Ralph Williams Jr. and USS LCI(L)-11 World War II Project

My maternal grandfather, Ralph Scott Williams Jr. (January 24, 1922 – June 20, 1967), served in the United States Navy during World War II. According to family, he rarely spoke of the war. When he did, Ralph said he never saw action. After many years of research, his military records and personal items tell a different story. The purpose of this project is to tell his war story, and those of the men he served with, using the various records, pictures, and other items I’ve gathered. I hope that you find their stories interesting.

Before the war, Ralph participated in the Citizens’ Military Training Camp (CMTC) at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was in Company I during the summer of 1939. Ralph graduated from Wellston (OH) High School on May 21, 1940. From December 1941 to October 1942, he installed equipment for the Western Electric Company in Columbus, Ohio. Ralph and his parents, Ralph Sr. and Ruth, lived at 1498 Genessee Avenue in Columbus at the time of his enlistment.

This site is a work-in-progress. I am adding more material weekly and still working on the layout. Many thanks to the following people for contributing to this project: John Onufer Jr., John Hardy, Robert Shearn, Chris Davis, Terry Kaiser, Charlyn Davis, Virgilio Cajipe, Daniel Huard, Sue Knapp Riley, Annie Pelle, Nancy Bekkering Palmer, Roslynd Fuller, Gordon Bauschka, Jeff Cole, Tracey Cole Pisarski, Francie FitzHugh, Connie Chesnik, Mayor Judy Johnson, Wanda Phillips, Jerry Bradford, Joe Logan, William Kazupski, Anne Cady, Anne Sears, Wayne Osborne, VDR, Byron, Lester Letson, Gary Boughton, Kathi Swan, Caryn, Janis Franco, Kim Cowdrey, Louise Pfeiffer, Ray Sanford, Bill Silliman, Mannie Dalton Crone, Jim and Cheri, Sue Edwards, Phillip, Gregory McCullough, Jill Brandenburg, Margaret Sweet, Barb Bohn, SFC Frank Irons Sr., RMLeahy, Gia Hays, Dr. James M. Owston, and Linda Crumpton. Without all of you, this project would not have been possible.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact me.


Enlistment, Training, and Deployment | Tunisia Campaign | Allied Invasion of Sicily | Operation Avalanche | Operation Shingle | Operation Overlord | Back to the States


Learn More About The FLOT/USS LCI(L)-11 Officers and Crew

Using various sources, including the U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, I have gathered information on the crew of USS LCI(L)-11. Please click on the above image to view a list of the men who served on USS LCI(L)-11. You can click on certain crew members to learn more about them. I’ve also produced a YouTube video dedicated to my grandfather, the USS LCI(L)-11 crew, and their families. Enjoy!

Ralph Williams Jr. (L) CMTC - August 26, 1939

Ralph Williams Jr. - May 21, 1940


ENLISTMENT, TRAINING, AND DEPLOYMENT

August 4, 1942
USS LCI(L) [Landing Craft, Infantry (Large)] #11 keel laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey. The LCI were several classes of sea-going amphibious assault ships of World War II utilized to land large numbers of infantry directly onto beaches.

September 23, 1942
USS LCI(L)-11 launched.

October 21, 1942
Enlisted in Class V-6, Apprentice Seaman, of the United States Naval Reserves for a period of four full years at the Naval Recruiting Station in Columbus, Ohio. Was placed on active duty and entitled to pay.

Dog Tag: Ralph S. Williams; Service Number: 570-06-78; Tetanus Toxoid (Vaccination) Received 5/1944; Blood Type O; United States Naval Reserve; Religion: Protestant

October 23, 1942
Reported to the Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois.

October 28, 1942
USS LCI(L)-11 commissioned.

Ralph Williams Jr. U.S. Naval Training School (USNTS) Great Lakes, Illinois - November 17, 1942

November 10, 1942
Following her fitting-out, USS LCI(L)-11 departs New York for underway training at Solomons, Maryland.

November 20, 1942
Completed recruit training and advanced to S2c (Seaman 2nd Class.)

December 3, 1942
Reported to the Naval Training School (Radio) in Evanston, Illinois for a period of 16 weeks.

