnel are provided from the basic shore party team element.

    2. Military police section.--The military police section consists of 12 military enlisted men from the


      landing force military police organization. It directs all traffic in the beach areas, guards all dumps to prevent looting of supplies, guards prisoners and stragglers, and makes evacuations to ships as directed by the shore party team commander.

    1. Communication section (ASCO).--The communication section consists of one officer and 19 enlisted men, four of whom are employed in headquarters platoon, forward echelon. The section establishes communication seaward and on land, both inland and laterally, and provides shore party team communication facilities to higher and parallel echelons in adjacent areas. It provides an easily identified message center ashore and maintains all normal message center services, including information on the disposition of officers, units, and installations. It will provide radio communication for a ship-to-shore administrative net; a shore party lateral net connecting shore party teams with the commanding officer, landing force, afloat or ashore; a forward echelon command section net between the forward echelon command, afloat or ashore, and the control vessel; a local shore party team net; and a shore party team-landing team net to be established when tactical developments indicate its need. Insofar as possible, radio nets will be paralleled by visual communication facilities. Telephone communication to landing team and adjacent beaches is desirable during the early phase of a landing to supplement and parallel other communication services.

    2. Medical section.--The medical section consists of the beach party medical section, reinforced by three military enlisted men. This section sets up an aid station; renders first aid to casualties; coordinates evacuation of wounded, maintaining a record of name, rank, serial number, organization, and diagnosis; and maintains proper litter blanket and splint exchange between ships and beach. Military personnel hereto attached are normally provided from the basic element of the shore party team element.

  1. Shore platoon.--The shore platoon is normally composed of one officer and 33 enlisted men (military), drawn from the basic shore party team element, but may be reinforced in accordance with tactical considerations.

    1. Pioneer section.--The pioneer section consists of one officer and 15 enlisted men and is responsible for the construction of beach roadways, latrines, and the prisoner of war stockade; assists in the landing of vehicles; operates cranes and tractors for unloading of boats; decontaminates gassed areas; assists in camouflaging dumps and installations; performs demolitions missions and assists in the salvage of boats. Personnel is normally drawn from the basic shore party team.

    2. Security section.--The security section consists of 18 enlisted men responsible for the establishment of local security in accordance with the orders of the shore party team commander.


  1. Service platoon.--The service platoon varies in strength with tactical and logistic considerations but normally approximates four officers and 160 enlisted men (military). This platoon furnishes labor details for unloading supplies at the beach and beach dumps and is available to the shore party team commander for the performance of such tasks as may be required. The entire complement of this platoon is provided from shore party team reinforcing personnel.

  2. Ship's platoon.--The ship's platoon normally consists of four officers, approximately 60 enlisted men (military), and naval personnel as indicated by requirements. Officer personnel is composed of the ship transport quartermaster, a troop transport quartermaster assigned from the landing force, and two officer assistants from embarking elements. The approximately 60 enlisted men are from the landing force and are included as an embarked element. Naval personnel will consist of winchmen, hatchtenders, and officers in a supervisory capacity as required and will be provided from the ship's complement. The ship's transport quartermaster has over-all responsibility for unloading his ship, the troop transport quartermaster assisting and providing liaison with the landing force logistic control organization. The ship's transport quartermaster maintains a complete record showing material landed, material on hand (including type and quantities), average time for unloading supplies, and approximate time of completion of unloading. Labor details for unloading are provided by the 60 enlisted men (military).

22. Naval Component.--The naval component of the shore party team is known as the beach party. It is provided from personnel of the naval elements of the attack force for the performance of specified naval tasks. It is composed of three officers and 46 enlisted men (naval) organized and employed as follows:

  1. Command section.--Two commissioned line officers, designated as beachmaster and assistant in order of seniority, and two enlisted men constitute the command section. One officer and one enlisted man are included in each of the forward and rear echelons of the shore party team command. The beachmaster acts as assistant to the shore party team commanders and coordinates naval components of the shore party team. Except in the defense of the beach areas, or in cases of emergency, the shore party team commander is not authorized to direct the beachmaster to perform other than naval functions.

  2. Hydrographic section.-- (1) The hydrographic section is composed of 18 enlisted men (naval) and a detachment of underwater demolitionists. Four of the enlisted detail are assigned to the forward echelon, shore party team, headquarters platoon.


    1. This section is responsible for the following duties:

      1. Keeping beach cleared of boats.
      2. Making hydrographic reconnaissance.
      3. Removing or marking underwater obstacles and obstacles to navigation.
      4. Acting as stretcher bearers in evacuating casualties.
      5. Furnishing relief boat crews.
    2. Elements of the hydrographic section may be employed prior to the landing of initial elements of the shore party team. Where hydrographic reconnaissance, the removal of underwater obstacles, and the marking of boat channels are necessary to the movement of landing craft to the beach, underwater demolitionists should be included. The naval officer attached to the forward echelon of the shore party team, headquarters platoon, is responsible for the employment of these details.

  1. Boat repair section.--The boat repair section is composed of eight enlisted men (naval) with the responsibility of--

    1. Repairing boats and boat motors on the beach.
    2. Assisting the hydrographic section in retracting boats.
    3. Stripping abandoned boats of serviceable guns and equipment.
    4. Assisting hydrographic section in evacuation of casualties.
  2. Communication section.-- (1) The communication section is composed of 10 enlisted men (naval), (five radio and five signalmen), with the responsibility of--

      1. Maintaining ship-to-shore communication.
      2. Assisting the troop communication center as required.
      3. Repairing and maintaining equipment.
      4. Providing the beachmaster with local security.
      5. The communication section of the naval beach party is provided by naval personnel in the shore party communication team and, in the normal employment, aids and augments the shore party communications team which functions directly under the shore party team commander.

