WWII 40th Combat Engineers
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Storm Boats

The 45th Infantry division was ferried across the Rhine at Worms in 40th ECR boat teams.  The storm boats could carry 6 infantrymen and the crew of two.  In addition to securing the boat for loading and debarking, the bow-man was responsible for spotting mines and signaling the operator.  Powered by a 55hp Envinrude outboard motor, the boats would plane on the river surface and attain speeds of over 50mph.  

The Storm Boats led the first wave followed closely but more slowly by the Assault Boats (not pictured). The Assault Boats were longer and a little slower and could carry as many as 20 men with heavier equipment. It was the assault boats that carried the majority of the 45th Division across the Rhine River near Worms. The Assault Boats were designed so that with bridge components they were quickly assembled into a floating bridge and ferries for armored vehicles, artillery and other heavy equipment. By daylight, March 25, 1945 armored vehicles and trucks were across the river and the 45th continued its advance.

Storm Boats led the first wave:

StormBoatLaunch..JPG (63022 bytes) Click on the picture to enlarge.

To the men of the 40th ECR, the picture above represents a typical launching.  Four Strong men could transport and launch a Storm Boat with the motor.  The 1st Army shoulder patch indicates that this photo was either taken at a training area or further north on the Rhine than Worms.


Builder Photos:

Al Stender of G Co. returned home and went to work at the Minnitonka Boat Works in Wayzota, Minnesota.  He obtained these photos and the one above.

StormBoatLifted.JPG (52915 bytes) Click on picture to enlarge.

Marine Plywood provided a light hull.


StormBoatWorkers.JPG (63678 bytes) Click on the picture to enlarge.

Check out the guy with the saw.  What is he doing?


StormBoatShopFloor.JPG (51977 bytes) Click on the picture to enlarge.

The factory floor.