USS Adair's LCVP's
were produced by Chris Craft
Higgins Industries produced the majority of the LCVPs used during WWII but the design was licensed to 21 other manufacturers produced a total of 23,398 of these remarkable boats during the course of the war.
Adair had (26) LCVP's and (2) LCM's
The Landing Craft
Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) was a 36 foot wooden boat used to ferry troops, small vehicles and
supplies from an anchored transport ship to the beach and back.
On a typical run to the beach, an LCVP could carry 36 combat troops or about
8,000 pounds of supplies. They were 36 feet 3 inches in length and 10 feet 10
inches in width (the "beam" in nautical talk). Their displacement was about 9
tons and they could make about 12 knots under load. They were powered by a six
cylinder, water cooled Gray Marine Diesel engine generating 225 HP turning a
single propeller. Hull material was of oak, pine and mahogany.
One of the more interesting aspects of the LCVP was their shallow draft. For a
boat as large as the LCVP, they only drew 3 feet of water at the stern, 2 feet
midships, and an incredible 2 inches at the bow.
The standard crew compliment was a coxswain (the "driver"), a motor mechanic, and two other crewmen, one for the bow hook and one for the stern hook (these hooks were used to raise and lower the boat into the ship and for other purposes.)
The boats were carried on the deck of their transport and were lowered into
the water by the ship's cranes. Once in the water, the boats were filled with
troops via nets hung over the side of the ship or the cranes were used to fill
them with other supplies. On command, the boats headed for their designated
landing spots on the beach.
Len: 36', Beam: 11', Wt: 18,500, Cap: 8,100, Per: 36
Len: 56', Beam: 14', Wt: 56,000, Cap: 68,000, Per: 120
Photos from: http://www.qadas.com/~epm/tulare/lcm_draw.html#LCM
The LCVP had a large ramp in the bow that dropped as the boat approached the shore. In theory, the ramp would drop onto a sandy beach and allow the troops to disembark rapidly. In practice, the coral reefs of the Pacific often meant that the troops would have to leave the boat as much as 100 yards from the shore. Due to the weight of their combat gear, the depth of the water, and the proximity of hostile forces, many died before reaching the beach.
On leaving the beach, now loaded with returning troops, or wounded, the two crewmen would manually crank the ramp up, sometimes under fire from the shore. The boat would back out, turn and head for the ship.
The boats were lightly armored on the ramp and from the ramp back to the coxswain's position. The armor plating was typically quarter inch steel which was only effective against small arms fire. The boats also carried two .30 caliber machine guns for self defense.