USS LCI(L)-11 arrives in Baltimore, Maryland for conversion completion at the Maryland Drydock Company. Conversion was completed on December 13, 1942.

December 12, 1942
LCI(L) Flotilla One, the first Amphibious Flotilla in the United States Navy, organized as a unit of Landing Craft Group, Amphibious Force, United States Atlantic Fleet.

December 13, 1942
Flotilla One administration established in offices at Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, Virginia.

January 1, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla One designation changed to LCI(L) Flotilla Two.

January 1 – January 3, 1943
Lt. (jg) Joseph Robert McGonigle, Commanding Officer of USS LCI(L)-11, reported to Flotilla Commander with orders attaching the ship to LCI(L) Flotilla Two.

January 15, 1943
USS LCI(L)-11 assigned to LCI(L) Flotilla Two, Group Five, Division Nine, under Division Commander Lt. (jg) Wallace Mason Skinner.

January 16 – January 17, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two moved from Little Creek, Virginia to Solomons, Maryland. Flotilla administrative offices set up at Amphibious Training Base, Solomons, Maryland.

February 5, 1943
Separated from RM (Radioman) School in Evanston, Illinois. Did not graduate due to lack of ability to do practical work of specialty. Qualified for duty as S2c (Seaman 2nd Class.)

LCI(L) Flotilla Two moved back to Little Creek, Virginia to prepare for service overseas.

February 10, 1943
Reported to the Receiving Station at the Naval Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Instructed in the ND (Navy Diaphragm) Gas Mask.

February 15 – February 28, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two moved from Little Creek, Virginia to Bermuda, B.W.I. The convoy of 24 LCI(L)s was escorted by USS Cole (DD-155), USS Moreno (AT-87), USS Chickadee (AM-59), USS Effective (AM-92), and USS SC 679. No damage was reported by LCI(L)-11 during the voyage. The Flotilla was berthed at the British Dock Yard, Ireland Island until February 25, when it moved to the Tender Piers at the Naval Air Station, U.S. Naval Operating Base, Bermuda.

February 25, 1943
Reported to the Receiving Station at Long Beach, New York.

March 3 – March 23, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two moved from Bermuda, B.W.I. to Gibraltar. The convoy of 24 LCI(L)s, 6 LSTs, and 10 British LSTs was escorted by USS Mattole (AO-17), USS Dallas (DD-199), USS Coin, USS Bernadou (DD-153), USS Herbert (DD-160), USS Chickadee (AM-59), and USS Moreno (AT-87). The Flotilla detached from the convoy on March 22 and proceeded to Gibraltar independently. It arrived at Gibraltar on March 23 with all ships making the passage successfully.

March 26 – March 27, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two moved from Gibraltar to Arzew and Mostaganem, Algeria. The convoy of 24 LCI(L)s, 6 LSTs, 9 British LSTs, and the Free French Transport HOSSAR was escorted by British Trawlers and a British Motor Launch. Upon arrival at Azrew on March 27, LCI(L) Flotilla Two, Group Five detached and proceeded to Mostaganem.

March 28 – May 22, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two, Group Five, remained at AATB (Advanced Amphibious Training Base), Mostaganem until April 14, then at AATB, Azrew until April 28 and thereafter returned to AATB, Mostaganem. It remained there, continued upkeep, repair, and the training program with the United States Army until May 22.

May 5, 1943
Arrived at the AATB (Advanced Amphibious Training Base) in Mostaganem.

May 21, 1943
Reported aboard USS LCI(L)-11.

USS LCI(L)-11 Photos

Ralph Williams Jr. Dog Tag

U.S. Navy Recruit Poster

Roosevelt Tours USNTS - Great Lakes, IL ca. 1942

New York Shipbuilding Corp. ca. 1945

Philadelphia Naval Yard ca. 1942

Ruth Williams and War Mother's Flag

Ruth Williams' War Mother's Flag Pin

Ralph Williams Jr.


