Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Port Companies in the Normandy Invasion

The following lists comes from the US Army website. I also added units that appear on the 1st ESB monument at Utah Beach. I have adjusted the list by assigning the companies to their respective battalions (where possible).

490th Port Battalion, attached to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade, an all African-American unit (see NPR piece)
  • 226th Port Company
  • 227th Port Company
  • 228th Port Company
  • 229th Port Company

518th Port Battalion,
attached to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade
  • 278th Port Company
  • 281st Port Company (this company was attached to the 519th Port Bn. In Nov., 1944.)
  • 298th Port Company
  • 299th Port Company
  • 300th Port Company
  • 301st Port Company

519th Port Battalion
, attached to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade. This is my grandfather's unit, detailed in my book Longshore Soldiers.
  • 279th Port Company (This company was detached from the 519th in Nov., 1944)
  • 280th Port Company
  • 302nd Port Company
  • 303rd Port Company
  • 304th Port Company
  • 305th Port Company
487th Port Battalion, attached to the 5th Engineer Special Brigade. (discussed in Bryan Morses' book, A moment in history: the story of the American Army in the Rhondda in 1944. Transfered to Antwerp in November 1944)
  • 184th Port Company
  • 185th Port Company - I found an article from my hometown paper about a man in this company.
  • 186th Port Company
  • 187th Port Company
  • 282nd Port Company
  • 283rd Port Company

494th Port Battalion, attached to the 6th Engineer Special Brigade, an all African-American unit.
  • 238th Port Company
  • 239th Port Company
  • 240th Port Company
  • 241st Port Company

502nd Port Battalion, attached to the 5th Engineer Special Brigade.
  • 270th Port Company
  • 271st Port Company
  • 272nd Port Company
  • 273rd Port Company

517th Port Battalion, attached to the 6th Engineer Special Brigade. (discussed in Bryan Morses' book, A moment in history: the story of the American Army in the Rhondda in 1944. Transfered to Antwerp on Nov 24th)
  • 284th Port Company
  • 285th Port Company
  • 797h Port Company (formerly A)
  • 798th Port Company (formerly B)
  • 799th Port Company (formerly C)
  • 800th Port Company (formerly D)

On April 19th, 1944 the Army Transportation Corps' 11th Port (a port management organization, not a company or battalion) was attached to the engineer brigades planned for the Omaha Beach landing.


  1. My name is Joseph Bernard Taylor. I was company clerk in the 273rd Port Company which was part of the 502nd Port Battalion. The 502nd included 270 to 273 Port Companies. The 502 was part of the 5th Engineer Special Brigade in the invasion at Normandy Beach. The battalion was trained at Camp Myles Standish outside of Taunton, Mass. It came to England in October of 1943. The battalion was stationed near Glasgow for several months. The 273 served in Belfast, NI during the month of December 1944. The 502 stayed on the beach unloading ships until the fall of 1944 when in moved to La Harve. It stayed at La Harve for the most of the remainder of the war.

    1. Mr. Taylor. Thank you for your service to our country! I have a good friend whose grandfather served in the 273rd Port Company and he was T-4 Farrell Patterson, from Philadelphia, PA. My friend Rudy is trying to find out any information about the his grandfather, and the 273rd Port Company. Any information can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Dan Gillotti, First Sergeant, US Army Retired,

  2. Hi Joseph. Thanks for clarifying the Bn. / Co. thing! My grandpa was at Camp Myles Standish too. His company worked at Boston's docks for a while before heading over to England. My grandpa also worked in La Havre after he was detached from his unit before being sent home. Could you send me an email? I'd love to ask you some questions.

