Subject: The Sacrifice of the US Army Infantry
by Samuel J. Rizzo
I ask you to consider this.
The U.S. Army Infantry comprised only 15% of all the service men in WWII. Yet they sustained some 70% of all combat casualties! Those are the men we were privileged to carry and put on the beaches. I feel if we stress their accomplishments, and show them disembarking from LCI's as we put these frightened but brave men ashore all over the world we could be accomplish a lasting memory. We would also gain support from all those combat infantrymen.
We are only important because of them, not because of what we did. We just helped them get to their jobs. In truth in the landings I was in, in the Pacific, after we put these men on the beaches, we "ran to safety" so to say. All we had
to do was move "things" and help fight the Kamikazes, and that kept us
I feel, there is never going to be enough done, or said or honor given those men who are "Combat Infantrymen" and we had a small part of helping
them do their job. A memorial to them, showing us helping them get ashore
is what I want if I had my way.
Samuel J. Rizzo
Subject: LCI Association
Dear LCI Association Members,
Your thoughts about the LCI passengers adds another important dimension to LCI history. Who were the passengers? To start a list: I know the LCI-91 delivered combat infantry soldiers with their weapons and gear, nurses to care for the wounded, and African mercenaries called Ghoums(with lice) from Bizerte to Sicily. I have pictures of all three.
There were other passengers who each had a mission important for the war effort. The LCI-91 is one of the four LCIs lost on D-Day, while beaching 201 men from the Headquarters 116th Infantry, 147th and 121st Engineers Battalion, and 7th Beach Battalion on Dog White Omaha Beach at their scheduled time of 0740 as reported by my father.
What I know about their fate is beyond what is appropriate for todays letter. How do you honor the combat soldiers and LCI crew members? Documenting the combined knowledge from survivors will help maintain the memory required to honor all those involved with WWII. This includes the multitude of relatively small D-Days in the Pacific.
In 1992 Congress authorized construction of the National D-Day Museum to be built in New Orleans. Documents collected by the Eisenhower Center, part of the University of New Orleans will be combined with physical exhibits for rotating display at this new museum. Stephen Ambrose donated royalties from his best selling book D-Day to the museum and is given credit as a founder.
The facility is under construction and will open June 6, 2000. The 70,000 sq. ft. facility is located at the National D-Day Museum, 923 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 70130. The phone number is 504-527-6012. Their web site is www.ddaymuseum.org. Stephen Ambrose was the Chief Historical consultant for the video Turning Point - The Soldier Story narrated by Peter Jennings that gives credit to infantry soldiers. The museum, book, and video are current examples of maintaining the memory.
What is the status of the LCI Association regarding our contribution of information to the University or new museum? At the Museum, Mr. Kenneth Hoffman, is the Curator of Education. There are several other managers with a variety of titles, but no principal curator in place today. I have talked with Mr. Hoffman and he said there is a link with the LCI Association but was not specific.
I asked him about sending family records. He suggested sending information to Mr. C.J. Roberts, Chief Administrative Officer. He may forward input to the Eisenhower Center. If you want to recognize the combat infantrymen and LCIs, consider searching for photos of soldiers charging the beaches from LCIs, etc.
Back to earth, a friend brought me sand from both Omaha and Utah Beaches from his vacation in Normandy this summer.The sand is in small labelled bottles below my Lt. Arend Vyn, WWII display. adding to my WWII library he brought back the 1993 book Normandy, 1944î by Remy Desquesnes, and the new 1999 book The Beaches of the D-Day Landings, by Yves Lecouturier. The second book has color pictures of war memorials in Normandy.
Involvement with my fathers WWII experience continues with new interest.
Respectfully, Franklin J. Vyn, Representing USCG Lt. Arend Vyn, CO. LCI-91Did you serve as an Infantryman manning 4.2 Mortars on LCIs?
