Chapter III
Landing Boat Organization and Duties of Landing Boat Officers


Section 1. General
Section 2. Task Organization
Section 3. Task
Section 4. The Boat Flotilla
Section 5. The Boat Group
Section 6. The Boat Division
Section 7. The Boat Wave
Section 8. The Boat Group Commander
Section 9. The Assistant Boat Group Commander
Section 10. The Boat Division Commander
Section 11. The Boat Wave Commander
Section 12. The Assistant Boat Wave Commander

Section 1. General

  1. The Landing Boat Organization and command of boats and the duties of the Boat Unit Commanders are covered in Chapter IV of FTP 211 and Chapter IV of FTP 167. The evolution of amphibious procedure and the development of LVTs and DUKWs has made supplementary directives necessary. The movement of Landing Craft, Landing Boats, Amphibian Tracked Vehicles and Amphibian Trucks to the beach during the assault phase will be under the control of the Transport Group Commander.

Section 2. Task Organization

  1. The Task Organization will include:

    1. The Boat Flotilla,
    2. The Boat Group,
    3. The Boat Wave,
    4. The Boat Division

  2. LVTs and DUKWs will be considered as part of the Landing Boat Group when participating in assault and landing boat operations. The Boat Wave may include LVTs or DUKWs. The LVT and DUKW divisions will be under the command of the Troops Commanders. Waves of LVTs or DUKWs will be guided to the beach by Control Boats.

Section 3. Task

  1. The Task of the Boat Group is set forth in Chapter IV of FTP 167 and Chapter IV of FTP 211.


Section 4. The Boat Flotilla

  1. FTP 211, Chapter IV, paragraph 404 and Chapter IV paragraph 405 (a) set forth the organization and function of The Boat Flotilla.

    1. The Boat Flotilla consists of two or more Boat Groups and is used when the operation demands the actual presence of a Flotilla Commander.

    2. The Flotilla Commander for a Transport Division is a member of the Transport Division Commander's Staff.

    3. When a Flotilla Commander is necessary for a transport Group, the Transport Group Commander will make the appointment.

    4. The Flotilla Commander will direct the groups under his command in accordance with his orders and the tactical situation. He will keep the next higher echelon in the chain of command informed as to the movements of the boat groups under his command.

Section 5. The Boat Group

  1. The Boat Group organization is set for in FTP 211, Chapter IV, paragraph 405, and in FTP 167, Chapter IV, paragraph 405(a) 2. The Boat Group is used to transport a reinforced Battalion Landing team from the Attack Transport to the designated beach. The boats carried by the Attack Transport must be supplemented by additional boats from other ships. Forty of the 36-foot type landing boats (LCVPs) and from six to eight of the LCM(3) type landing boats are required normally to land a Reinforced Battalion Landing Team. The additional boats that form the Boat Group are supplied by other vessels of the Transport Division.

  2. In addition to the normal functions of the Boat Group, it will be necessary to supply Control Boats to guide LVTs and DUKWs from the LVT and DUKW rendezvous area to the landing beach. The Control Boats will:

    1. Be commanded by the Wave Commander.

    2. Guide the LVT or DUKW waves to the beach in the deployment formation set forth in the Landing Diagram.

    3. Take Station in the center or on the flank of the wave while guiding same to the beach.

    4. Guide wave to the designated beach.

    5. Proceed with the wave to such proximity to the beach as navigation permits.

    6. When directed, guide unloaded LVTs and DUKWs to the loading area.

Section 6. The Boat Division

  1. The organization of the Boat Division is covered in Chapter IV, FTP 167 and Chapter IV, paragraph 406 of FTP 211. Boat Divisions have been seldom used in operations but have been supplanted by the wave as the basic tactical unit.


Section 7. The Boat Wave

  1. FTP 211, paragraph 407 and Chapter VI of FTP 167 [NOTE: This is the chapter on Aviation. The correct(?) reference should be to paragraph 405(b) --HyperWar] set forth the organization of the Boat Wave. The number of boats assigned to the wave varies depending upon the tactical plan of the BLT Commander, i.e. the number of assault platoons desired to be landed therein. The success of the Ship-to-Shore Movement depends on the proper organization and movements of the Boat Waves. See "Duties of Boat Wave and Assistant Boat Wave Commanders", Sections 11 and 12 of this Chapter.

Section 8. The Boat Group Commander

  1. The following supplements paragraph 408, Chapter IV, of FTP 211 and Chapter IV, FTP 167.

    1. Boat Group and Assistant Boat Group Commanders and Wave Commanders will be assigned from the boat division of the assault Transport.

    2. Upon arrival in the Transport Area the Boat group Commander's Boat should be lowered as soon as possible. The Boat Group Commander will assume control of the movement of boats as they are disembarked from the Transport. This permits an orderly and efficient control of all boats. The Boat Group Commander will direct the orderly movement of all boats in the Assembly Area and their prompt movement to the proper loading station in response to signals.