  3. Medical section.-- (1) The medical section consists of one officer (Naval Medical Corps) and eight naval enlisted men with the responsibility of--

      1. Establishing beach evacuation station.
      2. Operating beach aid station to care for beach casualties.


      1. Providing transportation for all casualties from beach evacuation stations to boats.
      2. Maintaining liaison with higher medical echelons responsible for medical supply and evacuation.
    1. Aid and evacuation are primary duties of this section, and stations for the performance of these tasks should be located and established in initial beach party landings. Casualties occurring inland are delivered to the beach evacuation station. No casualties should be evacuated until assault elements have completed landing; however, casualties occurring in boats should remain in boats for return to their parent vessels. The beachmaster must be kept informed of the number of casualties on hand for evacuation, and an accurate record of casualties evacuated must be retained.

      Naval personnel to reinforce the ship's platoon should be provided by each ship in the attack force. These details will include such officer personnel as indicated by requirements, and enlisted winch operators, hatchtenders, and laborers as required, to augment military personnel organic to the ship's platoon.

23. Command Component.--The shore party team functions with its own organic command as incorporated in the command elements of the headquarters platoon. However, the employment of two or more shore party teams requires a coordinating element which is provided by a specially organized command superimposed over the teams for this purpose and designated as the shore party group headquarters. Similarly, a special division shore party command is organized to direct the employment of two or more shore party groups. The shore party command elements, composed of both naval and military personnel, are as follows:

  1. Shore party group headquarters.--This headquarters normally consists of four officers and approximately 10 enlisted men (military) and one officer and approximately three enlisted men (naval). Two officers and five enlisted men (military) compose the command section, with the senior officer designated as the shore party group commander and the junior officer as his executive. One of the officers and all enlisted men are normally provided by the basic military Shore party organization. This element is responsible for the control and coordination of the shore party group. One officer and several enlisted naval personnel are provided from the senior naval echelon to provide naval-military liaison and to coordinate the employment of the beach parties included in the shore party group organization. Where two or more shore party teams land on and utilize the same beach, the commanding officer of the shore party team first ashore will remain in command until the arrival of the shore party group commander.


  1. Division shore party headquarters.--This headquarters normally consists of five officers and approximately 40 enlisted men (military), plus one officer and approximately five enlisted naval personnel. The command section is composed of three officers the 10 enlisted men (military), with the senior officer designated as division shore party commander and the remaining officers as executive assistants. This section controls and coordinates the employment of shore party groups operating the division's assigned beaches. Personnel are normally provided from the basic military shore party element. One officer (medical) and several enlisted men (medical) are assigned by the division surgeon from the division landing force as a medical section and are responsible for the coordination of division aid and evacuation. A detachment of one officer and 19 enlisted men from ASCO will form the communication section and is responsible for the coordination of shore party communication generally, and, specifically, for furnishing the division shore party with lateral, inland, and ship-to-shore communication. An officer and several enlisted men (naval) are included in a naval liaison section, are provided by the corresponding naval echelon, and are responsible for .liaison with naval elements and the coordination of all beach parties

  2. Corps shore party headquarters.--This headquarters is normally composed of headquarters company, corps shore brigade, plus medical and communication sections provided from corps troops, and a naval liaison section provided by the corresponding naval echelon. The senior officer is normally designated corps shore party commander and is responsible for the control and coordination of two or more division shore parties. Size of the section composing the corps shore party is governed by requirements imposed.

  3. The commanding officer of the shore party group and higher shore party echelons is normally designated by the division- or landing force commander and is preferably an engineer officer of field grade.


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24. General.--The shore party is a special task unit organized and is equipped to perform a special assignment. The practice of relegating its advance training to the landing team or combat team commander is a vicious one; it imposes a separate and distinct and most often an entirely foreign responsibility on an individual who is already exerting his full capabilities toward the preparations his unit must make prior to entering combat. Shore parties support tactical units just as artillery, tanks, or engineers do, and by the same principle, should be trained and readied for that supporting role by their own officers.

Aside from the technical training of individual specialists in the performance of such tasks as rigging, demolitions, the operation and maintenance of heavy engineer equipment, communication equipment, etc., the training of shore party personnel may be divided into two general categories or phases, as follows:

  1. Basic shore party training (continuous unit training prior to the assignment of a specific objective).

  2. Operational shore party training (carried out with all reinforcing elements for a minimum period of 1 month prior to embarkation for an operation).

25. Basic Shore Party Training.--In this category may be included all those efforts directed toward the development of a smoothly working team capable of acting as a nucleus around which a complete reinforced shore party may be organized for the accomplishment of a specific mission.

This basic training will be continuous in the basic element of the shore party (pioneer battalion) and will not depend on knowledge of a specific operation. It will cover various types of hypothetical beach situations, utilizing appropriate types of landing craft and methods appropriate to an assumed situation. A highly efficient group of key personnel must be developed, into which reinforcing elements may later be easily absorbed with a minimum of confusion.

Careful coordination and a clear understanding of the controlling chain of command must be stressed throughout. Insofar as possible, personnel should be capable of functioning in several different capacities within the shore party team.