Glad to see this site. I am a Military researcher doing research on the use of LCI's with 4.2 Mortars on them, manned by Infantrymen from mortar platoons. I am presently researching men of Company D of the 111th Infantry Regiment mortar platoon who served on LCI 741 from 30 Jul 1944 to 5 Feb 1945 and who were involved in the Peleliu invasion. If anyone served on one of these 4.2 in mortar LCI's I would be interested in hearing from you. =20 For those that are interested, the deck logs of most all of the LCI's are available at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park Maryland. Also there is an collection of LCI photos by hull number for most LCI's in the Still Photo branch at the Archives.
J.D. Bowen Subject: LCI(L) 997 And The Gathering at Battleship Texas
My father, John Boyd Rosen, Lt (jg), who died in 1991, served on LCI(L) 997. He was the skipper (or whatever the correct nomenclature is). I would be very interested to hear from any of the crew of LCI(L) 997.
When this ship was commissioned at Orange, Texas, my mother and I came down from Oklahoma for it. As I was either two or three years old, this is possibly the earliest thing in my life that I recall. I can remember walking what seemed like a long way across boards to get to the ship. I can remember eating a meal onboard (and a sailor telling me that sailors always eat their tomatoes). And I can remember ascending to the deck on a gangway that seems like it was on the port side. These are good memories, even though I realize that memory can play tricks on a person, especially so long later and having been so young, and that things may not have been exactly as I have them pictured.
Last week I saw an article in the Houston Chronicle about the gathering of LCI veterans at the Battleship Texas for the dedication of a model of an LCI. I called Mr. Barney Cardwell, whose name and picture were included in the article and learned from him of the existence of the LCI website and also the time for the event on the Texas. Although I didn't meet Mr. Cardwell there, I did go for a small portion of the event and enjoyed it very much.
While there, I took a couple of pictures of some of the gentlemen with the LCI model, met Mr. Elmer Jackson whose LCI may have been in the same flotilla as my dad's, and met an infantryman who had been delivered ashore by LCI and who had been invited to attend by Mr. Harvey Daves (who I think had helped organize this).
I wish my dad and mom (both deceased) could have been there. This event gave me a chance to personally thank the veterans that I met - something that I think should be done often. Thank you all very, very much! Dave Rosen
Francis Allen, LCI 545(G)
My father, Francis Allen, was on LCI 545(G) in a flotilla of about 10-12
boats that were the first to land on Leyte Oct 20th, 1944. He is very
interested in getting more information. I have copied every page on your web
sight and he is thrilled to read them. I am helping my father write his story and will submit it to you. Thank you in advance,
"Linda KellySubject: LCI(G) 68 - Duke Hulstedt
I'm writing on behalf of my sister who was married to Vernor (Duke) G.
Hulstedt, GM1c. Duke passed away in December 1997. I have a 4 page copy of
the LCI(G)68's steaming log from Oct 15, 1943 to May 8, 1945.
Duke joined the ship as S2c after boot camp at Great Lakes USNTS. I have a
REPORT OF EXAMINATION IN RATING for promotion to GM1c for Duke dated 1 August
1945. Duke never talked about his wartime experiences to either my brother or me.
It must have been quite traumatic based on the ship's log
The names on the REPORT OF EXAMINATION are: Ens SI Palunsky, Ens EM Rogers,
Lt(jg) Lowell "E" Miller. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who served
on the LCI(G)68 during the above period of September 1943 and August 1945.
Jerry Bruemmer, CAPT, USNR(Ret)
Looking for shipmates of my father
My father Henry P. Williams was a Lt. J.G. and an engineering officer on an LCI in the invasions of the Marshall Islands, the Mariannas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. His flotilla placed frogmen into the surf at Iwo Jima and later in the day went back in to retrieve the swimmers. His LCI's were rocket firing craft bombarding Japanese-held shore facilities. I am looking for any ship mates who may remember serving with him.
Thanks for your attention. "Carroll Williams", Melbourne, Florida.
Subject: LCI 553, LCI 543, LCI 544
I served on LCI 553 and my hight school buddy served on LCI 543 along
with it and the 544. They left San Diego and crossed the Pacific alone. His name is Lloyd (Gus) Matheny and he was a signalman. He would like to locate anyone on either of these 2 ships. We have been friends for 60 years.
Use my address if you would like to contact him.
Robert Leach, LCI 553