Chapter XLIII
Shore Party


Section 1. General.
Section 2. Tasks of the Shore Party
Section 3. The Naval Component of the Shore Party.
Section 4. Organization of the Military Component of the Shore Party.
Section 5. Training of the Shore Party.
Section 6. Shore Party Staff Planning.
Section 7. Ship to Shore Movement of the Shore Party.
Section 8. Beach Markers and Beach Organization.
Section 9. Beach Dumps.
Section 10. Beach Defense

Section 1. General

  1. Definition and Purpose:

    A Shore Party is a special task organization charged with the responsibility for the unloading of material and supplies at the beach and their movement to beach dumps, or as otherwise provided.

  2. Composition:

    The Shore Party consists of components of both the Landing Force and the Naval Force. The organization of the Landing Force component is dependent upon the tactical and logistical requirements of the anticipated operation. The Naval component may be a Beach Battalion or one or more beach parties, depending upon the size of the operation and the demands for shore party work.

  3. Allocation of Shore Parties:

    The number of Shore Parties required will of necessity vary with the size of the Landing Force, and the character and number of beaches to be utilized.

  4. Command:

    1. The Commanding Officer of the Shore Party is known as the Shore Party Commander. This Officer is normally designated by the Landing Force Commander, and is preferably an Engineer Officer of field grade.

    2. When established ashore, the Shore Party Commander assumes complete control over the Landing beach and such other necessary adjacent areas as are designated and delimited by the Senior Troop Commander.


    1. Shore Party Commanders will be military officers, Army or Marine, and only military officers will succeed to command within the Shore Party.

  1. Control and Responsibility:

    1. The Senior Troop Commander ashore in each subordinate zone of action will coordinate and be responsible for the functioning of the supply system within that zone. As the operation progresses, Senior Troop Commanders landing within subordinate zones will consolidate and operate supply installations established in such zones by lower units.

    2. The authority and responsibility of Unit Troop Commanders with respect to Shore Party operations will terminate when the next higher echelon is ashore and functioning.

    3. Personnel from unit Supply Sections will represent their respective Commanders in all matters of supply and evacuation in connection with Shore Party operation.

    4. Marine Shore Parties are component parts of the landing teams and combat teams until such time as the next higher echelon is able to supervise their operations, at which time they will revert to the command of the higher echelon.

    5. To exercise proper control of the flow of supplies, material, and troops through the beach area, several regulating points are needed; specifically, in addition to Task Force, Landing Force, Corps and Division Command posts, the following pertaining particularly to the Shore party are vital:

      1. Shore Party Command Post.

      2. Beach Battalion and/or Beach Party Command Posts.

      3. Logistical Control Group: representatives of (a) and (b) above, plus staff members of G-3, G-4 and the medical section of the major troop commands passing through the beach.

      4. Traffic control points: to route troops and matériel, control straggling, expedite supplies, and control POW's and enemy aliens.

      5. Cargo control points: to enable the TransDiv and Shore Party Commanders to know the status of supplies, the Transport Quartermaster aboard ship, and checkers at each dump, must keep records of incoming and outgoing supplies.

      6. DUKW control points: officer or non-commissioned officers posted at the beach, ship and dump to check procedure, unloading technique and seaworthiness of DUKWs.

    6. The responsibility of the Shore Party Commander for the movement and segregation of supplies terminates when the supplies are placed in beach dumps or transfer points.


      1. The protection and issue of these supplies continues to be the responsibility of the Shore Party Commander until such time as the normal supply agencies are ashore and functioning.

Section 2. Tasks of the Shore Party

  1. Tasks:

    The Shore Party is responsible for the performance of the following general tasks:

    1. Mark hazards to navigation in the vicinity of the beach and determine the most suitable landing points.

    2. Effect emergency boat and amphibian vehicle repairs.

    3. Evacuate casualties to ships in accordance with Naval Attack Force and Landing Force Medical Plans.

    4. Control boat and amphibian Vehicle traffic in the vicinity of the beach.

    5. Direct landing, retraction, and salvage of boats and amphibian vehicles.

    6. Mark landing beach limits.

    7. Establish and mark unloading points on landing beaches.

    8. Unload the material of the Landing Force from landing craft and amphibian vehicles.

    9. Evacuate prisoners of war to ships in accordance with Landing Force Instructions.

    10. Construct landing facilities when required.

    11. Maintain liaison with the Senior Marine Troop Commander, or the major Army Command, within the zone served by that particular Shore Party; and in the case of the Senior Shore Party Commander with the Senior Commander of the Landing Force ashore.

    12. Maintain order and direct traffic on and in the vicinity of the beach.

    13. Provide bivouac, parking and storage areas on and in the vicinity of the beach for the various elements using the beach.

    14. Insure the rapid movement of equipment and supplies landed on the beach in accordance with the requirements of the units which the Shore Party is serving.

    15. Maintain a record showing organizations, matériel, and supplies by appropriate categories which have been landed on the beach.

