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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS LCI(G)-449
USS LCI(L)-449 (1943 - 1944)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Quebec - India - Oscar
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, Iwo Jima) - Presidential Unit Citation - Navy Unit Commendation
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal

Individual Awards

Medal of Honor (LTjg Rufus Herring, CO LCI(G)-449), Silver Star (LTjg Mittleman, Iwo Jima), Purple Hearts (41 Iwo Jima)
LCI-351 Class Landing Craft Infantry (Large):
  • Laid down, 17 June 1943 at New Jersey Shipbuilding, Barber, N.J.
  • Launched, 14 August 1943
  • Commissioned USS LCI(L)-449, 25 August 1943
  • Designation changed to Landing Craft Infantry (Gunboat) LCI(G)-449, 16 June 1944
  • During World War II USS LCI(L)-449 / LCI(G)-449 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LCI Flotilla Three, CDR M. J. Malanaphy;
    Group Eight, LCDR Nash
    and later LCI Flotilla Three, CDR. R. Kikel Jr. USNR;<
    LCI Group Nine, LCDR. C. J. Starkus (Ret)
    LCI Division Eighteen, and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 17 to 19 February 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 20 June to 16 July 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 17 to 21 July 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 21 to 30 June 1945
    Capture and occupation of Tinian
    10 July and 24 July to 1 August 1944

  • Decommissioned and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group, January 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 8 May 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 3 May 1948, for disposal
  • USS LCI(L)-449 / LCI(G)-449 earned five battle stars for World War II service in addition to the Presidential Unit Citation for operations at Iwo Jima, 17 February 1945 and the Navy Unit Commendation as a member of LCI(G) Flotilla 3 (31 January to 28 July 1944) for Occupation of Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls in the Marshall Islands and Capture and occupation of Saipan, Guam and Tinian in the Marianas
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 216 t.(light), 234 t.(landing); 389 t.(loaded)
    Length 158' 5 1/2"
    Beam 23' 3"
    Light 3'1½" mean
    Landing, 2' 8" forward, 4' 10"aft
    Loaded, 5' 4" forward 5' 11" aft
    Speed 16 kts (max.), 14 kts maximum continuous
    LCI(L) Complement
    3 Officers
    21 Enlisted
    LCI(G) Complement
    5 Officers
    65 Enlisted
    LCI(L) Troop Capacity
    6 Officers
    182 Enlisted
    LCI(L) 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 kts; and 110 tons of fuel
    LCI(L) Armament
    four single 20mm guns one forward, one amidship, two aft
    two .50cal machine guns
    LCI(G) Armament
    two 40mm guns
    four 20mm guns
    six .50cal machine guns
    ten MK7 rocket launchers
    Fuel Capacity 130 tons, lube oil 200 gal.
    two sets of 4 General Motors Diesel engines, 4 per shaft, BHP 1,600
    twin variable pitch propellers

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Source
    LCI(G)-449 131k USS LCI(G)-449 in drydock. This photo of LCI(G)-449 was taken either at Pearl Harbor before she received her camouflage paint scheme or at Saipan to repair battle damage sustained at Iwo Jima. Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 225k USS LCI(G)-449 at sea, date unknown, with B-29 bombers overhead. Photo was captioned "On to Iwo Jima", source unknown. Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 110k USS LCI(G)-449 at sea. While covering the UDT operations at Iwo Jima she would suffer 21 killed and 20 wounded. Her skipper, Rufus Herring, would receive the Medal Of Honor. Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 65k LCI(G)'s of Flotilla 3 Group 8 form a column as they prepare to attack Iwo Jima in support of UDT operations, 17 February 1945. Closest to furthest;
    USS LCI(G)-474 (sunk during the operation),
    USS LCI(G)-438,
    USS LCI(G)-449,
    USS LCI(G)-441 and
    USS LCI(G)-457
    Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 52k USS LCI(G)-449 off the invasion beaches at Iwo Jima. This photo was taken twenty minutes before heading into Iwo Jima to support the UDT swimmers on 17 Feb, 1945. PH3/c Leo McGrath volunteered to be aboard to take photos of the pre invasion mission. Almost thirty minutes after taking this photo he was killed by enemy batteries hidden in the caves of Suribachi. He only took two photographs and this was one of them Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 110k USS LCI(G)-449 transferring her casualties off Iwo Jima while alongside USS Terror (CM-5), 17 February 1945. Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(G)-449 80k Some of the few USS LCI(G)-449 crew (including Cliff Lemke S1/c kneeling first from left) who survived the Iwo Jima mission of 17 February 1945. Note the shrapnel holes in the conn and the tarp strapped over a hole on the conn. Dennis Blocker II for his grandfather Cliff Lemke S1/c USS LCI(G)-449
    LCI(L)-80 73k USS LCI(G)-449 lies alongside USS LCI(G)-80 as the enter USS ABSD-6, probably at Guam, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    503k USS LCI(G)-345
    USS LCI(G)-346
    USS LCI(G)-449
    USS LCI(G)-437
    USS LCI(G)-348
    USS LC(FF)-423
    alongside USS Seaward (IX-209) and LCT(6)-1314 at anchor in the far distant background at Naval Station Guam in July 1945.
    TimeLife_image 115952714 by J. R. Eyerman. Life Magazine. For personal non-commercial use only.
    David Upton

    The history for USS LCI(L)-449 / LCI(G)-449 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

    Crew Contact Information
    Contact Dennis Blocker
    Address 6138 Border Trail, San Antonio, Texas 78240
    E-mail LCI449@yahoo,com

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Landing Craft Infantry National Association
    The book is "The Heart of Hell" written by Pulitzer Winner Mitch Weiss
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 5 November 2021