During this training phase, the following subjects should be thoroughly covered:

  1. Organization and capabilities of equipment.

  2. Beach organization; effect of the nature of the landing beach on the method of operation.


  1. Use of beach markers and beach lights.

  2. Demolition of beach and underwater obstacles.

  3. Construction of temporary facilities--beach roadways, ramps, temporary piers, etc.

  4. Unloading of supplies--use of various mechanical aids (sleds, pallets, special rigging methods).

  5. Supervision of beach dumps--records of supplies landed, security, and camouflage.

  6. Beach driving and traffic control.

  7. Types of landing craft and conditions governing their use; use of rubber boats.

  8. Salvage of equipment and supplies.

  9. Evacuation of casualties and handling of POW's.

  10. Shore party communication plan.

  11. Close-in beach defense measures; knowledge of weapons.

  12. Situation maps.

  13. Stevedoring; winch operations.

  14. Intensive physical conditioning.

26. The Naval Beach Party.--a. Personnel of the naval beach party, which is provided from ships of the assault force, should be trained for their duties in a course including the following subjects:

    1. General training and physical conditioning.
    2. Hydrographic, communication, boat repair, or medical.
    3. Range practice.
    4. Night landing problems.
  1. Courses normally include instruction for all officers and enlisted men in:

    1. Importance of terrain characteristics for security and operation.
    2. Use of small arms.
    3. Boat salvage methods.
  2. Specialized instruction encompasses training in specific duties for which the naval beach party is responsible and includes the operation, use, and maintenance of the amphibious truck and tractor. As a result of his training, every member of the beach party is prepared to participate both as a specialist and as a general member of a team in facilitating the landing of assault troops and supplies.

27. Reinforced Shore Party Training.--It should be considered as routine that the designated shore party commander have available for a minimum period of 45 days prior to the embarkation date all personnel who are to function as part of


the shore party for a specific operation. During: this time, intensive training should be carried out to the end that all men thoroughly understand their jobs. This training should be based on the specific conditions expected to be encountered after a careful study of all available information on the proposed landing beaches.

Practice landings should be made as nearly identical to the planned operation as security considerations and available facilities will permit. Experience has proved that such training will pay enormous dividends on D-day. This training should be climaxed by the final rehearsal in which all troops of the landing force participate.

The tendency to delay the assignment of reinforcing troops to the shore party to the extent that no time is available for consolidated training presents a hazard to the entire operation and inevitably results in untold confusion and lack of coordinated effort in the most critical phase of an amphibious landing.


[B L A N K    P A G E]



28. General.--Every military operation has a definite aim. All missions assigned incident to an operation are contributory to this end. The shore party mission in amphibious operations cannot be neglected during the planning phase. Simple and direct plans, visualizing control and flexibility, promptly and thoroughly executed, are usually the best. The plans are based on all available information and should be made as early as practicable.

29. Responsibilities.--Since supply is a commander's responsibility, it follows that shore party planning, organization, employment, and control are also functions of command; however, as in other commander's responsibilities, they fall naturally under the cognizance of one of the four executive staff sections. In this case, the shore party, being a logistic agency, falls primarily under the logistics section.

The work of the shore party is so closely related to over-all logistic plans for amphibious operations that unit logistics officers, in cooperation with shore party commanders, must prepare the plans jointly.

30. Liaison.--a. Early liaison must be established between all echelons of command, both naval and landing force, in order that planning can go on concurrently and cooperation and coordination may be assured.

  1. Liaison with transport quartermasters is particularly important during the planning phase in order to assure shore party familiarity with loading and unloading plans, together with recognition of types of supplies and equipment and their markings.

  2. Liaison must be established early with garrison force personnel in order to insure a smooth transition period between assault force unloading and the handling of subsequent resupply, either for assault or garrison forces.

  3. Close liaison is necessary with engineer elements to insure coordination in the development of shore party facilities requiring work of an engineering nature.

31. Estimate of the Situation.--a. Since shore parties require a high degree of coordination and must be organized and employed to meet tactical and logistic requirements of amphibious operations, it follows that prior to issuance of a shore party directive, considerable planning must be accomplished. This planning must start early and proceed concurrently with all other tactical and logistic planning, and culminate in the issuance of a shore party plan.


  1. In order to arrive at an intelligent plan for the proper organization and employment of shore parties for a particular operation, it is necessary that a thorough study be made of all factors affecting this organization and employment. This can best be done by making a "shore party estimate of the situation." In this estimate the following factors must be considered:

    1. Mission.--Statement of the mission of the shore party for the particular operation.

    2. Enemy activity and installations in the landing area.--Careful consideration must be given to the amount of resistance expected in the beach area by assault troops in order that the landing and control of early supplies may be anticipated, and arrangements for floating and mobile dumps in a "false beachhead" off shore may be made. Heavy enemy resistance in the beach area also affects the time of landing of various elements of the shore party.

      Enemy supply and transportation facilities in the beach area that may possibly be utilized must be considered, and plans made accordingly.

    3. Tactical considerations.--Tactical scheme of maneuver for the landing and subsequent schemes of maneuver inland.

    4. Other factors affecting organization and employment.--(a) Hydrographic conditions, weather, terrain conditions, soil conditions, and roads in the general landing area must be considered. These considerations are particularly important in that for operations involving reefs or swampy terrain inland from the beach, shore parties must be organized and employed somewhat differently than for operations over good beaches and good terrain inland.

      1. Troops available for shore party duties, in addition to basic personnel organic in pioneer battalions (replacements, part companies, depot companies, ammunition companies, and other garrison troops).

      2. Availability of shipping for transporting additional personnel and equipment for shore party functions.

      3. Amounts and types of supplies and equipment to be unloaded during the assault phase.

      4. Additional special equipment necessary and available for assistance in the unloading.

      5. Availability of civilian laborers in the landing area and consideration as to the possibility of their utilization during the assault phase.

