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Sandpiper II (LCI(L)-1008)

(LCI(L)-1008: dp. 393 (f.) ; l. 158'6"; b. 23'8"; dr. 5'8"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 40; trp. 194; a. 5 20mm.; cl. LCI(L)-351)

A shore bird related to the plovers and snipes.


The second Sandpiper was laid down as LCI(L)-1008 on 29 April 1944 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched on 25 May 1944; delivered on 14 June 1944; and commissioned on 19 June 1944, Lt. (jg.) W. A. Green, USNR, in command.

A week after commissioning, LCI(L)-1008, an oceangoing infantry carrier designed for direct unloading onto the beach on reinforcement runs, assumed the duties of flagship of LCI Group 71. Into July, she conducted shakedown training in the Gulf of Mexico; then, on the 29th, she sailed for the Panama Canal and the Admiralties. On 22 September, she arrived in Seeadler Harbor, Manus, where she joined the 7th Fleet's Amphibious Force.

For the next three weeks, she remained in the Manus area, conducting beaching, towing, and gunnery exercises and performing local ferry operations. She then shifted to Hollandia, New Guinea, whence she continued her training exercises and lifted troops along that island's coast and to New Britain through the end of the year. On 3 January 1945, the 1008 departed Humboldt Bay for the Philippines; and she arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on the 9th. At the end of the month, she sailed for Mindoro, where she filled local troop and cargo transportation needs, primarily on runs between the San Jose-Mangarin Bay area, Bulalacao Bay, and Calapan. In February, she returned to Leyte; carried Americal Division units to Samar; then moved back to San Pedro Bay, whence she again sailed for Mindoro.

On 6 March, she loaded troops of the 41st Infantry Division and their equipment at the San Jose beaches; then shifted to Mangarin Bay, whence she sailed for Mindanao and Operation "Victor IV," the landings on the Zamboanga peninsula. She arrived off "Yellow Beach" early on the morning of the 10th. At 0700, the cruisers and destroyers of the attack force commenced shelling the assault area. B-24's joined in the pre-invasion bombardment and made six runs over the area. At 0915, the first wave went in and LCI(L)-1008 moved toward the departure line. At 0945, she headed in with the 7th wave. At 0955, she lowered her ramps on the beach; and, by 1007, she had offloaded and retracted. On the 11th, she departed the area and set a course for Leyte.

The LCI(L) returned to San Pedro Bay on the 13th; and, on the 19th, got underway for New Guinea. Arriving at Hollandia on the 25th, she continued on to Finschhafen on the 27th; loaded troops of the 93d Infantry; and, on the 31st, sailed for Morotai to prepare for the assault on Tarakan, Operation "Oboe I." From 10 to 23 April, she conducted training exercises off Morotai. On the 23d, she loaded Royal Australian Air Force personnel and equipment; and, on the 27th, she sailed for Borneo. On 1 May, she participated in the landings on the south coast of Tarakan, offloaded her passengers near Lingkas, then assumed towing duties. On 5 May, she headed back to Morotai.

Gunnery, beaching, towing, and salvage exercises took LCI(L)-1008 into June. On the 21st, loading for Operation "Oboe II" began, with the LCI(L) shuttling troops of the 7th Australian Infantry Division to ships waiting off the Morotai beaches. On the 25th, she embarked her contingent of 165 officers and men; and, on the 26th, she sailed for Balikpapan.

The attack force arrived off its objective soon after 0500 on 1 July. The naval bombardment began at 0700; and, at 0900, the first waves went in. LCI(L)-1008 remained in the transport area throughout the day; and, on the morning of the 2d, moved onto "Green Beach," lowering her ramps at 0815 and retracting at 0846. Ten hours later, she sailed for Morotai, whence, on the 12th, she continued on to Leyte.

Arriving at mid-month, the LCI(L) participated in Leyte-to-Luzon troop movements through the end of July; and, on 5 August, began ferrying passengers, mail, and cargo on a regular run between Tacloban, Leyte, and Guiuan, Samar. She remained in the Philippines after the end of World War II and continued that shuttle service until detached with orders to return to the United States on 17 November.

Three days later, LCI(L)-1008 departed the Philippines; and, after stops at Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, arrived at San Diego toward the end of January 1946. Then ordered inactivated, she departed California in April and proceeded to New Orleans, where she was decommissioned on 5 August 1946. In October, she was berthed with the Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Fla.

LCI(L)-1008 was redesignated LSIL-1008 on 28 February 1949. She was named Sandpiper and reclassified AMCU-38 on 7 March 1952. She remained at Green Cove Springs until 1954, when she was transferred to the Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. There, redesignated MHC-38 on 7 February 1955, she remained until struck from the Navy list on 1 January 1960. Nine months later, she was transferred to the Miami (Fla.) Power Squadron.

LCI(L)-1008 earned two battle stars for her service during World War II.

Published: Wed Sep 02 11:50:09 EDT 2015