After 67 years, U.S. Army conducts beach landing training at Carrabelle Beach
Carrabelle Beach, as well as Dog Island, was the site of intensive amphibious training during WWII. It was here that the U.S. Army trained three infantry divisions ( the 4th, 28th and 38th) as well as the 3rd and 4th special Brigades in the art of beach landings. The 4th division used that training on June 6th, 1944 as one of the first American divisions to land on Utah Beach. The special brigades and 38th division went to the pacific and conducted many landings as they fought their way up island chains toward Japan itself.
On Saturday, March 12th, 2011 the U.S. Army Reserve 834th heavy boat company from the 322nd Transportation Company will conduct a training landing at that same Carrabelle beach.Â This unit has a historic connection with our area and has traced its lineage all the way back to 1943 when it was formed as the 43rd Amphibious Truck Company at Camp Gordon Johnston. At that time, many of these units were staffed with African American Soldiers who piloted the “Ducks” (DUKW) that were so vital ferrying combat soldiers supplies and bringing the wounded back to the ships, often under heavy fire.
The 824th first contacted the Camp Gordon Johnston Association in 2005 and offered to bring its new LCU 2000 ocean-going landing craft to that year’s reunion. Of course they were “welcomed home” by the CGJA and were treated to a seafood extravaganza put on by Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 in Lanark Village. They returned the following year (enjoying the hospitality of Carrabelleans and proudly displayed their ship to all visitors. They were absent the last two reunions having been deployed to the Middle East and then helping bring supplies to earthquake devastated Haiti. This year they are excited about returning “Home” and ,hopefully, showing what they are capable of with their landing craft.
The Camp Gordon Johnston and The City of Carrabelle invite all interested persons to come witness this historic event.
For further information, please contact Event and Parade Marshal Sidney Winchester (850) 524-3927 or (850) 697-8575. You can also e-mail Sid at: firstname.lastname@example.org