      6. Consideration regarding the coordination with base development plans for subsequent unloading of re-supply and base development shipping. If plans visualize use of the shore party subsequent to unloading of assault shipping, shore parties must be well organized and equipped to handle supplies and equipment for long periods of time.


32. Activation.--a. Since shore parties are special task organizations and are provisional in nature, it is necessary, prior to issuance of a detailed shore party plan but after the estimate has been made, that the landing force commander issue a directive activating the shore party. This directive can normally be issued as a special order.

In operations involving the corps as the landing force highest echelon, the headquarters company, corps shore brigade, acts as the cadre for the corps shore party headquarters. Additional assignment of personnel to the corps shore party should include:

    1. Qualified assistant to shore party commander (preferably an engineer officer).
    2. Medical section.
    3. Naval liaison section (normally requested from the attack force staff).
    4. Garrison force liaison section.
    5. TQM section.
    6. Communication personnel.
    7. Clerical assistance.
    8. Corps shore party companies to augment division shore parties, if required.
  1. In the activation order (landing force), the following additional information should be included:

    1. Assignment of additional troops from replacements and garrison force personnel to subordinate shore parties of the landing force.

    2. Assignment of additional special equipment to subordinate shore parties.

    3. Designation of the number of shore party teams (to operate landing team or equivalent beaches) to be activated by subordinate shore parties of the landing force.

    4. Provisions for early movement of personnel in (1) above to the location of subordinate landing force elements.

  2. Shore parties should, wherever practicable, be activated at least 45 to 60 days prior to embarkation in order that organization may be perfected, and a certain amount of reinforced training and rehearsals may be carried out.

  3. If the shore party is to work in the operation as a unit and function smoothly, it must be organized early and trained for its job in the same manner as infantry, artillery, tanks, and other elements of the landing force.

33. The Shore Party Plan.--a. General.--In amphibious operations it is just as necessary to issue a shore party plan as it is to issue an operation or administrative plan.

    The plan is based on the estimate and the details are worked out by the G-4 and the shore party commander, who in


    the process, maintains close liaison and participates in conferences with his opposite number in the naval chain of command.

    The plan may be issued in several different ways; however, its issuance as an annex to the administrative plan is usually preferred.

    The plan should be simple, clear, concise, and flexible enough to meet changing situation.

    The shore party composition as outlined in this manual provides a flexible and decentralized type organization which further simplifies flexibility of the plan.

  1. Landing force plan.--The plan issued by different echelons of command will vary only in the amount of detail contained therein.

    The highest landing force echelon in the operation normally issues a very general plan which contains information as to the shore parties' place in the over-all logistic and tactical plan, together with certain directives concerning organization and means of employment and control when the landing force takes over ashore.

  2. The division plan.--The division logistics officer and shore party commander must begin work as soon as possible after receiving the landing force commander's activation order for the shore party. A division activation order must be promulgated and the basic and reinforcing elements must, where practicable, be billeted together and organized into teams and groups to fit the particular operation.

    In drawing up the plan for the shore party, the division logistics officer must make an estimate and maintain close liaison with the division operations officer, the logistics officer of the next higher echelon, and the naval transport group operations officer in order that the plan will be coordinated with and support the tactical plan, and be within the limits of the naval capabilities for landing the shore party and the equipment and supplies embarked.

    The shore party is the starting point of the system of supply ashore, and its functions are closely related to the supply plans as a whole. If transports are not properly combat loaded, shore parties cannot accomplish one of their primary objectives of expeditious unloading of the essential items of equipment and supplies required by the combat elements. These considerations are, of course, basic to the entire supply plan and are mentioned here since the quantity and method of loading directly affects the proper functioning of shore parties. Below appears a general form for a shore party plan:



ANNEX__________ TO__________ ADM PLAN #__________

File No. ______________________________  Issuing unit
Serial_________________________________ Place of issue
Classification__________________________  Hour and date of issue




  1. TITLE of each major grouping of shore party; name and-rank of commander.

  2. LIST all other groupings with appropriate letter, as (c), (d), etc.

1. (a) INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY.--General information necessary to give subordinates clear picture of enemy's situation; include specific information (beach defenses, etc.) of importance to shore party personnel.


  2. HYDROGRAPHIC and terrain in beach area, general information.

2. MISSION.--State in general terms.

3. TITLE of each major grouping of shore party (separate lettered subparagraph for each grouping corresponding to the letter shown in the task organization). Statement as to instructions for landing, designation of combat element to support, and any other detailed instructions considered necessary.

  1. INSTRUCTIONS applicable to two or more units which are necessary for coordination, but do not properly belong in another subparagraph, such as--

  1. Control.
  2. Priorities of landing equipment.
  3. Reference to floating dumps.

4. (a) Refer to Adm O.

  1. Special equipment needed and its employment.

5. (a) SIGNAL COMMUNICATION.--Refer to signal annex to operation order; if sufficient information is not included in this annex, include important instructions here.

  1. LOCATION of shore party command post.
  2. TIME used.





  1. The purpose of the shore party annex is to provide a means of amplifying the information and instructions pertaining to the shore party in the parent administration order (plan), without affecting the brevity or clarity of the latter. In the form given above, the shore party annex constitutes the complete operation order (plan) which would be issued by the shore party commander if it were not issued as an annex to a unit's administrative order.

  2. A task organization from the division level would normally include three shore party groups of two shore party teams each.