    16. Construct, maintain, and mark beach exit routes, differentiating between wheeled and tracked vehicles.

    17. Provide for decontamination of gassed areas on the beach.

    18. Maintain a situation map for the information of landing units.

    19. Operate an emergency motor maintenance service to assist vehicles damaged in landing.

    20. Provide local security for the beach area.

    21. Perform such other functions as are assigned.

    22. Remove underwater and beach obstructions beyond the capabilities of the Navy Combat Underwater Demolition Teams.


    1. Establish communications with adjacent Shore Parties.

    2. Maintain communications with naval vessels and forces ashore as set forth in FTP 211 Cent Com 1, and FM 31-5 plus supplement.

  1. Division of Tasks:

    The execution of tasks is as follows:

    1. Sub-paragraphs (1) to (5) of paragraph 4306 are functions of the Naval Component of the Shore Party.

    2. Sub-paragraphs (6) to (22) of paragraph 4306 are functions of the Military Component of the Shore Party.

    3. Sub-paragraphs (23) and (24) of paragraph 4306 are the joint responsibility of both components.

Section 3. The Naval Component of the Shore Party

  1. For organization and duties of the Beach Party see Chapter XII.

Section 4. Organization of the Military Component of the Shore Party

See also:
Staff Officer's Field Manual for Amphibious Operations (USMC)

  1. General:

    Shore Parties are organized units in the same sense as are the tactical units of the landing Force. They are organized to fit the specific tactical and logistical situation and are trained as a coordinated unit prior to active operations.

  2. The Basic Shore Party:

    The basic element of the Shore Party is a headquarters and an engineer unit. This unit will be reinforced by such tactical and service troops as the logistical requirements of the operation demand. This Shore Party must have the special equipment and tactical training required for the performance of its missions.

  3. Reinforcing Elements:

    In the study of a contemplated operation, command decisions with reference to the attachment of combat and service troops to the basic Shore Party must be made. The elements of the military component of the Shore Party must be such as to permit the effective discharge of their duties.

  4. Attached Tactical Troops:

    Depending upon the study of the enemy possibilities within the contemplated area, such troop units as anti-aircraft, anti-mechanized, etc., may be required. When such units are intended primarily for the defense of the beach, they may be attached to,


    or made a part of, the Shore Party in order that proper coordination may be obtained.

  1. Attached Service Troops:

    The logistical study of the contemplated operation may reveal that service troops will be required to augment the Shore Party. Such troops may include the following:

    1. Labor units (Port companies, etc.).

    2. Amphibian Vehicle units.

    3. Motor Transport units.

    4. Quartermaster units.

    5. Military Police units.

    6. Ordnance units.

    7. Civil Affairs personnel.

    8. Chemical Warfare units.

    9. Communications units.

    10. Medical units.

    11. Bomb Disposal units.

  2. Functions of Shore Party Elements:

    1. Headquarters

      1. Control and supervision of all Shore Party activities.

      2. Maintain a Situation Map of the zone in which the Shore Party operates.

      3. Maintain contact with the Senior Troop Commander in the area served.

    2. Engineers

      1. Assist in the removal of beach obstacles and mines.

      2. Construct beach roads, exits, dump areas, etc.

      3. Operate engineer heavy equipment.

      4. Salvage drowned vehicles.

      5. Assist in recovery of broached naval craft.

      6. Organize and administer the Class 2 dumps.

      7. Operate the public address system.

      8. Provide for local defense.

    3. Anti-aircraft

      1. Provide anti-aircraft defense for the beach area.

    4. Anti-mechanized

      1. Provide an anti-mechanized defense for the beach area.

    5. Labor units (USMC)

      1. Unload supplies and equipment from boats and amphibian vehicles, moving material direct to beach dumps or as otherwise ordered.

      2. Maintain a record of classes of matériel landed and location.

      3. Provide the necessary hatch gangs for the unloading of ships as required.


      1. Unload ships at the dock when dock is available.

      2. Carry out other duties as ordered.

    1. Amphibian Vehicles

      1. Transport light artillery and troops from ship to shore as provided in the operation plan.

      2. Furnish water transportation from ships to beach dumps (initially) or to transfer points.

      3. Transport casualties from the beach area to hospital facilities afloat.

    2. Motor Transport

      1. Transport supplies and matériel from beach dumps and/or transfer points to unit dumps.

      2. Provide transportation as directed.

    3. Quartermaster (USA)

      1. Perform stevedoring on the beach (AM Service Co.).

      2. Organize and administer class III dumps (Gas Supply Co.).

      3. Organize and administer Quartermaster sections of dumps (QM Service Co.).

      4. Organize DUKW transfer points when long hauls inland become necessary.

      5. Provide the necessary winchmen and hatch gangs for the unloading of ships as required (QM Port Co.).

    4. Military Police

      1. Control traffic within the beach area.

      2. Collect stragglers.

      3. Guard and process POWs and alien civilians in the beach area to shore or shipboard confinement.

        1. Military Police will not furnish dump guards. Such guards will be provided by the Service units administering the dump.

