The World War II Photo of the Week
for 11 June 2001
|Breaking in the LST ...
An LST (No. 36) lands U. S. men and materiél at a beach on the Gulf of Gela, Sicily, following the initial Operation Husky landings on that island in July 1943 (the picture was taken in mid-July, but wasn't released until April 12, 1945!). There appears to be a group of Italian prisoners under MP guard in the foreground. One of the trucks on the ramp towing a field gun has "MASS." painted on its hood. The invasion of Sicily had gotten off to a rough start during the night of 9-10 July 1943, with conditions much worse than those pictured. As the Allied armada steamed toward the island a fierce, 40-mile-per-hour gale, dubbed "Mussolini's Wind" by seasick G.I.s, whipped up the seas, seriously endangering some of the smaller craft. The landings at Gela and other Sicilian beaches marked the first time that the then-new LST (Landing Ship, Tank) [along with the LCT (Landing Craft, Tank)] was used to put armor ashore with the first waves of infantry. Official U. S. Army photograph, from the Webmaster's collection.