Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1st Engineer Special Brigade assigned troops and attached units

In my stack of operation reports from the National Archives is a list of all the core units assigned to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade, along with a list of the attached troops. I did not add the list to my book, so I thought I should include it here. This is the unit composition while on Utah Beach.

Units Assigned to the 1st ESB
1st Engineer Special Brigade, HQ & HQ Company
531st Engineer Shore Regiment (see note 1)
3 shore battalions (see note 1)
24th Amphibian Truck Battalion, HQ & HQ Detachment
462nd Amphibian Truck Company
478th Amph Trk Co
479th Amph Trk Co
306th Quartermaster Battalion HQ & HQ Company
556th Quartermaster Railhead Company
562nd QM Railhead Co (see note 2)
3939th QM Gas Supply Co
191st Ordnance Battalion HQ & HQ Detachment
3497th Ordnance MAM co
625th Ordnance Amm Co
161st Ordnance Platoon
577th Quartermaster Battalion HQ & HQ detachment
363rd Quartermaster Service Company (see note 3)
3207th QM Service Co
4144th QM Service Co
261st Medical Battalion (Amphibious), HQ & HQ Company
3 Medical Companies (Amphibious)
449th Military Police Company
286th Joint Assault Signal Company
33rd Chemical Decontamination Company

Units Attached to the 1st ESB
2nd Naval Beach Battalion
38th Engineer GS Regiment, HQ & H & S Company
2nd Engineer GS Bns
467th Engineer Maintenance Company, 1st Platoon
440th Engineer Depot Company, 1st Platoon
1605th Engineer Map Section
1217th Engineer FF [fire fighting?] Platoon
1218th Engineer FF Platoon
62nd Quartermaster Battalion, HQ & HQ Detachment
4061st Quartermaster Service Company
4083rd QM Serv Co
4088th QM Serv Co
4090th QM Serv Co
4092nd QM Serv Co
4190th QM Serv Co
244th Quartermaster Battalion, HQ & HQ Detachment
552nd QM Railhead Co
3878th QM Gas Supply Co
308th QM Railhead Company (attached to the 306th QM Bn)
3877th QM Gas Supply Company (attached to the 306th Qm Bn)
4132nd QM Service Company (attached to the 577th QM Bn)
607th Qm Graves Registration Co, 4th Platoon (attached to the 577th QM Bn)
537th Quartermaster Battalion HQ & HQ Detachment
3692nd QM Truck Co
3683rd QM Truck Co
3684th QM Truck Co
4002nd QM Truck Co
4041st QM Truck Co
815th Amphibious Truck Company
816th Amphibious Truck Company
817th Amphibious Truck Company (attached to the 24th Amph Trk Bn)
818th Amphibious Truck Company
3615th Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Company (attached 191st Ord Bn)
23rd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad (attached 191st Ord Bn)
175th Sig Repair Company, Detachment
215th Sig Repair Company, Det
999th Sig Sv Company, Det
3111th Sig Sv Company, Det
165th Sig Photo Company, Det
1st Medical Company2nd Section Advance Medical Platoon
3rd Aux Surgical Group
301st MP Escort Guard Company
595th MP Escort Guard Company
Company "D," 383rd MP Battalion
52nd Finance Dispursing Section
Det 8th AF Intransit Depot Group
490th Port Battalion
226th Port Company
227th Port Co
228th Port Co
229th Port Co
518th Port Battalion
278th Port Company
281st Port Co
298th Port Co
299th Port Co
300th Port Co
301st Port Co
519th Port Battalion
280th Port Company
279th Port Co
302nd Port Co
303rd Port Co
304th Port Co
305th Port Co

1. After the Utah Beach Operations closed in the fall of 1944 these units were reorganized as Engineer Combat Group with three Engineer Combat Battalions. They joined the US 9th Army in the Netherlands.
2. This unit substituted for the 557th QM Railhead Company which lost the major part of its personnel by enemy action during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy invasion.
3. This unit substituted for the 3206th QM Service Company which lost the major part of its personnel by enemy action during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy invasion.

This information comes from an internal Army document I retrieved from the National Archives:
Report on Operation NEPTUNE. Headquarters, 1st Engineer Special Brigade, November 19, 1944.


  1. My Grandfather served in the 479th Amphibious Truck Company. He never talked much about the war until later in his life. He did tell us about Exercise Tiger and the tragedy that occurred that night. I look forward to reading your book. Thanks

    1. Hi there. My step father was in this company. Would your G.father have any names of others in the co. with him? My step father never spoke the first word of the war that I was aware of. My email is grandboys2@gmail.com if you have any info. on this group. thank you so much.

    2. Is your grandpa still alive by chance. Mine also served in the 479th...if so please email me bryanjobe@ymail.com

  2. My father, PFC Joseph Marino
    531st Engineer Shore Regiment


    1. I believe my grandfather served in the 531st, but I have not been able to pinpoint what specific unit. His name was Edwin T. Johnson, from Brooklyn, NY. By chance did your father know anyone by that name?

    2. I will take a look in the scrap book. My dad was in the 531 ESR, 1st battalion, company C. Look for your grandfather's battalion and company. I recall my dad said he had a friend with the name Pagano. Regards.

  3. I have, what I believe to be, an ESB uniform. I really need to take it somewhere to be confirmed.

    If anyone out there has any sources let me know....


  4. My father, Daniel John McStay was a Captain in the Headquarters Company, later promoted to Major before the 1st ESB was sent to the Pacific. I am interested in any information anyone has that they would like to share.

  5. My Dad was a member of the 3939 Gasoline Supply Company at some point in 1944. He received two purple hearts for his action. He was 7th infantry. Wondering whether he was attached to this unit before or after or during this action on 13 December 1944. Thanks to anyone for information on this subject. Contact hippygator@hotmail.com

  6. I'm really out of my depth here, can anyone help please?
    I'm helping and 84 year old lady to find out the history of her ruined home in Carclew in Cornwall, England, which she was told was used by the US Army in WW2. I've found a list dated 1944 at Carclew, 306th, 556th, 557th and 562nd, all Quartermaster Units. I believe they went on to the D Day landings on Utah beach, but the technical information is beyond my experience and I want to try and understand. How many were at Carclew and how long for? What were they doing? Are there any photos? How do I work out the Companies and Battalions etc? And most importantly, how did they fare in France? Sorry lots of questions, hopefully someone has lots of answers! Thanks Helen Stanley knhbasketcases@gmail.com

    1. They were most probably there to do with Exercise Tiger.


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