Preparing for the Ocean
When Flotilla One was formed on March 1st, LCI 35 became one of the
LCIs assigned to John Leppert’s Group 3 but remained at Little Creek,
Virginia until March 6th when preparations for going overseas accelerated.
LCI 35 took on fuel at Craney Island Fueling Depot on March 8th and
returned to Lamberts Point where additional repairs were made to the
ship. The crew was given special liberty on March 13th to buy shaves,
get haircuts and make allotments. During this time the crew also performed
general duties until March 18th when the ships stores were secured
in holds and various gear was stored on deck. After taking on fresh
water, the preparations for the ocean crossing were completed.
March 18, 1943
Getting Underway for
At 2220 on March 18th the LCI 35 got underway to join Group 3 as part
of the convoy headed for Bermuda and ultimately to North Africa. Unfortunately
at 2315 the LCI 35 got stuck on a sandbar and when LCTs finally arrived
at 0400 the next morning to free her, a heavy fog prevented any attempt
to do so. When the fog finally lifted at 1030, the LCTs tried until
1600 to free LCI 35 from the sand bar. Finally, the LCI 35 freed herself
using her stern anchor (the same anchor used for beaching and troop
landings). The convoy got underway without waiting for LCI 35. In
addition, fearing damage to the ship, the LCI 35 returned to the Navy
yard, unloaded all its ammunition and went into dry dock for a damage
After no damage was found, LCI 35 left the dry dock, reloaded the
ammunition and got underway to Bermuda at 1600 on March 20th to rejoin
From War Diaries
The following excerpts are from the War
Diaries of Flotilla 1 and Group 3 Commanding Officers.
One Departs Little Creek, VA
Flotilla One with LCI (L) 17 as the Flagship departed Little Creek,
Virginia as part of Task Force 60 (Task Unit 60.2.4) in 3rd Landing
The 19 LCIs sailing for North Africa as Group 3 on this
*The Deck Log description above noted that the LCI 35 while heading to Lambert's Point
on March 18th with Group 3 struck a sand bar and had to be pulled off by LCTs.
On March 19th the LCI 35 ran aground at 0900 and was not able to free
itself until 1815. By that time Flotilla 1 was already underway for
Bermuda. After ensuring that no damage to the ship occurred, LCI 35
finally sailed for Bermuda on March 20th docking at Hamilton Harbor
at 1715 on March 23rd and rejoining Flotilla One.
Note: The LCI 20, LCI 32 and LCI 232 were sunk during the war - LCIs 20 and 32
at Anzio and LCI 232 at Omaha Beach in Normandy
March 22 - 26, 1943
Flotilla One Arrives
Flotilla 1 arrives in Bermuda to docks at N.O.B., HMS Dock Yards,
or Hamilton for minor repairs and topping off of fuel and water and
recreation. Task Groups from New York arrived in Groups on Tuesday
March 23rd and Wednesday March 24th.
Other Ship References
in LCI 35 Deck Log
During the trip to Bermuda two notations were made concerning other
ships. On Sunday March 21st at 1345 an investigation was made concerning
the breakdown flag on No 2 ship and on Monday March 22nd the LCI 35
noted "SC 977 had trouble".
March 23, 1943
LCI 35 Arrives in Bermuda
The LCI 35 arrived in Bermuda at 1745 on March 23rd at the Hamilton
Docks. During their short stay in Bermuda the crew performed their
general and routine duties and welders came aboard to continue repairs
to the ship. Liberty was granted to the crew whenever possible.
Other WW II Action and Notable Events
|March 3-5, 1943
||Battle of Bismark Sea