American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II

A History of LCI and LCS(L) Ships in the Pacific


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About the Book

As the United States began its campaign against numerous Japanese-held islands in the Pacific, Japanese tactics required them to develop new weapons and strategies. One of the most crucial to the island assaults was a new group of amphibious gunboats that could deliver heavy fire close in to shore as American forces landed. These gunboats were also to prove important in the interdiction of inter-island barge traffic and, late in the war, the kamikaze threat. Several variations of these gunboats were developed, based on the troop carrying LCI(L). They included three conversions of the LCI(L), with various combinations of guns, rockets and mortars, and a fourth gunboat, the LCS(L), based on the same hull but designed as a weapons platform from the beginning. By the end of the war the amphibious gunboats had proven their worth.

About the Author(s)

Robin L. Rielly spent many years as an educator, specializing in international relations, Asian studies and American history. He also served as the Historian/Archivist for the USS LCS(L) 1-130 Association, a World War II veteran’s group. This is his sixth book dealing with American Naval history.

Bibliographic Details

Robin L. Rielly
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 408
Bibliographic Info: 183 photos & illustrations, 55 maps, glossary, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7422-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0214-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. The Need for a New Weapon 7
2. From Training to Missions 45
3. Operation Cartwheel 73
4. The Central Pacific Campaigns 102
5. The Philippines Retaken—Leyte and Lingayen 143
6. The LCS(L)s Arrive 175
7. Iwo Jima 208
8. The Liberation of Borneo 236
9. Okinawa 256
10. Screening the Fleet 288
11. The Radar Picket Line 306
12. War’s End and Post-War 329
Glossary 357
Appendix I: LCI Gunboat Flotillas and Commanding Officers 359
Appendix II: Building and Conversion Locations 363
Appendix III: LCS(L) Flotillas and Commanding Officers 365
Appendix IV: LCI(G), LCI(M), LCI(R), and LCS(L) Ships Damaged or Lost in World War II 368
Appendix V: Awards 370
Notes 372
Bibliography 381
Index 389

Book Reviews & Awards

• “An extremely well done and researched book”—Naval Historical Foundation

• “Definitive”—Alligator Alley

• “Deeply researched and wide-ranging…a complete, definitive account of the gunboats of World War II and their contributions”—National Association of USS LCS(L) 1–130 Newsletter

• “A well-written and comprehensive narrative…a remarkable number of images. Rielly has done an excellent service in providing a well-researched and written book on these often overlooked ships. The large number of images and diagrams make it not only a good read but an important reference source as well. This book rightly deserves a place on any Pacific War Historian’s shelf”—H-Net Reviews

• “Rielly gives a definitive history of an often-forgotten class of naval vessels… The exhaustively researched book is an authoritative account of the vessels… Rielly’s work is both well researched and eminently readable. Read in parts of from start to finish, it will broaden the understanding of amateur and professional historians alike. Rielly has made a valuable and complete addition to the naval and amphibious history of the Second World War in the Pacific.”—The Northern Mariner