    5. Ordnance

      1. Organize and administer Class V dumps.

      2. Establish maintenance facilities for the Shore Party and Assault Troops during initial phases (USA).

    6. Civil Affairs

      1. To be actively engaged within the beach area on prescribed duties.

    7. Chemical Warfare

      1. Perform the necessary decontamination work, including spraying of enemy dead.

      2. Provide smoke generator units as required, and available, for the beach area.

      3. Aid the naval small craft units in providing smoke cover for areas seaward of the operating beach.

    8. Communications

      1. Establish communication on the beach for the Shore Party.

      2. Establish, through the naval element, communication shore to ship.


      1. Restore captured enemy communications in the beach area.

      2. Maintain beach signal communications.

      3. Provide communication to the major troop commands passing through the beach area.

      4. Operate the panel section, if provided.

    1. Medical

      1. Maintain field hospital on the beach to care for:

        1. Shore Party casualties.

        2. Assault force casualties occurring in the beach area.

        3. Casualties (including POWs and alien civilians) passing through the beach area to hospital and other ships.

    2. Bomb Disposal

      1. Perform a survey of beaches and dock facilities for duds, unexploded bombs, and/or booby traps.

      2. Mark and/or dispose of all unexploded bombs, shell duds, and booby traps.

Section 5. Training of the Shore Party

  1. General:

    The training of the military elements of the Shore Party is a function of the Landing Force. The combined training of both (military and naval) components of the Shore Party should be conducted by arrangement between the military and navy echelons concerned.

  2. Training Objectives:

    The training of all components of the Shore Party will be directed towards the attainment of proficiency in operating as a coordinated team under the Shore Party Commander in support of an amphibious operation.

Section 6. Shore Party Staff Planning

  1. General:

    While control and flexibility are stressed in all Shore Party Operations, tentative plans based on all available information should be made as early as practicable.

  2. Map Reconnaissance:

    A study of available maps and aerial photographs should be made. Based on this information tentative plans for the organization of the beaches and of the possible beach dump areas should be prepared.


  1. Tactical Plan of Operation:

    Shore Party Commanders must be acquainted with the tactical plan and of the detailed plan of the unit with which they work.

  2. Combat Supply:

    Shore Party Commanders must be familiar with the plan for supply of the unit with which they work.

  3. Authorized Markings:

    Shore Party personnel must be familiar with the authorized markings for: organizations, vehicles, classes and types of supplies, etc.

Section 7. Ship to Shore Movement of the Shore Party

  1. General:

    The Shore party will be subdivided into components capable of immediately supporting assault elements of the Landing Force for movement to the Assault Area, and so embarked.

    Elements of the Shore Party must be landed in the proper sequence and given sufficient priority to insure not only the success, but also the proper control of all Shore party functions; in common with other troop units, tactical considerations govern the landing of Shore party personnel. In no case will Shore Party personnel be assigned to boat spaces merely to fill up the boat.

    1. The reconnaissance section should normally go ashore with the leading wave of the reserve infantry companies.

    2. Communication section should follow the reconnaissance elements.

    3. The remaining elements should go ashore in accordance with the tactical and logistical requirements.

    4. All elements of the Shore party, including engineering heavy equipment should be ashore and organized prior to the volume landing of supplies.

Section 8. Beach Markers and Beach Organization

  1. General:

    Beach markers, and landing point markers, if used, will be in accordance with Chapter IX, FTP 211.


  1. Priority for Placing Markers:

    Beach flank markers will be placed prior to the placing of any landing point markers.

  2. Landing Point Markers:

    1. A minimum of one (1) landing point marker for each type of supply may be required for each beach.

    2. Unloading points should possess the following characteristics:

      1. Suitable Landing Point.

      2. Suitable egress from beach.

      3. Convenient location with respect to dump areas.

Section 9. Beach Dumps

  1. General:

    1. The Shore Party will establish dumps in the beach area for:

      1. Ammunition.
      2. Rations.
      3. Water.
      4. Vehicles.
      5. Gasoline.
      6. Medical.
      7. Miscellaneous Supplies.

    2. The medical point may be used for casualty evacuation. However, in order to expedite the removal of casualties from shore to ship, they may be evacuated at any point so designated by the Shore Party Commander and approved by the Beachmaster.

  2. Location of Dumps:

    Prior to landing, dump locations will [be] tentatively selected from a study of maps and aerial photographs. These locations will be confirmed by personal reconnaissance immediately on landing.

Section 10. Beach Defense

  1. Responsibility:

    The Shore Party Commander is responsible for the local security of his beach.

  2. Air Warning:

    Shore Party Commanders shall establish an air warning system for


    the beach area. He shall prepare plans for the protection of Shore Party personnel against both surprised and warned air attacks.

  1. Ground Defense Plans:

    The Shore Party Commander will prepare plans for the ground defense of the beach.


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