The unit departed from Bon Mancoui, Algeria at 0700 hours, on 8 July 1944 without the trail unit. Word was received they were forty miles behind the convoy. The unit arrived in Constantine, Algeria at 1800
hours. The distance traveled was 165 miles. Less the trail unit, the 1553rd Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion and the 1554th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion had three accidents. The kitchen truck of the 1553rd Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion turned over. One
truck tractor was damaged beyond repair. Upon arrival, the bivouac area was set up, and vehicles were gassed, and first (1st) echelon maintenance was performed. The unit departed from Constantine, Algeria at 0600 hours, on 9 July 1944 and arrived at Souk el
Arba, Tunisia at 1700 hours. The distance traveled was 175 miles. One (1) vehicle of the 85th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion, while parking to permit a westbound convoy to pass. The cargo box on a 5-6 ton tractor was hit and the damaged received was easily
repaired. The 1553rd Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion and the 1554th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion had two (2) accidents causing the loss of an auto car tractor and the lives of two (2) British soldiers.
The unit departed from Souk el Arba, Tunisia at 0600 hours on 11 July 1944 without the trail unit and arrived in Bizerte at 1200 hours. The distance traveled was 136 miles.
departed from Souk el Arba, Tunisia at 0600 hours on 11 July 1944 without the trail unit and arrived in Bizerte at 1200 hours. The distance traveled was 136 miles.
The trail unit arrived at Bizerte
at 0200 hours on 11 July 1944. The period from 11 July to 17 July 1944, was used for maintenance of equipment and preparation for overseas movement.
The vehicles were moved from the staging area
and loaded on three Landing Ships Tank. The personnel was divided into three groups and part embarked on 18 July 1944 and sailed from the Port of Bizerti, Tunisia on 18 July 1944, for Naples,Italy, and arrived in the harbor of Naples, Italy at 1100 hours on
23 July 1944. At 1500 hours, the unit sailed south to Salerno, Italy and arrived in the harbor at Salerno, Italy at 1800 hours.
Orders pertaining to departure from Bizerti: All Army, corps, division,
regimental or other organizational identifying insignia (including shoulder patches)will be removed from all classes of individual and organizational uniforms, clothing , baggage, property and equipment before embarkation and will not be replaced without the
authority of the command to which you are proceeding.
Orders, con’t: You will be held responsible that any garrison prisoners belonging to these units and confined in the NATOUSA DTC are
picked up and taken with the unit upon its departure from this base section.
The rest of the Battalion moved by motor convoy to MBS staging area #2.
The vehicles were moved from the staging area and loaded on board the S.S. John B. Hood. The personnel embarked on 10 July 1944.
The unit sailed from the port of Oran,
Algeria, North Africa on 11 July 1944 for the port of Naples, Italy. The voyage took 9 days with an overnight stop at Augusta, Sicily.
The troops disembarked at 1900 hours on 19 July 1944, after
waiting overnight aboard ship in the Gulf of Pozzuoli, Italy and proceeded by motor convoy to PBS staging area #4 and established a bivouac at 2130 hours.
On 24 July 1944, the unit left the PBS
staging area #4 at Naples, Italy at 1500 hours by motor convoy and proceeded to the vicinity of Francolise, Italy and arrived at 1730 hours.