LSTF-12/F15 LST FLOTILLA TWELVE
Serial: 864 ELEVENTH AMPHIBIOUS FORCE OO/Sd
30 June, 1944
From: Commander Deputy Assault Group O-2
To: Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Europe.
Via: (1) Assault Force Commander
(2) Commander Task Force 122.
Subject: Recommendation for an appropriate award.
1. Arend VYN, Jr., Lieutenant Junior Grade, USCGR, now attached as Commanding Officer, USS LCI #91 is recommended for an appropriate award with the following citation:
For extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty as Commanding Officer of USS LCI #91 in the assault on OMAHA Beaches on 6 June 1944. Lieutenant Junior Grade VYN beached his ship and discharged the army elements therein in the face of murderous fire and an labyrinth of obstacles and mines. In spite of the fact his ship was mined and repeatedly struck by artillery fire and small-arm fire, he continued to land the army load in the face of certain loss of his ship. His determination to put the army ashore was in keeping with the highest traditions of the offensive spirit of the U.S. Naval Service.
2. This recommendation is based upon the following facts. The following is quoted from the Action Report of the USS LCI #91 and all salient features have been verified:
"Upon approach to DOG WHITE Beach is became evident that proposed markers for a cleared channel through the underwater obstructions had not been placed. A small break in the Element "C" was blocked by what appeared to be a sunken DUKW. A beaching was made between units of Element "C" at the scheduled time, H-70, 0740 on 6 June 1944, approximately 225 yards from the back of the beach and 75 yards from the water line. A man rope was led to the beach through a maze of stakes each topped by a teller mine. Troops disembarked reluctantly over both ramps in the face of heavy enemy machine gun and rifle fire.
The rapidly rising tide and slow departure of troops made it necessary to move the ship forward to keep grounded. About twenty minutes after grounding it was impossible to move farther in because of the mined stakes. The ship was swinging with the tide toward the stakes on the port bow so the ship was retracted. While doing so a teller mine exploded at the port bow injuring A few soldiers but not causing fatal damage to the ship. About sixty troops were still on board so a signal was hoisted requesting assistance from small boats. No such aid was forth-coming so a second beaching was made about 100 yards West of the original one in an effort to get in beyond the obstructions.
A portion of the remaining troops had disembarked over the port ramp when what appeared to be an "88" struck the center of the well deck and exploded in the fuel tanks below. A blast of flame immediately followed and within seconds the entire well deck was a mass of flames. Water pressure was inadequate to fight the flames. Small caliber enemy fire continued near the beach with intermittent "8" fire near the ship. Because the fire could not be gotten under control to enable the ship to retract the order was given to abandon ship. Personnel disembarked over the side and proceeded in to the beach. Eight to ten men, mainly ship's crew, were disembarked seaward in an LCS. Two wounded soldiers were removed to the beach by raft. No living personnel were left aboard the ship.
No accurate account of survivors is yet available. As far as can be determined, Numbers 1 and 2 Troop Compartments had been evacuated and most of the personnel had left the exact location of the hit. Orders for the operation were thrown in the fire. Secret and confidential communication publications were removed seaward by the Chief Radioman. All other ship's records were consumed by the fire. One of the soldiers whose mane unfortunately is not available, Was exceedingly helpful in disembarking personnel and checking the ship for survivors. All compartments, except Numbers 1 and 2, which were ablaze, were checked to be sure everyone had been evacuated."