We have received a generous donation from the family of Capt. John E. Mellen, who commanded the 818th and was with them from their training at Camp Gordon Johnston through the end of the war and beyond. Although we are just in the beginning of constructing the history of the 818th, this is what we have gleaned so far:
The 818th trained at Camp Gordon Johnston late 1943-early 1944 (we hope to nail that down)
They were deployed to England
The 818th was attached to the 1st Engineer’s Special Brigade and landed on Utah Beach, June 6, 1944. For this they received a Meritorious Unit Citation and Croix de Guerre with palm. Five members of the 818th received Bronze Stars for their actions on that day, and there were no casualties.
In September of 1944, the 818th transferred possession of their DUKWs to the 815th, 816th and 817th, and were assigned 2 1/2 ton 6×6 trucks by the 191st Ordinance to be part of the Red Ball Express, something they were very excited about.
Here is a partial Roster of the 818th, gleaned from the papers that were donated. The officers will be added later.