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Operation Avalanche was the codename for the combined US and British landings on the southwest coast of Italy on 9 September 1943 as part of the Allied effort in the Mediterranean Theater during World War II. The forces landed consisted of the US Fifth Army under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. The Fifth Army was made up of the British X Corps, which landed south of the town of Salerno, and the US VI Corps, which landed at the town of Paestum.

The landings were carried out by combined forces of the US Navy and Royal Navy, detailed below.

Naval losses: 2 destroyers, 1 minesweeper, 1 tug, 1 hospital ship

Order of battleEdit

H. Kent Hewitt Adm USN

Vice Adm. H. Kent Hewitt, USN

USS Ancon (AGC-4) in June 1943

Vice Adm. Hewitt's flagship, USS Ancon (AGC-4)

Task Force 80: Western Naval Task ForceEdit

Vice Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, USN[1]

Embarking United States Army North CSIB US Fifth Army (Lt. Gen. Mark Wayne Clark, USA)

Task Force 85: Northern Landing ForceEdit

Commodore G.N. Oliver, RN

Embarking X Corps British X Corps (Lt. Gen. Richard L. McCreery, BA)

Task Force 81: Southern Landing ForceEdit

Rear Adm. John L. Hall, Jr., USN

John L Hall Jr during Normandy

Rear Adm. John L. Hall, Jr., USN


World War II-era US minesweeper

PT boat underway c1945

World War II-era US PT boat

Embarking US VI Corps SSI US VI Corps (Maj. Gen. Ernest J. Dawley, USA)
TG 81.5 – Fire Support Group (Rear Adm. Lyal A. Davidson)
TG 81.6 – Screen (Capt. Charles Wellborn)
  • 12 destroyers (1 sunk by torpedo boat 10 September)
TG 81.2 – Transport Group (Capt. C.D. Edgar)
  • 19 transports: 14 American, 5 British
  •   3 LSTs: all British
  •   6 scout boats
TG 81.3 – Landing Craft Group (Capt. F.M. Adams)
  • 27 LSTs: 18 American, 9 British
  • 32 LCIs: 26 American, 6 British
  •   6 LCTs: all American
TG 81.7 – Control Group (Cmdr. R.D. Lowther, USNR)
TG 81.8 – Minesweeper Group (Cmdr. A.H. Richards)
  •   9 minesweepers (1 sunk by submarine 25 September)
  • 12 motor minesweepers
TG 81.9 – Salvage Group (Lt. V.C. Kyllberg)
  •   2 tugs
TG 80.2 – Picket Group (Lt. Cmdr. S.M. Barnes)
TG 80.3 – Diversion Group (Capt. C.L. Andrews)

Task Force 88: Support Carrier ForceEdit

Philip Louis Vian

Rear Adm. Sir Philip L. Vian, RN

Fairey Barracudas landing on HMS Formidable after attacking Tirpitz and other enemy ships off Norway.

Fairey Barracudas landing on HMS Formidable

Rear Admiral Sir Philip L. Vian, RN

Covering Forces


  1. Biplanes


  1. Morison, pp. 391-394


  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1954). Sicily – Salerno – Anzio, January 1943–June 1944. History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. IX. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.. ISBN 0-7858-1310-1. 

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