  3. Information of the general beach area over which landings are to be made that is of importance to shore party operations should be included in paragraph 1(c).

  4. Assignment of specific measures necessary for coordination of all shore party teams being employed is necessary.

  5. The plan is signed by the chief of staff.

  6. Appendices are numbered serially.

  7. Distribution is the same as for parent administration order.

  8. Authentication is by the logistics section.



34. General.--The ship-to-shore movement of shore party teams and the supplies and equipment of the landing force must be controlled, their proper time and place for landing determined, and necessary instructions issued. This is an important phase of the shore party employment, and the time and place of landing cannot be accurately determined at the time of the issuance of the shore party plan.

Various means have been devised for maintaining sufficient control of the flow of supplies and equipment to the beach and records pertinent thereto. Obviously, the very nature of an amphibious operation against opposition precludes the utilization of a complicated system with any great degree of success. The system which will be discussed herein has been used successfully and is considered sound in principles.

35. Logistic Control Groups.--a. In order to exercise the necessary control indicated above, logistic control groups are established aboard each transport division control vessel and the transport group control vessel. (See figure 2.)

  1. The division logistic control group is established aboard the transport group control vessel and consists of a representative of the division operations and logistics sections, division TQM section, communication personnel, and such other personnel as are necessary for the proper functioning of this group. It is desirable that the division shore party commander be embarked aboard this vessel.

    The division logistics officer's representative is the logistic control officer for the division and is responsible for early supply of troops ashore and for the landing of shore party teams and group headquarters as information from liaison and reconnaissance elements on the beach indicate beach suitability for these landings.

  2. The RCT logistic control groups are established aboard each transport division control vessel and consist of representatives of the division logistics sections, division TQM section, communication personnel, and such personnel as are desired by the RCT commander concerned. It is desirable that the group commander of the shore party group supporting the RCT be embarked aboard this vessel.

    The division logistics representative is the logistic control officer for the RCT and operates under direction of the division logistic control group. Request for early supply from troops on the beach and requests for the landing "on call" of support troops are normally handled directly without reference to division logistic control; however, the landing of shore party teams and group headquarters are only directed after approval of division logistic control officer.


Figure 2.--General organization of shore party, showing relationship with logistic control groups.
Figure 2.--General organization of shore party, showing relationship with logistic control groups.


36. System of Control.--a. Chronology.--An inventory of the cargo of each ship as it is loaded is maintained by the troop TQM, with the loading plans showing the location of the various items. Thus, there is available to each logistic control group from the above source adequate information concerning the cargo of the ships of which the particular group may have cognizance. As directives concerning the unloading progress are received by each ship from its logistic control group, boats are loaded and the items are checked off the TQM inventory accordingly ; the coxswain of each boat, on completion of its loading, is handed two copies of a ticket on which is noted the boat's cargo, number, ship where cargo was obtained, date, and hour/ One copy is retained by the troop TQM. The coxswain is then instructed to report to the proper control vessel for further instruction. At the control vessel, a copy of the ticket is received from the coxswain, who is then directed to report to a certain beach or floating dump; these instructions are noted on all copies of the ticket, and the cargo listed thereon is checked off the logistic control group copy of the TQM inventory for the ship concerned.

These supplies are sent in from the "floating dumps." "Floating dumps" are replenished from ships as necessary.

  1. Mobile dumps.--For immediate supply of assault troops, "mobile dumps" may be utilized. This involves the use of amphibious vehicles (LVT's, DUKW's) loaded with emergency on-call supplies which, depending on the tactical situation, may be maintained as part of the floating dump, may be maintained as part of beach dumps, or may even follow closely behind assault units as they push inland. In this connection, the watertight cargo trailer may be used to good advantage in conjunction with LVT's and DUKW's.

    Thus a running record of the disposition of cargo is maintained by logistic control groups. The coxswain, on arrival at his destination, hands over the remaining copy of the cargo ticket to the representative of the beach on which his boat is finally unloaded; thus a record of supplies actually landed may be obtained.


  1. Form for cargo ticket:

    Date________Hour________Boat No.__________

    Ship from which cargo obtained____________

    Cargo_________________ ___________________

    ______________________ ___________________

    ______________________ ___________________

    DESIGNATION OF BEACH__________________CON-
    TROL VESSEL________ PRIORITY_______ A check
    mark here means "sent to beach on priority
    basis." If special delivery point desired, indicate
    here FOR__________________________________

    To be completed by control vessel.

    Reported traffic control AT: ______________

    Sent TO:____________________________________

  2. Floating dumps.--For early supply of assault troops, "floating dumps" are established in the vicinity of each control vessel. These "floating dumps" may be boat-type landing craft, pontoon barges, amphibious trailers, or amphibious vehicles, and they contain certain emergency on-call supplies and/or equipment in predetermined amounts.

    Requests for supplies prior to the landing of main elements of the shore party team are forwarded from shore party liaison officers (with each assault landing team) to shore party team forward echelon headquarters on the beach, thence to the proper control vessel for action.

37. Time of Landing Shore Parties.--a. The forward echelon of the headquarters platoon (see section 4), consisting of a command, reconnaissance, communication, and liaison section, should land with the reserve company of the assault landing team to which it is attached. It is the responsibility of the landing team commander concerned to provide for landing this personnel.

  1. Provisions are made in the shore party plan for boating shore party teams, and for their time of arrival at control vessels. The number of teams boated initially will be dependent on the availability of boats, the number of beaches over which landings are contemplated, and the general tactical and logistic scheme of the operation as a whole.

