Military history

American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II: A History of LCI and LCS(L) Ships in the Pacific

American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II: A History of LCI and LCS(L) Ships in the Pacific

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.

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Need for a New Weapon

Chapter 2. From Training to Missions

Chapter 3. Operation Cartwheel

Chapter 4. The Central Pacific Campaigns

Chapter 5. The Philippines Retaken—Leyte and Lingayen

Chapter 6. The LCS(L)s Arrive

Chapter 7. Iwo Jima

Chapter 8. The Liberation of Borneo

Chapter 9. Okinawa

Chapter 10. Screening the Fleet

Chapter 11. The Radar Picket Line

Chapter 12. War’s End and Post-War

Glossary

Appendix I: LCI Gunboat Flotillas and Commanding Officers as of 15 May 1945

Appendix II: Building and Conversion Locations

Appendix III: LCS(L) Flotillas and Commanding Officers as of 15 May 1945

Appendix IV: LCI(G), LCI(M), LCI(R), and LCS(L) Ships Damaged or Lost in World War II

Appendix V: Awards

Notes