TUNISIA CAMPAIGN

May 25 – July 5, 1943
LCI(L) Flotilla Two, Group Five departed Mostaganem for Bizerte, Tunisia and joined other ships of the Flotilla. The entire Flotilla, less USS LCI(L)-10, was based at one place for the first time in Northwest African waters. Training exercises were continued, including drills in raising and lowering ramps, embarking and disembarking troops, and beaching and retracting. Maintenance, repairs, and compass compensation were prosecuted. All ships of the Flotilla, except the Headquarters ships, were stripped of all disposable gear to reach light beaching draft. USS LCI(L)-11 is placed in LCI(L) Flotilla Two, Group Five, Division Nine, with USS LCI(L)s 10, 209, 211, 217 (Group Flagship), and 218. Ens. Robert William Shearn is USS LCI(L)-11 Executive Officer and Ens. Joseph Linville Rosson is USS LCI(L)-11 Engineering Officer.

Ralph Williams Jr. Navy Short Story


ALLIED INVASION OF SICILY

July 9 – 15, 1943
Participated in the Allied Invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky), a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis (Italy and Nazi Germany.) On July 9, USS LCI(L)-11 proceeded under Lt. Commander R. G. Newbegin III, along with USS LCI(L) #s 217, 209, 211, 218, 15, 212, 213, and 16, to Sicily via Sousse in the second wave of Tunisian Joss Fast Convoy, Group Four LCI(L) Flotilla Two. They arrived off Licata, Sicily at 2235. According to Robert Shearn, they successfully disembarked 75 men and 2 officers from the British Army. There were no casualties aboard LCI(L)-11 during the operation. There are no records of USS LCI(L)-11 landing on Red Beach or returning to Bizerte, Tunisia with the rest of the second wave on July 10. Recommended by Lt. Commander E. W. Wilson that all officers and men of the two LCI Red Waves be cited for “the splendid manner in which they carried out their assignment…”

Ralph Williams Jr. and Jack Schraa

August 15, 1943
Promoted from S2c (Seaman 2nd Class) to Cox (Coxswain.) Navy boat coxswains are specially trained sailors who command small boats during shore landing and retrieval operations.

Ralph Williams Jr. (L)

Troops Board LCIs at Bizerte, Tunisia

Group Four LCI(L) Flotilla Two Invasion of Sicily Action Report

Landing on Red Beach at Gela, Sicily - July 10, 1943

U.S. Cargo Ship Robert Rowan Explodes off Coast of Gela, Sicily - July 11, 1943

Ralph Williams Jr. Envelope and Letter - September 1, 1943


OPERATION AVALANCHE (ALLIED INVASION OF ITALY)

September 4 – October 12, 1943
Participated in Operation Avalanche, the Allied Invasion of Italy. USS LCI(L)-11 departed Bizerte, Tunisia at 0530 on September 4 for Palermo, Sicily. USS LCI(L)-11 arrived in Termini Imerese, Sicily at 1000 on September 6. At 1445 on September 7, USS LCI(L)-11 loaded 258 troops from the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division, U.S. Army, at Termini Imerese. It departed Termini Imerese for SAFTA at 0200 on September 8. At 0200 on September 9, USS LCI(L)-11 arrived in the transport area, SAFTA. On September 11, USS LCI(L)-11 led the reserve wave consisting of USS LCI(L) #s 11, 83, 86, 211, 209, and 218 into the beach. The ships were beached on Red Two in wave formation at 0958. Troops were landed and ships retracted by 1030. At 2330 on September 11, USS LCI(L)-11, with SC 666, USS LCI(L)-83 and LCT #s 618, 354, and 27 proceeded to Maiori, Italy to reenforce the Rangers. At 0535 on September 12, all ships were unloaded and cleared of the beach by 1200. After this operation, USS LCI(L)-11 remained in the Salerno, Italy area until October 12. Duties performed in the Salerno area consisted of meeting, guiding, and issuing instructions to incoming convoys, and checking unloading of Liberty (Cargo) ships daily. USS LCI(L)-11 also carried wounded, delivered messages, ferried troops to Naples, Italy, lay smoke screens, and pulled smaller craft off the beaches. While in the Salerno area, USS LCI(L)-11 expended 356 rounds of twenty millimeter. There were no casualties aboard USS LCI(L)-11 during the entire operation. Damaged sustained by the ship was caused by operational activities: two lost anchors, one warped cathead, four holes in hull (one beneath waterline), and one ready ammunition locker damaged. Ship’s company behaved admirably and according to the best traditions of the service, especially during the first week when air raids were heavy and frequent. The personnel of all ships in the reserve wave were commended for their excellent control in withholding twenty millimeter fire rather than disclose transport positions to enemy aircraft. Individually commended for “untiring, cheerful, and efficient attention to duty while subjected to heavy enemy air attacks, and later under extremely adverse weather conditions for 37 days operations off the west coast of Italy.

