Bomb Attack at Salerno
On 7 September, Nauset departed the Tunisian coast with a Royal Navy boat crew as passengers, their boat, an assault craft equipped with hedgehog projectors as deck cargo, and hedgehogs and dynamite in her holds. Escaping damage during aerial attacks on the 8th, the tug arrived in the vicinity of the US lowering position soon after D-day, 9 September 1943, began. Moving further in toward the Uncle beaches, AT-89 launched the British assault craft to explode her hedgehog charges in the shallow waters off the beaches in order to hopefully clear the area of mines. Nauset, in the meantime, stood by to await the craft's return for replenishment. At 0430, the Luftwaffe paid its first visit to the Allied vessels. Forty minutes later enemy aircraft flew over the ships in the Gulf of Salerno. Bombs, from a plane exploded in close proximity to the tug. Fire enveloped Nauset's entire boat deck and broke out in the motor and generator rooms, cutting all power. She began to list heavily to port and without pressure in the fire plugs, the fires spread quickly.