Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Commissioned: 23 January 1943
Decommissioned: 9 April 1946
Disposition: Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 20 August 1947
Length: 158' 6" oa
Beam: 23' 3"
Draft: 2' 8" (forward), 5' 3" (aft -- beaching condition)
Displacement: 216 tons (light); 234 tons (beaching condition); 389 tons (full load)
Propulsion: 8 x GM diesels; twin shafts (4 diesels per shaft); 1,600 hp; twin variable-pitch propellers
Range: 4,000 @ 12 knots
Top Speed: 15.5 knots
Complement: 3 officers, 21 enlisted
Cargo capacity: 75 tons
Initial armament: 4 x 20mm (single-mount): 1 forward, 1 amidships, 2 aft; 2 x .50 caliber; 2" plastic splinter armor on gun shields, conning tower, and pilot house.
LT George F. Hutchinson, Jr., USCGR: 23 January 1943 -
LT(jg) Lester Brauser: 5 December 1944 -
ENS George W. Miller: 2 February 1946 -
LT(jg) Warren D. Ayers: 9 March 1946 -
History: Flotilla 4 / 10 / 35, Group 103, Division 205
The Coast Guard-manned USS LCI(L)-83 was commissioned on 23 January 1943 under the command of LT George F. Hutchinson, Jr., USCGR. She was assigned to LCI(L) Flotilla 4. After undergoing shakedown and training exercises, she sailed across the Atlantic in company with the other LCI(L)s of the flotilla and participated in the North African occupation in Tunisia, from 1 June to 9 July 1943. She then landed troops during the invasion of Sicily on 9 July 1943 and the landings at Salerno on 9 September 1943.
She then sailed for England as part of the same flotilla, now renamed Flotilla 10, in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. She crossed the English Channel on the night of June 5th in preparation for landing troops on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944. Unable to find a clear path through the obstacles on the beach that morning, she hove to off shore and prepared to disembark her troops onto LCVPs which would then land the troops ashore but there were insufficient numbers of the small landing craft available. The officers called all of the troops to the main deck and prepared to beach around 10:00 a.m. and headed towards the beach. The 83s engineering officer, LTJG A. R. Anderson, USCGR, noted: "We figured we might hit a mine and if we did it was better to have the men on topside." She hit a mined obstacle as she closed the beach and the mine detonated, damaging the number two troop compartment. The remaining troops successfully disembarked the damaged landing craft and the crew abandoned what they though was a lost ship. They took cover on the beach.
Later that afternoon after the tide had gone out and stranded the landing craft on the beach, some of the crew returned to gather blankets for the wounded as well as rations. Navy demolition crews cleared the area around and behind the beached LCI while the officers and men decided how best to save their craft. The crew returned to her later that evening and after patching the hole in the hull as best as they could, and with all of her pumps working, she managed to be refloated. She waited off the beaches for permission to return to England and the next day was escorted by two tugs she managed to limp her way back across the Channel to Weymouth. She was patched there and then sailed to Plymouth for dry-docking and permanent repairs. She was back in action off Omaha Beach two weeks later. Here she continued with cross-Channel operations until she struck a mine on 17 June. Once again she was damaged but she was repaired and returned to service.
She departed England on 5 October 1944 and arrived at the Charleston Navy Yard on 24 October 1944. She sailed to Little Creek, Virginia on 3 December 1944 and then to Norfolk, Virginia on the 10th. She then set sail for the Pacific with the once again renamed LCI Flotilla 35, via Key West, Florida, Canal Zone, and San Diego. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 13 April 1945 as part of the same flotilla, now renamed Flotilla 35.
Departing Pearl Harbor on 20 April 1945, she proceeded to Okinawa via Eniwetok, Guam, and Ulithi, arriving on 28 May 1945. Here she was assigned to smoke screen duty for major war vessels bombarding the Naha area. These duties continued until early September. On 11 September 1945 she reached Wakayama as part of the Mine Destruction Unit in Kii Suido. On 25 October 1945 she joined a task group engaged in destroying mines in the Korean Straits between Korea and Sentinal Island. A broken propeller shaft brought her back to Sasebo on 1 November 1945, where she remained until the 25th undergoing repairs.
She departed Guam on 5 December 1945 for return to the U.S., and reached Galveston, Texas, on 2 March 1946, via Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Canal Zone. She was decommissioned and her Coast Guard crew removed on 9 April 1946.
The LCI(L)-83 earned five battle stars for her service in World War II. All LCI(L)s of Flotilla 10 were retroactively awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation for their service in the invasion of Normandy.
LCI(L) file, Coast Guard Historian's Office.
United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard At War. V. Transports and Escorts. Vol. 2. Washington: Public Information Division, Historical Section, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, May 1, 1949, pp. 117-130.