USS Rankin (AKA-103)
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LCVP - Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel
The LCVP was actually a modification of the Higgins Industries 'Eureka' boat, the Navy version of which was the LCPL. It was the most numerous of WWII's famous Higgins Boats.

It was basically constructed of wood, and was used in transporting fully armed troops, light vehicles, and other equipment and supplies essential to amphibious operations. It was these boats that made the D-Day landings at Normandy, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and hundreds of lesser-known places possible.
LCVP with Ramp Down
Without Higgins' uniquely designed craft there could not have been a mass landing of troops and material on European shores or on the beaches of the Pacific islands, at least not without a tremendously higher rate of Allied casualties.

The LCVP could land a platoon of 36 men with their equipment, or a jeep and 12 men, extract itself quickly, turn around without broaching in the surf, and go back out to get more troops and/or supplies. This was critical—any landing craft that could not extract itself would hinder the ability of succeeding waves to reach the beachhead. The tough, highly maneuverable Higgins boats allowed Allied commanders to plan their assaults on relatively less-defended coastline areas and then support a beachhead staging area rather than be forced to capture a port city with wharves and facilities to offload men and material. The 20,000+ Higgins boats manufactured by Higgins Industries and others licensed to use Higgins designs landed more Allied troops during the war than all other types of landing craft combined.

The use of LCVPs declined over time, and in its 1989-1990 edition, Jane's Fighting Ships listed only 138 of the craft in the entire United States Navy.



LCVP - Encyclopaedia Britannica

Specifications for the Higgins Industries 36-foot LCVP
Construction Material:
 Wood (oak, pine and mahogany)
Displacement:
 15,000 Pounds (light)
Length:
 36' 3"
Beam:
 10' 10"
Draft:
 3' aft, 2' 2" forward
Speed:
 12 Knots
Armament:
 Two .30-Caliber Machine Guns
Crew:
 Three - Coxswain, Engineer and Crewman
Capacity:
 8,100 Pounds of Cargo
Power Plant:
 Gray 225-HP Diesel Engine


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From ONI 226, Allied Landing Craft and Ships, published in June 1944 by the Division of Naval Intelligence:
LCVP ONI 226
5/21/16
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LCVP Engine
LCVP Engine