  2. Shore party teams are ordered to beaches as designated by the logistic control groups. The time and place of landing is based on hydrographic, terrain, and tactical reports from forward echelons of the several shore party teams to the control vessels.

  3. Shore party group headquarters and division shore party headquarters normally embark aboard control vessels


    and are ordered ashore by the logistic control groups as necessary to control and coordinate the shore party teams when they are established and operating ashore.

38. Handling of Supplies and Equipment.--The mechanics of handling supplies and equipment in the transfer from ship to shore will vary widely, depending upon a number of factors, such as hydrographic conditions, tactical situation, available mechanical aids, personnel, and terrain inland. Some general ideas which are worthy of note will be discussed herein, however.

  1. False beach.--When the existence of a barrier or fringing reef precludes the actual beaching of small craft, it has frequently been found desirable to utilize pontoon barges, floating in the vicinity of the reef line or the drying reef, as a boat unloading point, the remaining travel to beach dumps being accomplished after transferring boat cargo to amphibious craft capable of negotiating the reef and advancing to shore. In some situations, when tide condition provides sufficient depth of water, barges may be floated over the reef or shoal for further unloading on the beach.

  2. Floating cranes.--For expeditious handling of cargo in the transfer "false beach" area, there must be available adequate mechanical hoisting gear. (See figure 3.) For this purpose, mobile cranes may be mounted directly on the pontoon barge itself, or if more mobility is desired, cranes may be mounted in smaller craft.

Figure 3.--Floating crane for use in transfer area. This is a mobile hydraulic crane mounted in an LCM being used by marines on training maneuvers
Figure 3.--Floating crane for use in transfer area. This is a mobile hydraulic crane mounted in an LCM being used by marines on training maneuvers.


  1. Piers and causeways.--The early installation of ramps, causeways, and piers of a temporary nature will result in a great increase in the rate of unloading. For such installations, standard Marine Corps temporary bridging equipment is available, as well as NL pontoon gear. Frequently the installation of a pier from the reef's edge to shore will be possible. Some sort of ramp will almost always be desirable for facilitating the unloading of LSTs.

  2. Palletization.--After a great deal of experimentation and combat experience, it is apparent that palletization of bulk cargo should be employed only after careful consideration of all factors pertinent to a specific operation, and never unless adequate mechanical equipment is available to handle palletized cargo. Without such mechanical equipment, valuable time will be wasted in breaking down pallet loads for manhandling. Special caution should be exercised when a reef transfer is required, since some time will be lost in making available at the proper place of transfer such hoisting devices as will be necessary to handle pallet loads.

    Only certain types of supplies lend themselves by nature to palletization, and practically never will more than about 70 percent palletization of such items be feasible. Normally, palletization should not exceed 50 percent appropriate items in combat leadings.


Figure 4.--LST unloading directly on beach. Note ramp built out to facilitate vehicular access. (South Saipan, Marianas Islands.
Figure 4.--LST unloading directly on beach. Note ramp built out to facilitate vehicular access. (South Saipan, Marianas Islands.


Figure 5.--Use of mobile hydraulic crane in unloading small amphibious craft. Note use of lines to stabilize crane in handling heavy loads. (Marines in the Marianas.)
Figure 5.--Use of mobile hydraulic crane in unloading small amphibious craft. Note use of lines to stabilize crane in handling heavy loads. (Marines in the Marianas.)


  1. Use of beach sleds.--As a mechanical aid, the use of wooden beach sleds or metal toboggans fitted with a bridle for towing, will be found helpful. These are efficient only for short hauls, but by towing several sleds in tandem, the best efficiency of the prime mover may be obtained. (See figure 6.)

    Figure 6.--Use of beach sled to transport bulk cargo to beach dump. (Marines on training maneuvers.)
    Figure 6.--Use of beach sled to transport bulk cargo to beach dump. (Marines on training maneuvers.)

  2. Waterproofing of vehicles.--Depending on the va-wooden beach sleds or metal toboggans fitted with a bridle for eration should be given to the waterproofing of such vehicles and equipment as may be required to land prior to the installation of such beach facilities as will allow the landing of vehicles without danger of drowning out [sic!. Factors governing the decision as to number of vehicles to be waterproofed will include beach conditions, expected tactical situation, and types of landing craft to be utilized. It is to be remembered that provision must be made for removing the waterproofing material as soon as possible after landing, and for this reason it is desirable that no more vehicles be waterproofed than necessary to fit the conditions of the specific operation.


Figure 7.--LST being unloaded at reef line. Here the depth of water between reef and shore is such that vehicles can easily move from shipi to beach. (Marines in the Marianas.)
Figure 7.--LST being unloaded at reef line. Here the depth of water between reef and shore is such that vehicles can easily move from ship to beach. (Marines in the Marianas.)

  1. Beach matting.--Rapid-laying type beach matting (pierced steel plank) is highly desirable for building beach roadway exits over beaches where deep sand or volcanic ash may be encountered. This assists greatly in the rapidity with which vehicles and other wheeled equipment can be cleared from the immediate beach area. Provisions should be made in unloading plans for the early landing of this type of equipment. (See figure 8.)


Figure 8.--Use of pierced steel plank to form beach roadway. Some such material will usually be needed to providxe sufficient bearing surface for vehicles. (Marines at Iwo Jima.)
Figure 8.--Use of pierced steel plank to form beach roadway. Some such material will usually be needed to provide sufficient bearing surface for vehicles. (Marines at Iwo Jima.)



39. General.--This section describes the plan by which signal communication agencies provide means of control for the shore party in its mission of logistic support of landing operations.

