Hewitt, Rear Admiral Kent, 1887-1972

Hewitt was the US expert on amphibious landings. His first major operation was the North African landings in November 1942 when he sailed from Hampton Roads in Virginia in command of 102 ships. He had to put the 24,500 strong all-American force under Major General PATTON ashore in three separate landings. As the Western Naval Task Force approached the North African coast the weather was very stormy and the forecast was not favorable but Hewitt decided to take a chance and fortunately was rewarded with a calm sea on 8 November. Hewitt was then given command of the US 8th Fleet off the North African coast and his next major operation was the landing on Sicily in July 1943. Hewitt was in command of the Western Naval Task Force and had 580 vessels under his command. Although there was an unpleasant swell on the day of the landing, the troops achieved surprise and met little opposition on the beaches. In September Hewitt commanded the US landings in southern Italy near Salerno, which nearly turned to disaster; although the Allied forces had foregone shore bombardment in order to achieve surprise, the Germans were prepared to resist them. Hewitt was then chosen to command the last major amphibious landing in Europe: the Anvil landings in southern France.

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