Operation Dragoon, the Invasion of Southern France, 15 Aug. 1944

The Naval History and Heritage Command reminded those who follow it, that, today is the anniversary of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France. They featured USS Samuel Chase (APA-56), a Coast Guard manned attack transport. USS Samuel Chase also participated in the invasion of North Africa (8 Nov. 1942), the invasion of Sicily (10 July 1943), the invasion of Italy at Salerno (9 Sept. 1943), and the Normandy invasion (6 June 1944). She also managed to spend some time off Okinawa after the invasion while kamikazes were still a danger (24 July-10 Aug. 1945). She was also used for Operation “Magic Carpet” the return of American service men to US.

8 new photos


There were probably a number of other Coast Guard and Coast Guard manned ships involved in Operation Dragoon as well. One, the 327, USCGC Duane (WPG-33/WAGC-6/WHEC-33) (my old ship) served as flag ship of one of the six Naval Task Forces.

More on Operation Dragoon here.

USCGC Spencer (WPG/WAGC/WHEC-36) Legacy

Nice piece about the current Spencer (WMEC- 905) honoring a sailor from the previous Spencer (WPG/WAGC/WHEC-36).

The earlier Spencer was unique in Coast Guard history, in that she is believed to have sunk at least two U-boats.

For some excellent photos of all seven of the 327s, from construction through the end of World War II, the Coast Guard Historian has a nice collection of photos with commentary showing their changing configuration.

The West Loch disaster

The US Naval Institute Blog has a story about a deadly accident that occurred at Pearl Harbor on this date in 1944 while the fleet was preparing for the invasion of Saipan. In one of the pictures you will see a 180-foot WLB helping to deal with the aftermath. There is more information about the disaster here.

Coast Guard-manned LST 69 was one of the six LST vessels sunk; CG-manned LST 205 was heavily damaged and missed the invasion.

This and the Port Chicago disaster two months later led to stronger Coast Guard oversight of explosive loading.