Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Operation Avalanche Image Gallery 

From the Pre-Invasion Build-up Through the Beach Landings 


Salerno Operation, 1944

Troops and vehicles of the U.S. 45th Infantry Division being loaded on LSTs in Palermo, Sicily, to be taken to Salerno. Note barrage balloons overhead and motorcycle by ramp of foreground LST. Most of these LSTs appear to be British (SC-182837).


Photo #: 80-G-82331  Salerno invasion, September 1943

British General John L. Hawksworth, commander of the British 46th Infantry Division, and Rear Admiral Richard L. Conolly, USN, aboard USS Biscayne (AVP-11), one the Operation Avalanche amphibious force command ships, on 6 September 1943, three days before the Salerno landings. Note the words “LEAD THE TARGET” stencilled on the 20-mm gun shield (80-G-82331).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

Destroyer crewmen prepare 5-inch/38-caliber antiaircraft common shells for invasion service, off Paestum, just south of Salerno, 9–10 September 1943 (80-G-54045).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

U.S. troops disembark from a transport off Salerno, 9 September 1943. Note barrage balloon overhead (80-G-54597).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

Red and Green Beach traffic-control LCVPs approach invasion ships to pick up another wave of landing craft for their respective destinations. Taken on 9 September 1943, the first day of the Salerno landings. LCVPs appear to be from LST-316 and LST-315 (80-G-82339).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

British soldiers watch from their transport as a Royal Navy destroyer lays a smoke screen to protect invasion shipping off the Salerno beaches on the first day of the landing, 9 September 1943 (80-G-82335).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943.

Troops of the U.S. 143rd Infantry Regiment landing at Salerno. Note they are debarking from the sides of a LCVP, whose bow ramp is only partially opened (SC-1810461).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

USS Charles Carroll (APA-28) is silhouetted against the glow of a burning ship off the Salerno invasion beaches on "D-Day," 9 September 1943. Photo probably taken from USS Ancon (AGC-4) (80-G-87394).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

Shore parties sort through a jumble of supplies on the Salerno waterline, 9-10 September 1943. LCVPs in background include boats from USS Lyon (AP-71) and USS James O'Hara (APA-90) (80-G-54067).


Salerno Invasion, 1943.

Minesweeping operations off Salerno, 11 September 1943. YMS-207 is in the foreground (80-G-325464).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943.

U.S. troops, M-4 Sherman tanks, and trucks come ashore near Salerno. USS LST-16 is at left, and USS LST-379 is at right. In the center is an early British LST, either Boxer, Thruster, or Bruizer (SC-181224).


Photo #: USA C-276 Salerno Operation, 1943

U.S. Army engineers haul a roll of wire mesh into position to make a beach roadway at Salerno. USS LST-1 is in the center background (USA-C-276).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

Off-loading trucks from a transport to an LCT, off Salerno, September 1943 (80-G-54599).


Salerno Landing, Sept. 1943

A British Supermarine Spitfire fighter used by the U.S. Army Air Forces, which made a forced landing on the beach at Paestum, south of Salerno. Note USS LST-359 in background (26-G-1992).


"One that didn’t get away"

U.S. soldiers examine the wreckage of a German Panzerkampfwagen IV tank, destroyed by Allied fire during Operation Avalanche. This may be one of the tanks knocked out by naval gunfire support during the battle for the beachhead (NH-95563).


80-G-87337:    Operation Avalanche, September 1943.  Admiral H.Kent Hewitt, USN, and Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, USA, aboard ship, probably USS Ancon (AGC 4) during operations at Salerno, Italy.    U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.  (2017/04/04).

Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark (left), U.S. Fifth Army commanding general, confers with Vice Admiral H. K. Hewitt, Western Naval Task Force (TF-80) commander, on board USS Ancon (AGC-4) during the landings at Salerno. Note the life belt worn by Clark (80-G-87337).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

U.S. Army bivouac adjacent to an ancient temple, likely at Paestum, south of Salerno (80-G-54090).


