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Lost to enemy air attack at Lae, New Guinea, 4 September 1943

USS LCI(L)-339

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal

Personnel Awards

Navy Cross and Purple Heart - LTjg. Fay B. Begor MC-V(G), USNR

LCI-1 Class Landing Craft Infantry (Large):
  • Laid down circa September 1942 at Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX.
  • Launched circa September-October 1942
  • Commissioned USS LCI(L)-339, 30 December 1942
  • During World War II USS LCI(L)-339 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates
    Eastern New Guinea operation
    Lae occupation, 4 September 1943
  • Lost through enemy action, 4 September 1943 during the Eastern New Guinea operation at Lae
    "LCI 339 had dropped anchor about 150 yards from the beach and came in for the unwelcome attention of three VAL bombers and three ZERO fighters approaching on the starboard side. LTJG James Tidball, USNR, her Commanding Officer, ordered fire opened, but the fighters began strafing almost continuously, riddling her with holes from stem to stern and causing considerable damage amongst the troops." "Dr. Begor was treating the wounded until the bombers released their bombs at about 1,500 feet, bracketing the ship with near misses to port and starboard, but scoring a direct hit just forward of the pilot house, blasting a large hole in the deck. The 339, nonetheless, gained the beach to carry out her mission, though in a sinking condition."
    Source DANFS.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS LCI(L)-339 earned one battle star for World War II service
    Displacement 236 t.(light), 264 t.(landing), 419 t.(loaded)
    Length 158' 5½"
    Beam 23' 3"
    Light, 3'1½" mean
    Landing, 2' 8" forward, 4' 10" aft
    Loaded, 5' 4" forward, 5' 11" aft
    16 kts (max.)
    14 kts maximum continuous
    4 officers
    24 enlisted
    Troop Capacity
    6 officers
    182 enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 75 tons
    Armor 2" plastic splinter protection on gun turrets, conning tower and pilot house
    Endurance 4,000 miles at 12 kts, loaded, 500 miles at 15 knots; and 110 tons of fuel
    five single 20mm guns, one bow mounted, one each port and starboard forward of wheelhouse, one each port and starboard aft of wheelhouse
    on some LCIs two .50 cal machine guns were added
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 860 Bbls
    lube oil 200 gal
    two sets of 4 General Motors 6051 series 71 Diesel engines, 4 per shaft
    single General Motors Main reduction gears
    two Diesel-drive 30Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    twin variable pitch propellers, 2,320shp

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    Size Image Description Source
    LCI(L)-339 37k Officers of USS LCI(L)-339, on the left is ENS Harlan Moen, Executive Officer; in the center is thought to be LTjg James Tidball, Commanding Officer; and on the right is LTjg Fay Begor, M.D., the group medical officer. Photo courtesy of John Vickerman for his uncle, Harlan Moen. Photo is from the USS National Associations newsletter "The Elsie Item", October 2007 issue. Ardie Hunt
    LCI(L)-339 76k USS LCI(L)-339 crew members relaxing, date and location unknown. Photo courtesy John Vickerman for his uncle, Harlan Moen. Photo is from the USS National Associations newsletter "The Elsie Item", October 2007 issue. Ardie Hunt
    LCI(L)-339 378k The fatally damaged USS LCI(L)-339 after being strafed by Japanese Zeros and bombed by Betty and Val bombers on 4 September 1943 during the Lae, New Guinea landings. LCI(L)-339 was bracketed by 200 lb bombs, one on the starboard side, one on the port side, and a direct hit forward of the pilot house.
    Photo from USS LCI National Associations newsletter, "Elsie Item", September 2017 issue/
    Ardie Hunt

    The history for USS LCI(L)-339 is from USS LCI "Landing Craft Infantry", Vol. II. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, © 1995. (ISBN 1-56311-262-0)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Landing Craft Infantry National Association

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 16 February 2018