The 45th Infantry Division Lands on Salerno

November 1, 1943
Transferred to the ATB (Advanced Training Base) in Bizerte, Tunisia for temporary duty.

USS LCI(L)-11 Operation Avalanche Action Report

Group Four LCI(L) Flotilla Two Operation Avalanche Action Report

Salerno, Italy D-Day (September 11, 1943) Plans

Ralph Williams Jr. Victory Mail - November 9, 1943


OPERATION SHINGLE (ALLIED LANDINGS AT ANZIO, ITALY)

January 22 – March 1, 1944
Participated in Operation Shingle, the Allied amphibious landings at Anzio, Italy. USS LCI(L)-11 beached on the right flank of Red Beach, south of the port of Anzio at 0239 on January 22. USS LCI(L)-11 successfully disembarked via ramps 118 officers and men of Headquarters Company, 30th Infantry Regiment, Third Division, and retracted at 0250. Enemy opposition was slight, consisting of spasmodic machine gun fire. No casualties or material damage was reported and no ammunition was expended. All officers and men performed their duties courageously and efficiently. Individually commended for “untiringly perform[ing] his duties aboard … [USS LCI(L)-11] for the 2 1/2 months thereafter” and for “courageous, efficient, and cheerful performance of duty under severe conditions of enemy action and very inclement weather.”

April 1, 1944
LCI(L) Flotilla Two continued to operate from the Italian Port of Pozzuoli. Along with USS LCI(L) #s 3, 4, 5, 8, 216, 218, 9, 12, 13, 15, and 16, USS LCI(L)-11 proceeded to Pozzuoli Bay and after various exercises proceeded to beach on “Ranger” beach. Maneuvers and practice beachings observed by Admiral F.J. Lowry and his party. Admiral Lowry ordered a “Well Done” to all ships upon completion of exercises.

April 3 – 15, 1944
LCI(L) Flotilla Two ordered to Bizerte, Tunisia and given immediate availability. Availability continued until April 15.

April 15 – 29, 1944
LCI(L) Flotilla Two got underway at 0930 on April 15 and proceeded to Oran, Algeria, arriving there April 17 at 2200. The organized base band serenaded the flotilla prior to and while getting underway. Admiral Lowry signaled a “Well Done” as the ships proceeded down the channel. On April 20, at 0300, LCI(L) Flotilla Two, with the exception of USS LCI(L)-215, left Oran for the United Kingdom. At 1327, the task group joined convoy MKS 46. The convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar April 21 at 2345. On April 29, LCI(L) Flotilla Two detached from MKS 46 and in company with LCTs and Merchantmen proceeded to Penarth, Wales. Prior to the invasion of Normandy, the Flotilla was split into three groups: Plymouth, Southhampton, and New Haven. USS LCI(L)-11 was stationed in Plymouth, Devonshire, England.

Ralph Williams Jr. USS LCI(L)-11 Pictures

USS LCI(L)-11 Operation Shingle Action Report

U.S. Army Troops Landing at Anzio - Late January 1944


OPERATION OVERLORD (D-DAY/BATTLE OF NORMANDY, FRANCE)

June 5 – 25, 1944
Participated in Operation Overlord, the Battle of Normandy, France. At 1430 on June 5, the Task Force got underway from Plymouth, Devonshire, England. Ships sailing from Plymouth were USS LCI(L)#s 11, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, [2]29, 231, 232, and 419. USS LCI(L)#s 3, 4, 5, 8, 325, 326, 349, and 350 joined the Task Force at Salcome, Devonshire, England.