    3. The Boat Group Commander assists the Boat Wave Commanders in forming their waves in the rendezvous area.

    4. When the waves have been formed, the Boat Group Commander leads them from the rendezvous area to the Line of Departure and informs the Control Officer of their condition of readiness.

    5. When the first wave is dispatched from the Line of Departure for the beach, the Boat Group Commander paces this wave to the breaker line where he drops back and proceeds to either the right or left flank of the wave. The Boat Group Commander directs successive waves in their approach to the beach.

    6. At the end of the assault phase of the Ship to Shore Movement the Boat Group Commander becomes the Traffic Control Officer of the beach where his boat group has landed, and working with the Beachmaster he controls the landing of boats, priority loaded, carrying cargo into the dumps organized on the beach. By means of his communication equipment he keeps in contact with the Beachmaster and expedites the flow of traffic to and from the beach.


Section 9. The Assistant Boat Group Commander

  1. The duties of the Assistant Boat Group Commander consist of the functions as set forth in paragraph 409, Chapter IV, FTP 211 and such other functions as directed by the Transport Group Commander.

    1. Assistant Boat Group Commanders will be assigned from the Boat Divisions of the Assault Transports.

    2. When Boat Group Commander leaves Assembly area, Assistant Boat Group Commander will assume his duties.

    3. At the end of the assault phase of the Ship to Shore Movement, the Assistant Boat Group Commander will become the Salvage Officer afloat for the beach over which his boat group has landed.

    4. As Salvage Officer, the Assistant Boat Group Commander will work as directed by the Beachmaster of his beach to expedite the salvage of landing boats and to keep the beach open.

    5. Chapter XIII of this publication sets forth doctrine on salvage operations for landing craft.

Section 10. The Boat Division Commander

  1. The duties of a Boat Division Commander are well covered in FTP 211, Chapter IV and in FTP 167, Chapter IV. His primary duty is to assure that his boat division assumes its proper position within the wave and lands as a unit in its proper place on the beach. The formation of his Boat Division will be controlled by orders and signals of the Wave Commander.

Section 11. The Boat Wave Commander

  1. The duties of the Boat Wave Commander are set forth in FTP 211, Chapter IV, paragraph 411. The Boat Wave Commander, his boat crew and the Officer-in-Charge of the tactical unit of troops embarked in the wave will be embarked in the first boat of each wave along with the first boat team of each wave, i.e., Boat Teams 11, 21, 31, etc. Every effort shall be made to have the Boat Wave Commanders, his communication team and the first boat team of each wave loaded first, in order that the Wave Commander will arrive in the Rendezvous Area prior to the arrival of any other boats of his wave. The Boat Wave Commander will organize his wave in the proper numerical order behind his boat. The Boat Wave Commander will always be located at the apex of V-formations; the center boat in line abreast; and the lead boat in column formation. He will assure the departure of his wave at the scheduled time and see that the proper interval and distance is maintained between waves. He leads his wave, as directed, from the Rendezvous Area to the Line of Departure and thence to the beach in proper formation, arriving at the scheduled time. The Boat Wave Commander speeds the withdrawal of the boats from the beach and their return to the Transport Area.


Section 12. Assistant Boat Wave Commanders and Their Duties

  1. General:

    1. A minimum of two (2) officers will be assigned to each Boat Wave of the Assault Boat Group. One of these officers will be the Boat Wave Commander, the other will be the Assistant Boat Wave Commander.

    2. The number of officers to be assigned from other vessels of a Transport Division to Assault Transports in the division will be indicated in the Landing Attack Plan or Order.[*] The Transport Group Commander will designate when these additional Assistant Boat Wave Commanders will report to the Assault Transports. Officers assigned to an Assault Transport for the assault phase of the Ship to Shore Movement will normally be designated as Assistant Boat Wave Commanders. When called alongside of the Assigned Assault Transport, they will board the Transport and report to the Debarkation Officer for instructions.

    3. Assistant Wave Commanders will normally be assigned to flank positions in the Assault Waves.

    4. The second and third officers in charge of the tactical unit of troops embarked in the wave should be embarked with the Assistant Boat Wave Commanders.

  2. Duties:

    1. The Assistant Wave Commanders shall assist the Wave Commander in the following:--

      1. Organizing the Wave in the Rendezvous Area.

      2. Insure boats in wave keep closed up and in proper formation.

      3. In the daytime keep boats from "bunching" by keeping the proper distance from preceding waves.

      4. In the event of the Wave Commander becoming a casualty, the Assistant Wave Commander on the right flank shall take charge.

      5. In keeping wave closed up on preceding wave at night.

      6. Speed withdrawal of boats from beach and return to Transport Areas.

    2. In all cases and regardless of seniority, the Wave Commander is in complete charge of his Wave and all other Boat Officers in the Wave will be subordinate to him.

[* For an example, see the Boat Pool Annex to Op Plan 13-44 (invasion of Leyte: MUSKETEER/KING II). --HyperWar]


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