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(Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel): A bit of information on the LCVP, which served the LST as a tug, liberty boat, water ambulance, ferry, carrying of troops/vehicle to the beach, and as a lifeboat.  There were few amphibious operations in the last years of World War II in which LCVPs did not take a major part.  The LCVP was designed to beach, lower a ramp, discharge  men and cargo, retract, and return to its transport. The crew consisted of a coxswain, engineer, and two deck hands (bowman and sternman). 

The design on the LCVP is credited to Mr. Andrew Higgins of Higgins Industries, Inc., New Orleans.  Mr.  Higgins designed both high speed patrol craft and landing craft of various types.  It was Mr. Higgins landing craft though, that made the many D-Day landings possible in both theaters of WW II.  The LCVP itself was based on a design Mr. Higgins had perfected in the 1930's.  His Eureka model workboat was intended for use in the shallow swamps and bayous of Louisiana.  The boat could operate in 18 inches of water while running over vegetation and debris without any damage.  Special design features of the hull kept aerated water under the bow reducing friction and swept objects away from the boat preventing fouling of the propeller.  With the addition of the bow ramp, the LCVP was complete.

Armored, with 2 machine guns in ring mountings aft, and the LCVP was conned from a position on the port quarter, forward of the engine compartment.  On transports the LCVP could be carried on deck or in single to three-tier davits , the LCVP could be launched when loaded, but only from appropriate davits.  Their use in beaching was simplified by the late stages of the war:  driven hard ashore, they would be nudged off the beach by trucks.  Between 1942 and 1945, some 23,358 LCVPs were built. 

There were some minor design differences.  The engine was either a Hall Scott 250-hp gasoline, or a Gray 225-hp diesel.  Diesel was preferred for the reduced fire hazard of fuel oil, although the gasoline engines produced a better power-to-weight ratio and could be used in continuous high-speed operation.

The LCVP Specifications:


Hull:                                wood (oak, pine, mahogany)

Length:                            36-feet    

Beam:                             10-feet, 5-1/4-inches  

Draft:                              26-inches forward, 36 inches aft

Displacement (empty):     18,000 lbs

Speed:                        12 knots

Crew size:                        3

Engine:                             Gas or Diesel

Range:                             100 miles @ 9-knots

Armor:                            1/4-inch STS on ramp and sides

Armament:                       2  -  30-caliber machine guns

Loads:                             36 troops;  or, 3-ton truck;  or, 8,100 lbs of cargo



Gray Diesel Marine Engine

    Number of Cylinders:            6

    Bore & Stroke:                     4-1/4”  x  5”

    Displacement & HP:              425 cu.in.  [ HP = 225 @ 2100 RPM ]

    Compression Ratio:               16:1

     Exhaust valves/cyl:                2

    Main bearings:                       7

    Lube oil capacity:                   20 - 30 quarts (dry engine) SAE-30

    Firing Order Model 64:          1-5-3-6-2-4  (turns a right handed propeller)

    Firing Order Model 65 :         1-4-2-6-3-5  (turns a left handed propeller) [crankshaft rotation is opposite propeller’s]

    Starter/Generator                   32-volts


Additional Sources

    http://www.higginsboat.org - The Higgins Boat Project built an authenticate LCVP for display at the National D-Day Musuem.