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LCI(L) Landing Craft Infantry (Large)
[re-classified LSI Landing Ship Infantry]
- circa 1944 -
LCIs - designed to deliver soldiers and marines quickly during an amphibious assault - proved their worth during invasions in North Africa, Italy, D-Day and the Pacific. Nicknamed the "Water bug Navy", the ships and men who served on them did the dirty work of bringing invasion troops right up to the fighting and providing close-in fire support with machine guns and rockets. In doing so, they suffered enormous casualties.
The LCI(L) Landing Craft Infantry (Large) vessels had a ramp on each side of the bow that was lowered to permit infantrymen to debark after the ship beached. Faster and more maneuverable than the LSTs, they were uncomfortable at sea with 188 soldiers aboard, and a crew of only 24 men.
A total of 923 Landing Craft, Infantry (Large), or LCI(L)s, were built by 10 shipyards in the USA from 1942 to 1944. There were a number of different configurations for LCIs. Some of the configurations included; LCI(L) Large, LCI(R) Rocket, LCI(G) Gunboat, LCI(M) Mortar, and LC(FF) Flotilla Flagship. Some were manned by Coast Guard crews. All LCI's in the US inventory were reclassified Landing Ship Infantry LSI on February 28,1949.
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