Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Commissioned: 2 February 1943
Decommissioned: 9 April 1946
Disposition: Transferred to the Maritime Commission on 19 March 1947 for disposal.
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 William B. Cole, USCGR
LT Henry K. Rigg, USCGR
ENS William G. Marohl
LTJG John R. Allumns
LTJG William G. Marohl
History: Flotilla 4 / 10 / 35
The Coast Guard-manned USS LCI(L)-88 was commissioned on 2 February 1943. 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. The 88 landed troops on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944. Her "Action Report" for the invasion of Normandy reads as follows:
From: Commanding Officer, U.S.S. LCI(L) 88
To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
Via: 1. Deputy Assault Group Commander 124.3
2. Assault Group Commander 124.3
3. Task Force Commander 124
Subject: Action report; operation NEPTUNE
1. During operation , this vessel was attached to Task Unit 124.3.01, which departed in convoy from Weymouth, England, on 5 June 1944, and arrived in the assault force transport area, Omaha sector, at 0300B, 6 June 1944. This vessel beached on schedule at 0735B, 6 June, the first LCI(L) on EASY RED beach. Despite enemy machine gun and shell fire, all army personnel were disembarked except one wounded private. Prior to withdrawing from the beach at 0739, a direct shell hit was received on the starboard side forward, damaging the starboard ramp beyond repair, and killing one man, wounding mortally one man, of the ship's crew. One man was missing in action, believed killed by gunfire while ashore with the life-line for troops, in performance of his assigned duty. Upon retracting from the beach, this vessel proceeded to the transport area, receiving and transporting a number of casualties and survivors. For the duration of the assault phase, this unit was employed in ferry service and the assistance of other vessels.
2. There were no further engagements with the enemy. This vessel did not fire its 20mm guns. All damage has been repaired. The subsequent employment of the vessel was in shuttle service and as control ship for ROGER WHITE beach of UTAH sector.
3. At all times, and particularly when under fire, the crew functioned as a perfect team, and at no time did a single man flinch or falter in the performance of his duties. The crew cannot be commended strongly enough for their calm courage and efficient performance in the face if the grave dangers to which they were subjected. No one could have done more, and it is entirely due to their efforts that this vessel was able to continue to operate during the initial assault.
She was reported lost in the French Invasion area on 18 September 1944, but that report was later cancelled. She returned to Charleston, South Carolina on 24 October 1944, and after an availability for overhaul and repair at the Charleston Navy Yard until 5 December 1944, proceeded to Little Creek, Virginia, for amphibious training until the 13th and then to Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Virginia until December 26th, when she departed for San Diego, via Key West and the Canal Zone. The 88 remained at San Diego attached to Ship Training Group, Naval Repair Base, San Diego, California. On 3 April 1945 she departed for Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Guam, Ulithi, Leyte and Okinawa, where she finally arrived at Hagushi on 29 May 1945. Flotilla 10 was once again reclassified, this time as Flotilla 35, and was placed under the command of LCDR Blair A. Walliser, USCGR. He flew his flag from the 88, which was under the command of LTJG John Allumns, USCGR.
On 31 May 1945, she anchored at Yanabaru Wan, Okinawa, standing by to make smoke for the USS West Virginia (BB-48), USS New Orleans (CA-32) and USS Portland (CA-33). On June 6th she proceeded to Kerama Rhetto escorting LCI(L)-90 which had been damaged by Japanese suicide planes. She returned on June 7th to Nagagusuki Wan to again make smoke, being at general quarters on numerous occasions as red alerts were sounded. On June 11th, the LCT area was under attack by Japanese planes. She continued to make smoke and kept almost continually at general quarters until she departed for Wakayama, Japan on September 8th.
She arrived at Wakayama, Japan on mine destruction duty on September 11th, and from then until 19 October 1945, when she departed for Sasebo arriving on the 21st. On October 25th she departed on operation "Klondike," Mine Destruction in the East China Sea area, returning to Sasebo on November 8th. On 25 November 1945, the 88 departed Sasebo for Guam, arriving there 2 December 1945.
On 5 December 1945, she departed Guam for home, arriving at Galveston, Texas, on 19 February 1946, via Pearl Harbor, San Diego and the Canal Zone. The LCI(L)-88 was decommissioned at Orange, Texas, on 9 April 1946.
The LCI(L)-88 earned six 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.