okay you got me going on Sicily
#1

As many of you know, I am diligently working on writing a precise and extended history of the 540th. But as you also know, all this takes time. Read, compile, read, compile, type, type, type, read some more... :nuts:

 

Well in the meantime, I can give everyone a little sneak preview of the 540th in Sicily. This is basically a brief history and there's a lot more come...

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Sicilian Campaign

 

The organization landed on D-Day, July 10 for operation “Huskyâ€, on the hostile shores of Sicily. Regimental HQ, H&S Company (dad's company), Medical Detachment and the 1st Battalion landed at Gela, Sicily as the part of Sub-Task Force, “Koolâ€. The 2nd Battalion landed at Licata, Sicily as part of Sub-Task Force, “Jossâ€.

 

On both beaches the regimental units acted as shore engineers for the divisions to which they were attached for the operation. They unloaded transports and Liberty Ships, operated DUKWS from ship to shore, established dumps and performed the multitude of tasks assigned to the engineers.

 

They supplied the 2nd Armored Division, 1st, 3rd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 82nd Airborne Division. This included running truck convoys to the front lines in order to transport sorely needed food and ammunition to combat elements. In addition, an efficient motor pool was operated for the maintenance of unit and attached unit vehicles.

 

On July 25, the organization (less 2nd Battalion) moved to Palermo and prepared the port for operation, while the 2nd Battalion remained in Licata operating the port and beaches. 1st Armored Corps had been redesignated 7th Army under the command of Lt General George W Patton and the organization was attached to the 7th Army.

 

As soon as the harbor of Palermo was repaired, regularly assigned port battalions took over operations. On July 30, Company A moved to Termini Imerese. Upon being relieved of operations of the Port of Licata, the 2nd Battalion moved to Palermo on July 31. The 1st Battalion (less Company A) moved to Termini Imerese on August 1 to repair and operate the port. The rear echelon of four officers, one warrant officer and one hundred and thirty-four enlisted men arrived at Palermo on August 4. Companies D and E (Aug 2) and 2nd Battalion HQ and Company F (Aug 4), moved to San Stefano and then eastward along the northern shore of Sicily establishing unloading points for landing ship tanks, (LST’s) to supply tactical units.

 

At Brolo, the 2nd Battalion supported the infantry on two missions, which materially helped in the advance on Messina and the consequent clearing of the enemy from the entire island of Sicily. The first of those missions took place on August 8 when a battalion detachment of one officer and 48 enlisted men functioned as landing party and shore engineers for an assault landing behind the enemy lines in the vicinity of St Agata. The landing came as a complete surprise to the enemy and the detachment from the battalion suffered no casualties.

 

Three days later, the second amphibious landing took place. The battalion attachment of one officer and 48 enlisted men again functioned as the beach party and shore engineers for an assault landing behind the enemy lines vicinity of Brolo. This landing met stiff resistance, resulting in the loss of two engineers with three wounded. Shortly after both of these amphibious landings, enemy resistance collapsed, and Messina fell to the allies on the 17 of August 1943, ending the Sicilian campaign.

 

A few photos...

 

540thSicily1.jpg

 

540thSicily2.jpg

 

540thSicily3.jpg

 

540thSicily4.jpg

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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