HISTORY




Directory of Ships Used to Transport
the 225th During World War II


Ship Name Nationality Type Route Sailing Dates Notes
Battery on Board
RMS Queen Mary British converted ocean liner NY POE to Gourock, Scotland
(Operation Bolero)
23-29 December 1943 More information
Entire Battalion
HMS Empire Broadsword British converted U.S. Victory ship Portsmouth to Omaha Beach
(Operation Neptune)
15/16 June 1944 A Battery1
SS Dan Beard American U.S. Liberty ship Southampton to Omaha Beach
(Operation Neptune)
17/18 June 1944 A Battery2
SS Chanute Victory American U.S. Liberty ship Le Havre, France to US 1945 — 3
SS Marshall Victory American U.S. Liberty ship Le Havre, France to US 1945 — 4
SS Norway Victory American U.S. Liberty ship Le Havre, France to US 1945 — 5

1   Laid down in 1942 at the Consolidated Steel Corporation Shipyards in Wilmington, California as SS Cape Marshall, completed and delivered to the Royal Navy in December 1943 as Empire Broadsword (Hull No. 348, Type C-1-S-AY1, or "Liberty Ship"); delivered to Britain as part of U.S.-U.K. lend-lease agreement and redesignated an LSI (Landing Ship, Infantry). In her original configuration she was 412.25 feet long, 60 feet wide, 37.5 feet high, and had a draft of 23.5 feet. She weighed 5,028 gross tons and could make 14 knots. As completed in 1943 by the British, her gross tonnage was upped to 7,177, and she was shortened to 396 feet. During the war she was operated for the Ministry of War Transportation by the Cunard White Star Line. She landed elements of the 3rd British Infantry Division at Sword Beach on June 6, 1944.

SCHEMATIC OF EMPIRE BROADSWORD

EMPIRE BROADSWORD

EMPIRE BROADSWORD

On July 2, 1944, after landing British troops on one of the Normandy beaches, she was struck off Arromanches almost simultaneously by two mines dropped by U-Boats. The crew abandoned ship and she went down, her back broken. The wreck lies at 49.25N, 00.54W on a sloping seabed with only about 5 meters covering her bow, while the stern is at between 23 and 28 meters, depending on the tide. She rests on her starboard side at around 80 degrees. Local divers report a raised gun platform for one of her 20mm AA guns is intact, but the gun is missing. A 4-inch AA gun is forward of the platform, pointing nearly vertical. In the decks below, shells are still stacked in readiness for action. The superstructure has mostly fallen off, lying upside-down on the seabed. To view photos of the wreckage taken in 2001, click
here.

2   The German submarine U-1202, operating in the Irish Sea since the beginning of November, sunk the Dan Beard on December 10, 1944. The Dan Beard was one of four ships she reported sinking from a convoy she attacked north west of St. Davidís Head (17 crewmen and 12 members of the Naval Armed Guard were killed). An American Liberty ship (hull number 464) built in San Francisco, California in 1943, she now rests in the shallow waters of Pwll Deri Bay, off Strumble Head near Abercastle, Pembrokeshire, North Wales. Local divers report that she is "well broken up and flattened by storms ... there is often a swell [where she lies] and as the depth is only 10 meters you can get moved around. The biggest part of this wreck is the bow section, which is upside down with the flukes of the four-ton anchor two meters off the sea bed. From the bow [you can] follow the anchor chain to the biggest pile of chain you have ever seen." (Below, a photo taken during 1944 shows the Dan Beard loading a U.S. Army locomotive.)

DAN BEARD LOADING A LOCOMOTIVE


3   The SS Chanute Victory was built in February 1945 by the California Shipbuilding Corp., Los Angeles, California as a standard U.S. Victory Ship used during the Second World War. She bore Yard Number V44, and was classified as a WSA Transport (one of approximately 100 Victory Ships that was converted to carry approximately 1,597 persons). WSATs were operated under the U.S. War Shipping Administration (in most cases private steamship companies crewed and managed these ships; however, their sailing schedules were scheduled by the U.S. War Department). In 1947 her name was changed to Alphacca (unknown nationality). In 1964 her name was changed to Hai-Fu (unknown nationality). (Source: Victory Ships and Tankers, Sawyer and Mitchell.)

4   The SS Marshall Victory was laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, MD, on 4 April 1945; launched 21 May 1945; sponsored by Miss Helen V. Elsey; and delivered to her operator, J. H. Winchester, on 15 June 1945. Owned by the Maritime Administration, she served on the merchant sealanes and later with the Army Transportation Service, primarily in the Pacific. Renamed Lt. Raymond O. Beaudoin (T-AP-189), she was transferred by the Maritime Administration to the Navy 22 July 1950 and placed in service 1 August 1950. Manned by a civilian crew, she operated under the control of MSTS and made supply runs and troop lifts between west coast ports and American bases in Japan and South Korea. From 20 April 1951 to 13 September 1962 she completed 20 deployments to Korean waters as a part of the vital seaborne supply line between Japan and Korea. She was returned to the custody of the Maritime Administration on 5 November 1962 and was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Puget Sound, Olympia, Wash. Her name was struck from the Navy list 22 December 1962. She remains berthed at Olympia in the NDRF. Lt. Raymond O. Beaudoin received four battle stars for service during the Korean conflict. She was named for Medal of Honor recipient Raymond O. Beaudoin of Holyoke, MA, who was serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army near Hamelin, Germany, on 6 April 1945. He was leading his platoon over open ground when all were pinned down by a devastating curtain of fire from enemy machine guns and automatic weapons. By rotating his men in firing position he enabled his platoon to dig in against the numerically superior force and inflict heavy casualties on it. However, enemy reinforcements made the platoon's position precarious. In order to allow a runner to secure help, Lieutenant Beaudoin decided to make a one-man charge on the most dangerous sniper nest some 90 yards away. Despite a barrage of rifle and bazooka fire he reached the nest and wiped out three of its inhabitants, the fourth falling from covering fire from the American platoon. Continuing the attack, Lieutenant Beaudoin charged a dugout, but was killed by a blast of machine gun fire. The runner was able to secure help, however; and the platoon was saved. For the supreme sacrifice which he made in saving the lives of the men under him, Lieutenant Beaudoin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Specifications: type, Maritime Commission type (VC2-S-AP2) hull; displacement, 6,055 t.(lt) or 10,680 t.(fl); length, 455' 3"; beam, 62'; draft, 29' 6"; speed 16.5 kts; compliment, 50; troop capacity, 1,200; armament, none; propulsion, cross-compound steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500 shp.

5   The Norway Victory was built at the Oregon South Building Corporation yard in Portland, Oregon, as a VC2-S-AP3 Class Victory Ship. The AP3 type looked much like the AP2 version, but had taller funnels and a faster speed of over 17 knots.

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