As soon as the landing craft departed with the troops, the transport crews began unloading their supplies and equipment. The first task was to remove the hatch covers and gain access to the ship’s storage holds. All equipment and supplies there had been stowed according to a detailed loading plan that insured that the first materials to be requested from the beach would be the last items loaded.
Here is a picture of a heavy truck being loaded and stowed aboard an attack transport at Hawaii before an operation.
At a strongly contested landing, the first call from the beach would be — TANKS! TANKS!!Deep down in the #5 hold the 30 ton boom lifts and swings over the side a medium Sherman tank.
Then down it goes, tank and crew… slowly… carefully into a waiting landing craft.
Next come the transportation company trucks and the beach party bulldozers.
After three days an experienced attack transport crew could unload a fully reinforced battalion landing team and all the equipment and supplies to support it in the first crucial days of an amphibious assault. No less than Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, declared that what his navy learned about putting soldiers down on a contested beach was “the outstanding development of the war.”