Shipmates: The Men of LCS 52 in World War II
In late 1944, 78 U.S. Navy sailors and officers climbed aboard a ship just 150 feet long and 23 feet wide, and headed toward the sound of gunfire. One of a class of gunboats known as “mighty midgets,” LCS 52 carried an arsenal equal to ships twice its size. Yet its shallow draft enabled it to maneuver to within a few hundred feet of any beach. Packed inside the tiny craft, the diverse crew were farmers, students, cooks and teachers. They ranged from age 17 to middle-aged—a few had seen combat in the Atlantic and the Pacific.
This book tells the story of the ship’s extensive service in World War II’s Pacific Theater. Most of the crew survived the war, as did LCS 52 itself, serving in the U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force until 1958, when it was decommissioned and used for artillery practice. A roll call of crew members is included, with biographical information when available.