The U.S. Navy’s “Interim” LSM(R)s in World War II

Rocket Ships of the Pacific Amphibious Forces

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About the Book

The “Interim” LSM(R) or Landing Ship, Medium (Rocket) was a revolutionary development in rocket warfare in World War II and the U.S. Navy’s first true rocket ship. An entirely new class of commissioned warship and the forerunners of today’s missile-firing naval combatants, these ships began as improvised conversions of conventional amphibious landing craft in South Carolina’s Charleston Navy Yard during late 1944. They were rushed to the Pacific Theatre to support the U.S. Army and Marines with heavy rocket bombardments that devastated Japanese forces on Okinawa in 1945.
Their primary mission was to deliver maximum firepower to enemy targets ashore. Yet LSM(R)s also repulsed explosive Japanese speed boats, rescued crippled warships, recovered hundreds of survivors at sea and were deployed as antisubmarine hunter-killers. Casualties were staggering: enemy gunfire blasted one, while kamikaze attacks sank three, crippled a fourth and grazed two more. This book provides a comprehensive operational history of the Navy’s 12 original “Interim” LSM(R)s.

About the Author(s)

Ron MacKay, Jr., was a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman from 1973 to 1977 and served with the Fleet Marine Force at Okinawa with the 3rd Marine Division. The historian and a board member for the U.S.S. LSM-LSMR Association, he has written articles on the LSMs and LSM(R)s, and has been employed in the aerospace industry for more then 30 years. He lives in Buckley, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Ron MacKay, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 352
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, 13 maps, appendices, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9859-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2328-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Foreword by Capt. Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., USN (Ret.) 1

Preface and Acknowledgments 3

Introduction 9

1. “LSM Rocket Ships” 11

2. Forward Routing: 1944–45 49

3. The Kerama Rettos: 26 March 1945–1 April 1945 72

4. Okinawa and Patrols: 1–13 April 1945 110

5. The Radar Picket Lines: 7–30 April 1945 127

6. Ie Shima: 13–18 April 1945 151

7. The Radar Picket Lines: 1–21 May 1945 167

8. The Finners: Naval Gunfire Support, 21 May 1945–2 June 1945 194

9. Iheya Shima and Aguni Shima: 30 May 1945–11 June 1945 219

10. The Spinners: Naval Gunfire Support, 11–18 June 1945 246

11. Return to Pearl Harbor 259

12. Ammunition Carriers 268

13. Homeward Bound 274

Appendices:

I. “Interim” LSM(R) Characteristics and Performance 281

II. Crew Complements: LSM, “Interim” LSM(R), LSM(A)/LSM(E) 282

III. Paint, Camouflage and Markings 284

IV. Ships Data 287

Glossary 290

Chapter Notes 295

Bibliography 325

Index 337

Book Reviews & Awards

“a solid overview of an often neglected piece of naval history…a solid research tool”—The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord.