Landing Craft Infantry were designed to deliver soldiers and marines quickly during an amphibious assault on enemy territory.LCIs and their crews proved their worth during invasions in North Africa, Italy, D-Day and in the Pacific.
WWII Poster

Landing in the Pacific Theatre

What is an LCI?
Landing Craft Infantry were and are ships designed to deliver fighting troops to a beach quickly. WWII LCIs had a crew of 24-60 sailors and carried 200 soldiers, who descended from ramps on each side of the craft. They weren't designed cross-ocean travel -- yet given the urgency of wartime, they did just that, sailing from the United States to the European and Pacific Theatres. Their flat-bottom hulls were designed for beaching, which meant you felt every wave and more than one sailor and soldier ended up donating his lunch to the sea on a continuous basis.

Landing craft were 158 feet long and 23 feet 3 inches wide at the middle. The hull or skin was made of 1/4 inch steel plate. The propulsion of the ship was two sets of quad General Motors 6 cylinder diesel engines generating 1600 HP ; 8 engines total.

Several kinds of LCI's were produced during WWII:

Regular LCI's designed for troop delivery were first built and then other needs became apparent.

The LCI (Rocket Ship) was designed to provide supporting naval gunfire and could fire as many as 504, 4.5" rockets on one rocket run into the beach.

LCI (Gun) Ships were armed with 40mm and 20mm guns, 50 cal. machine guns and rocket launchers. They were used for in-close troop support.

LCI (Mortar) Ships carried 3- and 6-inch morter launchers. These were designed to lob mortars behind enemy hills or bunkers.

LCI (Demolition) Ships carried Frog Men to clear the invasion beaches of underwater obstructions.

Depth Charge Carrying LCI's. Depth charges were placed aboard some LCI's on convoys to England. They patrolled the outer edges of the convoy searching for German submarines.

LCI (Flotilla Flag) Ships carried the command staff of an LCI flotilla.

LCI (Mine Hunter) Ship. After WWII, 36 LCI's were converted to mine hunter ships and used to detect underwater mines.

Smoke Laying LCI's.At Leyte we learned the real value of smoke laying LCI's. Japanese kamikaze planes would head for the biggest ships. Since anti-aircraft fire wasn't always effective, Smoke Laying LCI's were deployed to cast a protective layer of smoke around and over the ships in order to hide them from suicide pilots.

LCS (Landing Craft Support) were modified gunships built later in the war and used for close inshore troop support and fighting. They carried a 3-inch, 50 Cal. gun, twin 40mm guns and 20mm guns.

The "Waterbug Navy."
LCIs didn't share the limelight like the more glamorous aircraft carriers, battleships and destroyers. In fact they earned the name "Waterbug Navy," when an admiral looked down from his battleship and watched the LCI's down below scurrying back and forth, and commented that they looked like a bunch of waterbugs. The phrase stuck.

LCIs and the men who served on them did the dirty work of bringing invasion troops right up to the fighting, providing close-in fire support with machine guns and rockets. In doing so, they suffered enormous casualties. This site is dedicated to the men who manned these little ships in the face of incredible danger, to the freedom they fought to preserve, and to the memories of the boys who didn't come home.

What is the USS LCI Association?
The USS LCI Association is an organization of US Navy Veterans who served on Landing Craft Infantry (LCI's) during World War II and now includes Widows and Affiliates who are relatives as well as friends with LCI interest.

Our organization is dedicated to remembering our history, educating others about the LCI's role in our nation's conflicts and honoring the memory of our shipmates who didn't come home.

On 6 June 1998, the 54th Anniversary of D-Day, a special ceremony was held at the US Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the veterans that served on LCI's.

LCI 450

LCI 450 after the battle for Iwo Jima.
Read her story here.

How many member does the organization have?
We currently have 779 Officers, Crewmen ,Widows and Affiliates in our files as of 12-2-2013. Our goal is to locate every man who served on an LCI during WWII. and those who are interested in carrying on the legacy of the little ships and the men who served on them.

Membership dues are $35/year, June 1st through May 31st..For reunion information, click on reunion tab on home page---or bottom of this PAGE.

If you're an LCI veteran or know someone who is and would like membership information, check the membership page.

lci 632

LCI 632. The images under the sailor indicate the three Japanese airplanes shot down by the ship.

Created for Father's Day 1998. xxx