  3. As a teen in the mid-1950's I was a member of the Texas National Guard's 36th Infantry Division. Today I proudly wear a ball cap bearing the 36th Division T Patch. In April 2008, I was fueling my truck at a WalMart in Marshall, Texas. Pumping gas into his vehicle on the adjacent pump was a elderly African-American. He kept looking at me and my ball cap. finally he said, "Were you in the war?" I said, "No, I was only six years old in 1945." I relpied, "Were you in the war?" He anaswered proudly, "Yea, I was in the war." I asked, "Were you in the Pacific or European Theater?" He replied, "I was in England and later France on D-Day."
    Thinking I knew my WWII history, I said, "Did you say D-Day, June 6th, 1944." He said in a strong affirmitive, "Yes, on D-Day on Omaha Beach. And later we became part of the Red Ball Express."
    Turns out he said he was the driver of a amphibious DWK (Duck) delivering supplies to the beach later that day of June 6th, 1944. WHOW, what a surprise. I shook his hand and told him my generation certainly owed his generation a debt of gratitude for their service to our nation.

  4. Thanks for your story. If you're interested in learning more you should read Road to Vcitory. It's about the Quartermaster Truck Companies that drove the Red Ball Express. There were also a lot of black DUKW drivers working from Utah Beach.

  5. My Blog has a picture of the Monument on Utah Beach built by the 1st Special Engineer Brigade
    with a listing of all the port outfits commemorating the D Day Assault.
    Oldest Military Blogger.

    1. My father was a 1st Lt serving with the 300th Port Company of the 518th Port Batt in Normandy in June 1944. He never talked much about his service except to say that he unloaded ships and spent time in a foxhole. His name was Morton Star. If you or anyone else has more information about him or the service he provided - or any info about what the Company did, I would love to hear from you at

  6. My grandfather was a T4 rigger with the 101st port marine maint company could any one help with this tryin to get as much info as possible, It's been a 5 year quest, i can be reached at we was at Normandy beach. His name was t4 ardwino venteroso
    thank you Ed Venteroso

  7. Hi Andrew,
    My father served in the 279th Port Co.,505th Port Batt. in WW2.He passed away in 1972 and I am trying to find out as much info about his service and where he was in Europe.I believe he was at Camp Myles Standish and Wales and also Le Harve.A friend mentioned to me years ago about the cigarette camps but I am really not sure how to go about finding the unit record and history.I would also be very interested in buying your book when it comes out.Please let me know when it is available.Any help you can give me to shed more light on his service would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Hi Larry, I did a post about how to request unit records from the National Archives. They should have a little history of your dad's port battalion. Let me know when you get the photocopies, I'd love to hear about what they were doing.

  9. Much better than unit histories or after action reports are morning reports. They provide day by day accounts of what a specific unit did and its Station Location. MR"s also provide documentation on individuals within the unit if something changed for that person, such as KIA,MIA, wounded, sick, promoted, demoted, transferred, etc.

    Morning Reports are only located at the St. Louis archives. they are on microfilm.

  10. I am in possession of a letter written by Corporal William Henry Gordon of the 228th Port Co., 490th Port Bn. in November 1943, to a girl friend. I would like to put it in the hands of either he or his family.

  11. Looking Forward to reading Longshore Soldiers. My Father-in-law, Robert D Alby served in the 519th Port Battalion, 302nd Port Company, but never talked about his wartime experiences. Sadly, He is no longer with us. So I am hoping to gain some insight.

  12. My father was in the 279 Port Company... He was Virgil H Harris.... He passed in 1974... I would like to find a copy of this book.

  13. Hello,I searched for 27 years to find my father who was in the 797 PORT CO TC Looks like he was in The Normandy Landings which makes me very proud and helps me now in 2017 even though I never knew him throughout my life.
    Edward Jamroz Manchester England

  14. My father was Pfc.Thomas William Swann. s# 33 008 078 of the 800th Port Company, 517th Port Battalion. He was inducted in April 1941 just two weeks before his 35th birthday. At Normandy he was already 38 years old. Just a few days until his induction has had been a farm worker and milk truck driver on our native Eastern Shore of Maryland. He was most likely one of the oldest pfcs in his unit. He passed away in November 1987 at the age of 81, always proud of the service for his country.


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