Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) aka: Higgins Boats.
A bit of information on the LCVP, which served the LST as a tug, liberty boat, water ambulance, ferry, carrying of troops/vehicle to the beach, and as a lifeboat. There were few amphibious operations in the last years of World War II in which LCVPs did not take a major part.
The LCVP was designed to beach, lower a ramp, discharge men and cargo, retract, and return to its transport. The crew consisted of a coxswain, engineer, and two deck hands (bowman and sternman).
The design on the LCVP is credited to Andrew Higgins of Higgins Industries, Inc., New Orleans. Mr. Higgins designed both high-speed patrol craft and landing craft of various types. It was Mr Higgins landing craft though, that made the many D-Day landings possible in both theatres of WW II. The LCVP itself was based on a design Higgins had perfected in the 1930's. His Eureka model Mrwork boat was intended for use in the shallow swamps and bayous of Louisiana. The boat could operate in 18 inches of water while running over vegetation and debris without any damage. Special design features of the hull kept aerated water under the bow reducing friction and swept objects away from the boat preventing fouling of the propeller. With the addition of the bow ramp, the LCVP was complete.
Armed with 2x machine guns thering mountings aft, and the LCVP was conned from a position on the port quarter, forward of the engine compartment. On transports the LCVP could be carried on deck or in single to three-tier davits, the LCVP could be launched when loaded, but only from appropriate davits. Their use in beaching was simplified by the late stages of the war: driven hard ashore, they would be nudged off the trucks. Between 1942 and 1945, some 23,358 LCVPs were built.by
There were some minor design differences.The engine was either a 250-hp beach Hall-Scott gasoline, or a Gray 225-hp diesel. Diesel was preferred for the reduced fire hazard of fuel oil, although the gasoline engines produced a better power-to-weight ratio and could be used in continuous high-speed operation.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE HIGGINS INDUSTRIES 36-FOOT LCVP.
Crew: Three - Coxswain, Engineer and Crewman
Capacity: 36 Troops with gear and equipment, 6,000 pound vehicle, or 8,100 pounds of Cargo
Armament: Two .30-Cal Machine guns
Speed: 12 Knots
Draft: 3-Feet Aft and 2-Feet, 2-Inches Forward
Beam: 10-Feet, 10-Inches
Length: 36-Feet, 3-Inches
Displacement: 15,000 Pounds (light)
Construction Material: Wood (oak, pine and mahogany)
Power Plant: Gray 225-HP Diesel Engine