On June 6, USS LCI(L)-11, now part of LCI(L) Flotilla Eighteen, participated in the Neptune phase of Operation Overlord, approaching Red Beach, Utah Area, in the assault. Aboard USS LCI(L)-11 were 200 officers and men comprising elements of companies G and H of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, United States Army. The troops disembarked into three LCMs (Landing Craft, Medium) between 1000 to 700 yards from the beach, about one to one and a half miles to the left of their objective, in all probability due to the mine sweepers insufficient allowance for the set of the tide in their initial sweep. Heavy shelling of the beaches and assault area were observed, and the absence of enemy air activity was very noticeable. On the night of June 7, enemy bombing attacks were encountered and aerial mine laying activities were observed. No casualties or material damage was suffered by USS LCI(L)-11 and no ammunition was expended during the initial operation. Upon unloading troops, USS LCI(L)-11 was immediately assigned duties at the beach. For 13 days, it unloaded troops from merchant transports, towed pontoon causeways and Rhino ferries, and aided in carrying out lesser details assigned by LCH (Landing Craft, Heavy) #s 10 and 95. On June 19, USS LCI(L)-11 sailed for the United Kingdom and assisted in the far shore “Build Up” and engaged in the “Shuttle Program.” My grandfather “Performed… duties cheerfully, untiringly, efficiently, and courageously.”

July 1, 1944
Promoted from Cox (Coxswain) to BM2c (Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class.) Boatswain’s Mates are masters of seamanship. BMs are capable of performing almost any task in connection with deck maintenance, small boat operations, navigation, and supervising all personnel assigned to a ship’s deck force. BMs have a general knowledge of ropes and cables, including different uses, stresses, strains, and proper stowing. BMs operate hoists, cranes, and winches to load cargo or set gangplanks, and stand watch for security, navigation or communications.

September 28, 1944
Authorized to wear the insignia for the Amphibious Force, the American Theater Ribbon, and the European-African Theater Ribbon with one silver star (for participation in five major campaigns.)

October 1944
Ships of LCI(L) Flotilla Eighteen turned over to the Royal Navy under terms of the Lend-Lease Act. This was done in Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland. This marked the termination of the flotilla as an active unit of the United States Navy.

October 2 and 4, 1944
Dance held for the enlisted men of LCI(L) Flotilla Eighteen in the HMS Grasshopper Mess Hall in Weymouth, Dorset, England from 1930 to 2300. Two dances held so that men from both liberty sections of the crew could participate.

November 3, 1944
USS LCI(L)-11 decommissioned and leased to the United Kingdom. She later departed for the Pacific.

November 4, 1944
Transferred to the Vicarage Road Camp Barracks in Plymouth, United Kingdom.

Ralph Williams Jr. (Back L), John Peganoff (Front L), Ross Fike Jr. (Back M), John Hardy (Front M), and Jack Schraa (Back R)

Ralph Williams Jr. - June 3, 1944

USS LCI(L)-11 Operation Overlord Action Report

LCI(L) D-Day Convoy

American Troops Landing at Utah Beach - June 6, 1944

LCI(L) Flotilla Eighteen Termination Report

Ralph Williams Jr.


BACK TO THE STATES

December 28, 1944
Reported to the Receiving Station, South Annex, Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Virginia.

January 4, 1945
Transferred to the ATB (Advanced Training Base) at Camp Bradford Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Virginia.

March 1, 1945
Authorized to wear Amphibious Force shoulder insignia. Transferred to Naval Training School at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. On board LST (Landing Ship, Tank) #1132 when commissioned March 19, 1945 in Seneca, Illinois. Decommissioned on March 31, 1945 and converted to ARL (Landing Craft Repair Ship) #31, USS Bellerophon.

March 9, 1945
Received anti-aircraft training at the Anti-Aircraft Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois for a period of five days.

April 5, 1945
Reported to ATB (Advanced Training Base) at Camp Bradford Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Virginia.

April 11, 1945
Reported for training to the ABATU (Advanced Base, Amphibious Training Unit) at Lido Beach in Long Island, New York for a period of one month.