40. Organization of Communication Troops.--The assault signal company in each division assigns to the shore party nine shore party communication teams.

One communication team is assigned to and embarked with each of the nine shore party teams in the division. Communication teams are not assigned to shore party groups, but may be drawn from reserve shore party teams not initially committed in the landing, or the group may establish its headquarters ashore with one of the shore party teams and make joint use of the communication agencies of that team.

Communication for the logistic control groups is provided by the division signal company, supplemented in some cases by personnel and equipment from shore party communication teams not needed for the initial landing. Naval facilities on each control vessel provide communication with the transports, landing craft, and other control vessels.

41. Equivalent Naval Organization.--Operating in or with each shore party and logistic control group echelon is a naval beach party or control officer. Each naval beach party or control officer has communication facilities which are of considerable use to the equivalent echelon of the landing force.

42. Naval Radio Nets of Joint Importance.--a. The transport group command net employs very-high-frequency (VHF) voice transmission. It is guarded by the transport group and transport divisions, tractor group, LSM unit, transports, LSD's, hospital control LST's, and the transport group control officer and beach party.

  1. The control vessel common net provides lateral voice communication between all control vessels and is also guarded by the joint expeditionary force commander, attack force commander, transport group commanders, and transport group and division beachmasters.

  2. The transport division boat control net has the primary function its name implies. It is a very-high-frequency voice channel guarded by the transport division, each transport in the division, boat group and boat wave commanders, wave guides, and transport division and transport beach parties. After the initial landing is made, it is of considerable value in salvage operation and boat traffic control in the vicinity of the beach.


Figure 9.--Shore party communication nets.
Figure 9.--Shore party communication nets.


  1. A ship-to-shore administrative net is established by each transport division to provide relatively fast radiotelegraph communication between the transport division commander, each transport and hospital LST of the transport division, the transport division control vessel and transport and transport division beach parties.

    Visual circuits generally paralleling the ship-to-shore administrative net are established ashore by the beach parties for joint use with the corresponding shore party echelon.

43. Shore Party Communication.--The shore party's mission of providing logistic support for landing operations requires reconnaissance, liaison with supported units, and close tactical and administrative control of all shore party elements. (See figure 9.)

Each of these requirements imposes special communication requirements. The communication agencies provided for each requirement are explained in succeeding paragraphs in the chronological order of their use in landing operations.

44. Forward Echelon of Shore Party Team.--A forward echelon of each shore party team supporting an assault landing team lands with the reserve company of the landing team.

It consists of command, reconnaissance, liaison, and communication sections.

The time and place of landing the entire shore party team is decided by the division logistic control group on the basis of hydrographic, terrain, and tactical reports from the forward echelon.

To provide means of transmitting these reports, the division shore party lateral net is established at the time the forward echelons land. It may be established for stations afloat several hours earlier. This net is guarded by shore party teams, shore party groups when ashore, all logistic control groups of the division, and by division headquarters. Medium- or high-frequency radiotelegraph transmission is employed, insuring fast and reliable communication up to 30 miles between all beaches and to the transport area. If desired and authorized, this high-frequency net may be paralleled by a voice very-high-frequency net, using man-pack sets obtained from a division or other pool of equipment.

The liaison section of the forward echelon, upon landing, immediately proceeds to the command post of the supported landing team, installing a temporary telephone line from the radio station as it goes. An alternate means of communication for this liaison section may be established by assigning a portable radio set to the forward echelon communication section for operation on the landing team tactical net.


The establishment of these two communication agencies permits the relay of requests from the landing team commander before the shore party team lands. The logistic control group can immediately act on such requests by ordering in preloaded landing craft or LVT's from a floating dump.

45. Shore Party Team Ashore.--When the shore party team lands, the communication section is reinforced by additional personnel, heavier wire equipment, and additional radios.

A message center is established to coordinate the various signal agencies, to encrypt messages when necessary, and to provide limited messenger service. The message center has general supervision over the agencies established by the beach party, and all communication facilities of the shore party team and beach party are operated for the best interests of both groups.

The wire section establishes a switchboard and installs telephone lines to adjacent shore party teams and inland to the landing team. It provides local telephones for the shore party team commander, beachmaster, and to dumps as required.

The radio section continues operation of the shore party lateral net, and establishes a local shore party net between the shore party team commander, the beachmaster, and the message center by means of small, hand-pack voice radios. This net permits the free movement within a radius of one-half mile of the beachmaster and shore party team commander without loss of control or contact.

The radio-visual section of the beach party is by this time operating stations in the ship-to-shore administrative net and the transport division boat control net, thus providing alternate channels from the beach to the transports and control vessels. It has also established a visual station (searchlight) for communication seaward.

It should be carefully noted, however, that requests for landing troops or supplies are not sent directly from the beach to the transports while controlled unloading is in effect. All such requests are sent to the appropriate logistic control group for action.

46. Shore Party Group Ashore.--When the division logistic control group decides which landing team beach is best suited for development as the principal beach for support of a combat team, and when it appears that coordination of adjacent shore party teams by a headquarters ashore is needed, the control group will order the landing of the parent shore party group.

The headquarters of the shore party group establishes itself at or near the headquarters of a shore party team. The shore party group may be reinforced by an additional shore party team at the principal beach, or it may rely entirely on the communication facilities of the shore party team already operating.


In either case, the support relation of the shore party group is with the combat team rather than with the individual landing team.

Direct wire communication with the combat team is established, and the lines previously installed between shore party teams and landing teams may be abandoned. As a supporting unit, the shore party has this responsibility.

