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 previously taught U.S. history, Asian studies and international relations. He serves as historian for the National Association of USS LCS(L) 1-130 and lives in Manchester, New Jersey.

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.