May 9, 1945
Reported to ATB (Advanced Training Base) at Camp Bradford Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Virginia for assignment to duty.

May 11, 1945
Granted 11 days crew leave in accordance with base policy.

May 15, 1945
Married Jean Williams in Jackson, Ohio.

May 27, 1945
Reported to Naval Barracks in Mobile, Alabama for duty aboard ARL (Landing Craft Repair Ship) #31, USS Bellerophon. Onboard when commissioned on July 21, 1945.

Ralph Williams Jr. Pictures - July 13, 1945

USS Bellerophon (ARL-31) Commissioning and Photo

August 23, 1945
Reported to Naval Receiving Station in New Orleans, Louisiana.

November 16, 1945
Reported to Naval Personnel Separation Center (Unit #3) in Great Lakes, Illinois.

November 19, 1945
Honorably discharged from the United States Navy.

Ralph Williams Jr. Military Shadow Box

March 17, 1947
USS LCI(L)-11 returned to the United States at Subic Bay, Philippines. Decommissioned and sold to Bosey, Inc.

November 20, 1949
Bosley Inc. resold to T.Y. Fong.

May 2, 1951
T.Y. Fong offered USS LCI(L)-11 back to the United States for the Korean War, but is declined by the Navy. USS LCI(L)-11 subsequently disappeared from records.

USS LCI(L)-11 earned five battle stars for her World War II service.

Ralph Jr. and Jean Williams Wedding

Jean and Ralph Williams Jr. - July 17, 1945

Ralph Jr. and Jean Williams

Ralph Williams Jr. Honorable Discharge Patch

Ralph Williams Jr. Honorable Discharge Certificate

Ralph Williams Jr. Notice of Separation

Ralph Williams Jr. Military Grave Marker


Brian Davis – Christine (Williams) Davis – Ralph Scott Williams Jr.

  1. Chris Davis
    May 19th, 2011 at 19:34 | #1

    VERY impressive!

  2. Barb Waits
    May 25th, 2011 at 17:23 | #2

    Wow, Brian, this is an amazing amount of research. I want to do this for my guys also. You set a great example!!

  3. May 27th, 2011 at 14:53 | #3

    @Barb Waits Thank you for the kind words. It has been a lot of fun and very interesting!

  4. May 27th, 2011 at 14:56 | #4

    @Chris Davis Thank you! We’ve come so far from where we started :)

  5. June 3rd, 2011 at 16:41 | #5

    It’s absolutely amazing the amount of information you’ve gotten. I just wish my Dad was still alive to see some of this, he’d be really impressed, and so am I.

  6. June 3rd, 2011 at 17:06 | #6

    @Sue Knapp Riley Thanks for the kind words, Sue. It has been a lot of fun researching all of this. The most rewarding part is finding family of these brave men to share it with! I too wish they were all still alive. I’d love to hear all of their stories.

  7. Paul Hang
    July 30th, 2011 at 07:27 | #7

    What an impressive amount of information you have brought together. This is the kind of heritage to leave your family. They will greatly appreciate it. It is typical of WWII vets to play down their part in the war. As you have demonstrated your grandfather saw plenty of action. Luckily he came out uninjured. Keep up the good work.

  8. August 1st, 2011 at 09:52 | #8

    @Paul Hang Thanks for the compliment, Paul. I really appreciate you taking the time to check out the website.

  9. Mary T
    August 12th, 2011 at 12:36 | #9

    Hi there.

    I just came across your blog while researching my own father’s path during WW2.

    It really is fascinating reading and I’m impressed with how much detail you have about your Grandfathers service, the great photos and other artifacts.

    I’m nowhere near the stage you’re at but my father’s path crossed with your Grandfather’s at times during certain stages of Operations, Husky, Avalanche and Overlord. (On the British Battleship HMS Nelson). It also happens to be 68 years tomorrow since he found himself swimming for his life after his first ship, HMS Manchester, was sunk off the coast of Tunisia during Operation Pedestal.

    I’m sure if they are looking down on us they would be gratified to know that we are interested all these years later. In spite of their reluctance to talk about those experiences during their own lifetimes.

