Also known as Higgins Boats, Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) craft were used for amphibious landings in World War II and the Korean War. The first draft boat was created by Andrew J. Higgins in 1926 for use in swamp and marsh areas. The length of the wooden craft was approximately 36 feet long, could speed at 12 knots, had a crew of four, and could carry about 36 servicemen. The armament included two .30 caliber machine guns. The craft was carried by destroyers, transports, and cargo ships. During World War II, in the European and African regions, LCVPs were used during Operation Torch, the Italian Campaign, Operation Overlord, and Operation Dragoon, along with the Crossing of the Rhine. In the Pacific, they were used for the Guadalcanal Campaign, Battle of Tarawa, Battle for Iwo Jima, and the Okinawa Campaign.
For the Korean War, they were invaluable to the landings at Inchon in September 1950. The craft also assisted in the Evacuation of Chinese from Tachen Island off China in 1955, and Operation Blue Bat, the landing of U.S. Army and Marine Corps in Lebanon during the crisis in July 1958. For their service in World War II, General "Howling Mad" Smith, USMC, believed they, "did more to win the war in the Pacific than any other single piece of equipment." Over 20,000 LCVPs were built in the 1940s and 1950s but only a fewer than 10 survive.
A model of an LCVP is on display in the "In Harm's Way: Atlantic" exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76.
An LCVP is on display in the "Korea 1950-53-The Navy in the Forgotten War" exhibit at the Cold War Gallery, Bldg. 70. The craft was restored in 1999 by the USS Constitution Maintenance and Repair Facility in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image: 80-G-54385: U.S. troops file down landing net of USS George Clymer (APA-27) into an LCVP for trip to shore in attack on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.