The LSM is an ocean-going amphibious assault ship 203’ 6” long, with a beam of 34’ 6”. During 1944-45 the crews consisting of 48 enlisted men and 4 officers were assembled and trained at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA. The ship could transport 50 troops and 6 Mark VI medium tanks. Armament was 1 Bofers twin or a single 40mm cannon, 4 each 20mm anti-aircraft guns and 7 each 50 caliber machine guns (this could vary). She was powered by two diesel engines [ General Motors Model 16-278A or Fairbanks Morse Model 38D8 1/8 x 10] with 2,800 shaft horsepower and a speed of 13 knots. LSMs were flat bottomed and drew 6-7 feet when loaded. Their primary mission was to transport tanks, vehicles, equipment, personnel and supplies to the beaches.
Beaching was accomplished by dropping a stern anchor approximately 100 yds from the beach, and then running up on the beach usually between 2/3 and full speed ahead. The bow doors were opened and the ramp lowered to off-load the cargo. The twin propellers were sometimes kept running in the ahead mode to keep the ship on the beach as she was unloading. Retracting from the beach was accomplished by reversing the engines and hauling in the stern anchor.
Between 1944-45 554 LSMs were built at six different US shipyards. Sixty hulls were converted or built as LSMRs, rocket ships with a crew of five officers and 133 enlisted men. In addition to rocket launchers and mortars LSMRs were armed with a 5” 38 calibre dual purpose gun, 2 each twin 40mm cannons and 2 each 20mm anti-aaircraft guns( this could vary). These small ships had more fire power than the Battleship IOWA.
Most LSM and LSMRs served in the Pacific during WWII [none in Europe] and most participated in assault landings on the Phillipines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. This action was followed by occupation duty in Japan, Korea and China. Thirty nine craft served during the Korean war and three saw action in Vietnam.
LSM 161 was the last one to see commissioned service in the US Navy and was stricken from the records on 1 June 1965. Following WWII 129 were transferred to the navies of twenty five different countries. Some remain on active duty in Greece, Korea and Taiwan and maybe Communist China.
Some remain in use by private industry in the USA including two on the west coast - the salvage ship SALVAGE CHIEF (formerly LSM380) and the first factory ship WESTERN SEA (formally USS PEE DEE RIVER - LSMR 517). Eighty nine LSMs and eighteen LSMRs were converted to barges some of which are still in use. Note that in October 1955 seven LSMs that were on active duty and all the 401 and 501 class LSMRs were assigned names. The LSMRs were named after minor US rivers.
Details of the kit
Scale 1/72 Length 910mm Beam 150mm Sailing weight 2.0kgs
The fibreglass hull in this kit is with full rubbing strip and port detail.
Computer generated LASER CUT HIPS plastic forms the main tank deck and basic superstucture along with the 1mm plastic deck.
To complete the construction of the model all complex parts are vacformed in 1mm plastic for bridge, boat, motor mounting and nicads tray etc.
A complete set of fittings are included in the kit with all detail parts such as weapons, deck fittings, etc, cast in light alloy.
Larger item such as lockers, floats, and gun bases are moulded in plastic castings for light weight.
Ladders and stanchions are also in etched brass to give a final showcase finish.
Propshafts in stainless steel are cased in brass proptubes with fitted oilers and replaceable bearings along with rudders and tiller arms.
These, together with a comprehensive instruction book and a FULL SIZE PLAN assist in the assembly of this impressive model.
A colour chart, plus a set of decals, are included in the kit to add the finishing touch to this kit model as a worthy and much requested addition to our warship range.