  10. August 12th, 2011 at 15:12 | #10

    @Mary T Thank you for the kind words. It has taken a long time to gather all of the info and other items, but has been a great experience. Interesting info about your father’s service aboard the HMS Manchester and HMS Nelson. I think some Americans take for granted the massive role that British, Canadian, and other forces played in those campaigns. Good luck with your research!

  11. Greg Bierck
    December 28th, 2011 at 14:36 | #11

    My dad was in the same type of boat and in the same area. His boat was LCI # 75. He was at operation Torch in N. Africa, the Sicilian operations, Anzio, Salerno, and Normandy; landing the British at Gold Beach, but had duties up and down the whole landing area for several days. Their boat was turned over to the British. He was eventually sent to Pearl, as they used the same types of boats for Pacific landings, but was only there a few weeks before his hitch was up. Dad was a signalman, and a First Class Petty Officer. Dad passed away at 89 this year in August, and would have made 90 if he could have held on another month. He talked little about his experiences in WW II until much later in life. I did get some of it down on paper, and have all his patches, medals, citations, and campaign ribbons. He also has a pretty good scrap book that he’s had forever…it’s falling apart but is full of good information and some pictures. I’m going to neaten this all up some day soon, with a model of his ship, to put on display. I’m very proud of his service record. You did a very good job here on your dad.

  12. December 30th, 2011 at 10:35 | #12

    @Greg Bierck Thanks for the info, Greg. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog and share your father’s experiences during World War II. He sounds like a good man and a hero. Take care!

  13. Jason T
    April 4th, 2012 at 08:55 | #13

    This is incredible Brian! My Grandfather (WWII Veteran) just passed away earlier this year and I would love to do a website like this for him. I have been working with the National Archives and just received the information they possess (which is only a few pieces due to the National Archives fire of 1973 which destroyed roughly 70% of their information). Where would you suggest looking for additional information and data to accompany what I already have? Any leads or routes you took would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks ~

  14. April 4th, 2012 at 09:26 | #14

    @Jason T Thanks for the compliment and for visiting the site. If you know what unit your grandfather served with, you can look for the action reports and other documents about that unit. Check fold3.com (some free, membership needed for most records) and the Combined Arms Digital Research Library (http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/) for these records. Also view the following brochure from the NARA on WWII research: http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/ww2-participation.pdf. Carefully study all photographs, letters, medals, etc. that your grandfather had from the war to give insight into his service. Other family members may also have a lot of information that could be useful. Good luck!

  15. Mike Lawson
    June 17th, 2012 at 15:55 | #15

    Brian, I really enjoyed your site and wanted to tell you what a good job I think you did. Two years ago I did pretty much the same thing with my father. He served in LCI’s in the Pacific during WWII and died in 1965. I had very little data to go on but managed to get a fairly complete record of his naval service. I put all my findings on a CD and sent them to family members as a Christmas gift. I don’t have the know how to do a website.

    Great stuff and I enjoyed the read.

    There is a USS LCI National Association in existence and they helped me a great deal.

  16. August 10th, 2012 at 10:11 | #16

    @Mike Lawson Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I’m sure that your family appreciated all of your efforts in researching your father’s service. The USS LCI National Association has helped me as well. Take care!

  17. Tim Hummel
    February 10th, 2013 at 13:29 | #17

    Brian just stumbled on to your web site regarding LCI #11 and your grandfather. My dad was also in Flotilla #2 aboard LCI#9. He was in all five invasions from N. Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio to D-Day. He landed on Queen Beach, Quistreham, France Force S, Assault Group Two, Group 13, Sword Beach on D-day. He was awarded a medal from city of Herman Sur Mur France last year for helping stop the advancement of Hitler’s 24th Panzer Div. on the town. I had been corresponding with a gentleman, Colin Henderson, who made a movie on the landing of Sword Beach. He lives in Paris and drives to the same location on the beach today where my dad’s LCI landed. He remembers the cargo ship exploding in the harbor at Sicily. My dad is still alive and just had his 88th birthday last month. If you go the Naval website and pull up the amphibious boats click on LCI#9. I have 21 pictures including combat pictures from Anzio, Sword Beach. My date was in the same naval school as your grandfather in Illinois. My dad said the flat bottom vessel was not made for ocean going travel and was rough to ride on. He departed from England at the same time as LCI#11. Some of his photos are posted in a museum in France in a german coast bunker. Your should also list your grandfather on the honor roll call at the Eisenhower Memorial in Abilene, KS. We live in Kansas. Would like to build a website of my dad and not sure how to do it, can you help or give advise on how?

