dday2Operation Overlord and Mobilization

On the 6th of June, 160,000 Allied troops stormed the Atlantic Wall at 6 main strategic points on the beaches on Normandy. Even after one month of fighting, only the northern tip of Normandy was in Allied hands.

The 40th landed on  at Omaha Beach on morning of the 6th of July 1944. As you can see by the map above, the Allies hadn’t penetrated very far into France.


The crossing made by the 40th

The convoy containing the left the port in England at 2200 hours, 5 July 1944, and after an uneventful crossing, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, at approximately 1200 hours, 6 July 1944, debarking “between 1400 and 1650 hours the same day.

The Battalion moved to Vehicle Transit Area Number Four, Omaha Beach, and proceeded to de-waterproof vehicles and set up night bivouac.


Troop movements from landing to first operations (Jul 7 – 10 1944)

At approximately 1440 hours, 7 July 1944, the unit proceeded in motor convoy to bivouac area, 2 mile’s west of Valognes, Normandy, France, Arriving at about 1730 hours. The Battalion remained at this bivouac site, along with the attached company, the 257th Signal Construction Company, until 9 July 1944.

During this period, contact was made with the Signal Officer, First United States Army, and the battalions initial job in combat was outlined to the Commanding Officer, Major Tilton D McNeal. The Battalion moved at 0750 hours, 9 July 1944, to bivouac area one-half mile east of St Come-du-Mont, Normandy, France, in order to centrally locate the unit for the job that they were about to begin.


The 40th setting up a 20 pin pole.

On the morning of 10 July 1944, the Battalion began work on their first wire construction job under combat conditions. The job was a twenty pin open wire line from St Chemin to St Come-du-Mont, Normandy, France, for the purpose of connecting First United States Army to First United States Army Rear, VIII Corps and VII Corps, This line supplanted the existing line between St Come-du-Mont and Carentan, along the railroad which was under enemy fire.

The Bocage Country – 2 July 1944

In order that the line would in no place come within range of enemy artillery fire, the new line was to follow a northern route across the low-lands between Carentan and the English Channel, a good part of which was inundated marshland as a result of German flooding on D-Day. The flooded marsh was known as the Bocage.

The entire line was constructed well off the road right of way in an attempt to keep the line out of any trouble, which might result from heavy traffic or enemy action directed at communication routes.

The initial survey was made 9 July 1944, and the entire 15.5 miles was completed and turned over to the First Army Signal Service on 14 July 1944.

Troop Movements
LSTs-1359, 1360, 1361, US Navy –  5 July 44 to 6 July 44
Vehicle Transit Area #4, Omaha Beach Normandy, France – 6 July 44 to 7 July 44

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