Salerno Operation, 1944

Another view of U.S. 45th Infantry Division troops and vehicles being loaded on LSTs and LCIs in Palermo in preparation for the Salerno invasion. Identifiable ships are (left to right): HMS LST-425, USS LCI -235, USS LCI -95, and USS LCI -220. Note barrage balloon at left, the still-large number of bolt-action Springfield rifles present, and African American troops aboard LCI-220 (SC-181098).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

American airborne troops rest aboard British LCIs before going into the battle at Salerno, probably on 8 September, the day before the invasion. Two vessels on right are LCI-270 and LCI-266 (80-G-87395).


Salerno Landing, Sept. 1943

U.S. Army personnel prepare to disembark from a Coast Guard–manned Navy transport, off Paestum, 9 September 1943 (26-G-2001).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

LCVPs from USS Andromeda (AKA-15) head for the Salerno beach, 9 September 1943 (80-G-54082).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

USS LST-357 shrouding herself in smoke while unloading on Green Beach, Salerno, 9 September 1943 (80-G-82347).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

An LST beached on Red Beach, ten miles south of Salerno, shrouds itself in a smoke screen as protection from enemy air and artillery attack. Photo was taken on the first day of landings, 9 September 1943 (80-G-82342).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

Scene off Salerno at dawn or dusk of the invasion, 9 September 1943. Smoke is rising from shore in center, caused by naval gunfire. Smoke at left is being laid by an Allied destroyer to shroud the invasion fleet. Boat in foreground appears to be an LCS (S)(I) (80-G-82341).


Salerno Landing, Sept. 1943

Coast Guard and Navy beach battalion personnel hug the beach at Paestum, south of Salerno, as a German bomber attacks, 9–10 September 1943. An explosion can be seen in the background. Note wire mat on beach (26-G-2000).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

British soldier clearing land mines using a mine detector on Red Beach, ten miles south of Salerno. White tape marks the edge of the cleared area. LSTs in background are unloading U.S. Army trucks. LST-311 is at right. Photo taken on 10 September 1943, the second day of the invasion (80-G-82349).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

A U.S. Navy torpedo boat lays a smoke screen around USS Ancon (AGC-4) off Salerno, 12 September 1943 (80-G-87326).


Photo #: 80-G-54600  Salerno Invasion, 1943

Troops bringing artillery ashore at Salerno. The military policeman (MP) in the foreground is ducking from a nearby German shell hit. The LCVP is from USS James O'Hara (APA-90). Note the use of chicken wire to stabilize the beach sand (80-G-54600).


Photo #: 80-G-83243  Salerno Operation, September 1943

A U.S. Navy destroyer lays a smoke screen during a red alert for air attack off the Salerno invasion beaches. Photographed from the port bridge wing of USS Philadelphia (CL-41). Note manned and ready 20- and 40-mm guns on Philadelphia, and elevated fire control radar antenna and 5-inch/38-caliber guns on the destroyer (80-G-83243).


Salerno Operation, September 1943

Fifth Army burial detail at work at Salerno. Men in foreground are British. Man in center middle distance is wearing U.S. Navy sleeve insignia (note “crow”) (80-G-82333).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

Anti-aircraft tracers pattern the sky during a night air raid on the Salerno beachhead, 12 September 1943. Photographed from a ship offshore (80-G-87329).


Photo #: 80-G-87314  USS Ancon (AGC-4)

USS Ancon (AGC-4), serving as operation flagship off the Salerno beachhead on 12 September 1943. Note the U.S. Navy submarine chasers (SCs) laying smokescreens to protect the larger ships (80-G-87314).


Photo #: 80-G-358975  Lt. General Mark W. Clark, U. S. Army

Lieutenant General Clark departing USS Ancon (AGC-4) to set up Fifth Army headquarters on the beach at Salerno, 11 September 1943 (80-G-358975).


Salerno Invasion, September 1943

Citizens of Salerno gather in front of "Proclamation No. 1," posted by the Allied military government following the Operation Avalanche landings (80-G-82358).

Published: Thu Jul 12 11:01:37 EDT 2018