    Tim

  18. Gary Clare
    February 26th, 2013 at 19:09 | #18

    Fantastic site–thank you for posting all of this great info with all of the interesting details. Your grandfather was truly one of “the Greatest Generation,” to whom we owe so much!

  19. Diana S
    February 25th, 2014 at 16:21 | #19

    Lots of great info. I see that my Dad did serve with your grandfather on the USS Bellerophon ARL-31 in 1945. My father is still living so let me know if there are others out there. I have some of his photos posted on Ancestry.
    http://trees.ancestry.com/view/Military.aspx?tid=13766217&pid=-14254992&vid=b3e0e0e9-b73a-4f77-b7fc-fc987371021b

  20. April 16th, 2014 at 11:44 | #20

    @Diana S Diana, thank you so much for visiting my blog and posting your comment. The photos on Ancestry.com are awesome! Thank you for sharing them.

  21. John Redell
    April 24th, 2014 at 20:58 | #21

    Great website!

    My Father, Richard, was the commanding officer of LCI(L) US-13 (also of Flotilla 2). An interesting sidebar: I always wondered why there was a photo among my dad’s war PICs of the 13 at Normandy (Sword) painted white with a red band around the conn, red I.D. numbers and a serpentine blue/grey shape on the hull. This always seemed odd to me since photos of most other LCIs at other landing beaches during Operation Neptune seem to show them painted the more standard “haze grey”, just as the 13 had been in all previous operations.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason for this difference may have been due to the fact that the LCI’s which landed at Sword Beach were carrying British, rather than American troops. The odd color scheme described above appears to be a form of “dazzle” camouflage which the Royal Navy started using around 1918, as far as I can determine. The idea behind “dazzle” camouflage (unlike other forms of camouflage) was not so much to hide the ship but, rather, to break up its visual silhouette, thereby rendering identification, speed estimation and ranging more difficult for enemy gunners. So my guess is that the LCIs that landed at Sword were more-or-less “attached” to the Royal Navy (in as much as they were carrying British troops) and so were ordered to adopt the Royal Navy color scheme. If anybody else can either validate or debunk my theory, I’d love to hear what you know.

    Unfortunately, I can’t ask my dad about this as he passed away in 1992.

  22. John Redell
    April 29th, 2014 at 17:48 | #22

    Another question:
    Brian: have you come across any official documents that list the Operation Neptune “code” numbers (3-digit, I think) assigned to the ten, USN, LCI(L)s that landed British troops at Sword Beach? These numbers were painted on the red band on the conn, above the USN ship number.

  23. June 2nd, 2014 at 11:01 | #23

    Great research and a great tribute to your grandfather! John France, Vice President and Historian for the USS Landing Craft Infantry National Association.

  24. Rebecca Arnett Velez
    June 20th, 2014 at 14:02 | #24

    @John Redell
    Dad said after Omaha beach a bunch of the LCIs (his included) were turned over to the British. Teed him off.

  25. November 13th, 2014 at 11:01 | #25

    @John France Thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot. I greatly appreciate all of the work that you and the USS LCI National Association do!

  26. November 13th, 2014 at 11:03 | #26

    @Gary Clare Thanks for the kind words, Gary. I truly appreciate you taking the time to visit my website. Take care!

  27. November 13th, 2014 at 11:06 | #27

    @John Redell I’m not sure my your father’s LCI had a different color scheme. I did notice that the Canadian LCIs were painted differently, so it may be due to the fact they were carrying British troops. The USS LCI National Association may have more info on this if you can contact them.

    I have not come across any of the “code” numbers assigned to the LCI(L)s that landed at Sword Beach. My grandfather’s LCI landed at Utah, so those are the only documents I have. If I do come across anything, I’ll let you know. Thanks!

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