Hitting the Beach: 60 Years Ago Today
Porto Tramazzu, Sardinia: The first assault wave hits Blue Beach, landing the Teufelhunden of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines (3/6) for an exercise, on April 27, 1961. The assorted LCVPs are from the Bayfield-class attack transport USS Fremont (APA-44) and the Andromeda-class attack cargo ship USS Muliphen (AKA-61/LKA-61).
The scene looks much like the landings during WWII. Heck both Fremont and Muliphen were built during the war as were likely the landing craft, whose hull numbers look right out of D-Day.
Besides the easy propaganda purpose that such shots sent to Moscow during the Cold War, ops like this were also good fodder for camera crews to shoot high-quality B-roll for Hollywood movies on the war, which always helped as recruiting tools. Sure, the Devils are wearing ODs instead of HBTs or frogskins, but Tinsel Town wouldn’t care.
While the concept of such “wet” landings fell rapidly out of popularity with the USMC in favor of vertical envelopment via helicopter during the 1960s and the following on air-cushioned landings by LCAC, the use of landing craft never fully went away and, in the near future, Marines could once again be getting their feet wet more often.