Misconduct of Naval and Military Personnel
During Amphibious Landing Operations
Section 1. Pilfering on Board Ship
- During the passage to the combat zone in past Amphibious Operations there have been many cases of theft and pilfering of both personal gear and government property on vessels of this Force.
- Commanding Officers can prevent misconduct of this character by Naval Personnel by the issue of proper ship's regulations, the stationing of sentries, establishment of ship patrols and the maintenance of a proper state of discipline on their ships.
- The Type Troop Regulations for the Government of Troops aboard Transports of Amphibious Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 1943 Edition, contains instructions in Chapter II regarding the establishment of a ship's guard by the Commanding Officer of Troops which should prevent pilfering by the embarked troops.
Section 2. Misconduct of Landing Boats Crews and Beach Parties
- Nearly every report of Amphibious Landing Operations mentions instances of boats crews abandoning their boats during the Landing Operations and either joining the troops or engaging in looting on the beach.
- This can be prevented by the maintenance of a proper state of discipline by the boat officers and by careful instruction of the boats crews regarding the seriousness of the matter.
- One method of preventing this misconduct is to require boats crews to wear their distinctive Naval uniform of dungarees and a helmet painted blue. They should never be permitted to wear Army coveralls or any part of the Army uniform while in the boats. The blue dungaree uniform also is a safety measure for the crew as it blends in with the color of the landing boat and makes the crew less conspicuous.
- There have been many cases of the Beach Parties leaving the vicinity of their beaches during combat operations and engaging in looting. The beach parties should be required to
wear helmets painted blue and have other distinctive marks which would distinguish them from the troops. (See Chapter XII.)
Section 3. Visiting Parties and Straggling
- Visiting parties of either officers, enlisted men or civilians will not be permitted except for the following:
- Members of the Landing Forces, Defense Forces, or Garrison Forces and when ordered ashore by their responsible commanders.
- Beach Parties.
- Regularly organized working parties, in charge of competent officers, and carrying credentials signed by executive officers.
- Official observers and press correspondents, when so permitted under rules to be established. All such must carry official stamped passes signed by Commanding Officers (Executive) of ships to which attached.
- Members of the staffs of Commanders of task Forces, Task Groups, or Transport Division Commanders, or the Commanding General of Expeditionary Troops, when so directed for particular purposes and periods of time. (All such must carry official stamped passes, signed by the commanders of the units concerned, or by commanding officers (executives) of ship on which embarked).
- Troop commanders on shore must establish military police and straggler lines in rear of landing beaches to enforce the order against visiting, and straggling which results in pilfering and looting. Officers and enlisted men will be arrested and, if from ships, returned to their ships under guard and a report made against. Responsible commanders are expected to take disciplinary action for punishment of straggling and looting.
Section 4. Pilfering and Looting on Shore
- In the past Naval crews and troops have indulged in the iniquitous practice of removing valuables, articles of clothing and personal effects from the bodies of both friendly and enemy dead. Acts of this type are not to be condoned under any circumstances and severe disciplinary action will be promptly instituted against any individual committing such acts.
Section 5. Officer Responsible for Enforcement of This Chapter of the Transport Doctrine
- The following Group, Division and Unit commanders are
particularly responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
- Landing Force Commanders, acting through commanders of Assault Units, Shore Parties, Defense Forces, and Garrison Forces.
- Transport Group and Division Commanders, acting through Beachmasters, Boat Group Commanders, and Commanding Officers of ships and LCTs.
- Unit Commanders of combatant vessels, particularly of small vessels which may operate in lagoons.
- Commanders of Tractor and Defense Groups and Units, acting through Commanding Officers of LSTs.
- Naval Commanders of Garrison Groups, acting through Commanders of Naval Units on XAPs and XAKs.
- Information has been received that members of the armed forces and the Merchant Marine have brought war trophies which are purported to be Japanese Skulls into the United States, such a practice, in addition to being barbarous, violates the obligation of rendering enemy dead a decent burial and invites reprisals in kind.
- Commanding Officers will institute a program of indoctrination bringing forcibly to the attention of the personnel under their command the importance of prevention of straggling, pilfering and looting.
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