The shore party lateral net is continued, as are the agencies of the transport division beachmaster, who establishes his headquarters near that of the shore party group.

The shore party group may provide an alternate means of communication with the combat team by establishing a station on the combat team command or tactical net.

Lateral wire communication with adjacent shore party teams or groups is maintained and improved.

47. Division Shore Party Ashore.--When coordination of shore party groups by a central headquarters ashore appears desirable, the division logistic control group will order the division shore party to land on the beach considered best suited for development as the principal division beach.

The signal company detachment with the shore party headquarters establishes wire communication with shore party groups and independent shore party teams. Lateral lines between groups are maintained as alternate means. Wire communication with division is established as directed.

The shore party lateral net is kept in operation, although shore party teams may no longer be required to guard it.

Alternate means of communication seaward are kept in operation by the various beach parties, and the transport group beachmaster establishes his headquarters near that of the division shore party in order that all facilities may be jointly used.

It is in this phase that normal division supply agencies commence taking over the dumps established just inland from the beach by the shore parties and regulate the issuing of supplies and equipment.

48. Function of Landing Force Shore Party.--The landing force shore party, or shore brigade, may coordinate the landing of supplies over two or more division beaches similarly to the coordination exercised by the division shore party over the shore party groups.

It is of particular value when the beach of one division is far superior to all other beaches for landing very heavy equipment, thus necessitating the joint use of that beach for landing some equipment of all divisions.

It is also of importance in the transition to garrison responsibility for unloading supplies for all forces ashore Necessary communication is established as follows:


  1. Wire communication is obtained by consolidation of division shore party systems, with alternate channels through the landing force and division system.

  2. Radio communication is obtained by consolidating all division shore party lateral nets into a single landing force shore party command net, employing the frequency of one division.

49. End of Controlled Unloading.--In most amphibious operations, sufficient supplies and equipment can be landed within 2 or 3 days to meet all immediate problems of emergency re-supply of the forces ashore.

When it is considered that sufficient stocks have accumulated in beach dumps to meet all anticipated requirements for several days, the division logistic control, with permission of the landing force commander group, may direct that controlled unloading be discontinued and general unloading begun.

When this order is issued, it means that the work of the logistic control groups is over, and from a communication standpoint it means that the ship-to-shore administrative net and other direct channels from beach to transport can be fully used. The shore party lateral net then becomes a simple shore party command net.

50. Conclusions.--The communication plan described in this section is representative of the procedure employed in recent operations by Marine organizations.

It is apparent that the plan must be altered to meet special situations, and that the initiation of such changes will be responsibility of the logistics officer of the general staff, assisted and advised by the signal officer.

It is equally apparent that the success of this plan or similar plans is dependent on the intelligent use of communication agencies by commanders and staff officers as well as the technical operation of these agencies.



51. Beach Markers and Beach Organizations.--a. Beach markers and landing point markers are as prescribed in FTP-211. (See figures 10 and 11.)

  1. Priority for placing markers:

    1. Range flags, marking center of beach.
    2. Beach flank markers.
    3. Landing points.
    4. Dumps.
  2. Unloading points should, whenever practicable, possess the following characteristics:

    1. Suitable landing points.

    2. Suitable egress from the beach.
    3. Convenient location with respect to dump areas.
  3. Each beach must be organized in its entirety and equipment of the shore party teams landed before general unloading begins. Time will be wasted if the flow of supplies to the beach commences before the shore party is prepared to receive and handle them expeditiously.

52. Beach Dumps.--a. Separate dumps, based on the number of beach unloading points necessary or available, should be established as follows:

    1. Ammunition.
    2. Rations.
    3. Gasoline and oil.
    4. Vehicles not in use.
    5. Water
    6. Miscellaneous supplies.
  1. Although unloading points for classes of supplies should be marked, all boats must be unloaded at the beach unloading point to which sent by the control boat, the supplies to be placed in the nearest dump.

  2. Tentative dump sites in the general beach area should be selected from aerial photographs or maps. (See figure 13.) In preliminary photo reconnaissance for dump sites, necessity for camouflage, dispersion, and revetment should be considered, and shore party teams must be provided with material for these purposes prior to embarkation.

  3. The following points should be considered in selecting dump sites:

    1. Sufficient areas to disperse supplies and equipment.


Figure 10.--Unloading point markers (6 feet square).
Figure 10.--Unloading point markers (6 feet square).


Figure 11.--Beach markers (flank panels, 12 by 2-1/2 feet).
Figure 11.--Beach markers (flank panels, 12 by 2½ feet).


    1. Convenient location to beach areas and near supply routes leading to combat supply echelons. Initial dumps, were practical, should not be over 200 yards inland.
    2. Accessibility of existing roads or road net to be established. (See figure 12.)
    3. Ease of camouflage and concealment.
  1. Shore party team commanders should be alert to possible necessity for change of location of dump areas, either by reason of changes in the tactical situation or because the quantity of supplies exceeds the capacity of the dump area.

Figure 12.--General unloading of large landing craft directly on the beach (at Iwo Jima). Note beach roadway and dispersal of supplies unloaded.
Figure 12.--General unloading of large landing craft directly on the beach (at Iwo Jima). Note beach roadway and dispersal of supplies unloaded.


Figure 13.--Typical beach layout, showing supply installations and traffic circulation plan. Tentative dump sites are selected from photos and maps.
Figure 13.--Typical beach layout, showing supply installations and traffic circulation plan. Tentative dump sites are selected from photos and maps.


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation