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Engineers at OMAHA

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Just a question for any Normandy buffs out there. This is an excerpt from the Omaha Beachhead book printed by the War Department way back in the 40s and 50s. Excellent source for information by the way.

"The Army-Navy Special Engineer Task Force had one of the most important and difficult missions of the landing. Their chances of clearing gaps through the obstacles in the half-hour allotted were lessened by accidents on the approach to the beach. Delays in loading from LCT's to LCM's and in finding their way to the beaches resulted in half of the 16 assault teams reaching shore 10 minutes or more late."

This is the force that interests me. Here is my problem though.

"The infantry companies in the first wave came in by boat sections, six to a company, with a headquarters section due in the next wave (0700). Each LCVP carried an average of 31 men and an officer. The 116th assault craft were loaded so that the first to land would be a section leader and 5 riflemen armed with M-1's and carrying 96 rounds of ammunition. Following was a wire-cutting team of 4 men, armed with rifles; 2 carried large "search-nose" cutters, and 2 a smaller type. Behind these in the craft, loaded so as to land in proper order were: 2 BAR teams of 2 men each, carrying 900 rounds per gun; 2 bazooka teams, totaling 4 men, the assistants armed with carbines; a mortar team of 4 men, with a 60-mm mortar and 15 to 20 rounds; a flame-thrower crew of 2 men; and, finally, 5 demolition men with pole and pack charges of TNT."

So, did the engineers of the 121st Engineer Combat Battalion and the infantry of the 116th come in in the same boats or were they separate? My problem is that I cannot account for a large part of the engineers supposed to have participated in the initial assault wave. Any ideas?



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