The Crew
About The Landing Craft Infantry



May - June 1943

May 10, 1943

To Base X-Ray - Bizerte, Tunisia

LCI 35 Picks Up Floating Body
At 0900 On Monday May 10th, the LCI 35 maneuvered around the outside of the port of Arzew waiting for 2 LSTs to join the convoy. The convoy of 12 LCIs and 2 LSTs got underway for Bizerte. However, just east of Mostaganem and west of Tenes, the LCI 35 sighted 2 floating bodies and hauled one aboard at 1850. The only identification available was a French button on the soldier's coat. Without any further identification available, the crew filled a cloth sack with sand, attached the sack to the body, and with dignity returned the body to the sea at 1910.

Flotilla Two - Group 4 War Diary Supplement to LCI 35 Information
On May 10th Flotilla Two Group 4 got underway from Arzew headed towards Base X-Ray in Bizerte. LCIs in the convoy to Bizerte included: LCIs 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 33, and 35. Also headed towards Bizerte with the LCIs were LSTs 385 and 388. Escorts included the USS Sustain, USS PC 559 and 626, USS SC 639 and 676. En route these ships were joined by USS A 119, LST 381 and 383.

May 11, 1943

Curtain of Anti-Aircraft Fire
On Tuesday May 11th as Flotilla Two was heading towards the Port of Bougie, a plane was sighted. At 2035 a terrific curtain of anti-aircraft fire was put off the LCI 35's starboard side by shore guns. Two objects in flames were seen to have hit the ground. At 2045, exactly 10 minutes after the shore batteries opened up, the gunfire ceased. Later reports indicated that 3 planes were sighted with one reportedly shot down.

On May 12th at 1015 Flotilla Two with 12 LCIs arrived in Phillipsville, Algeria and the LCI 35 tied to LCI 8 at the docks. The Flotilla did not stay long and was underway at 1730 for Bizerte.

May 13, 1943 - Arrival in Bizerte

Transport of German Prisoners to Bone
At 1925 on May 13th LCI 35, after passing 8 to 10 sunken and wrecked ships in the harbor, docked in Bizerte. However, immediately after docking, the LCI 35 and other ships were ordered to transport German and Italian prisoners to Bone, Algeria. After taking on 103 German prisoners and 12 US Guards, the LCI 35 got underway in a convoy at 2200. The LCI 35 and the other ships arrived in Bone the next morning with the LCI 35 tied to LCI 33. At 1000 all prisoners on board were taken off the ship and the LCI 35 dropped anchor outside the harbor with a group of other US and British ships.

*Bizerte was captured from the Germans on May 7, 1943.

LCI 35 Under Air Attack
At 2030 enemy bombers attacked the port of Bone and a large fire was seen burning in the city. During the attack no damage was done to the LCI 35. A very heavy anti-aircraft barrage was sent up by the guns from the shore batteries and from other ships. The LCI 35 fell in with the convoy and got underway back to Bizerte at 2305.

On Saturday May 15th, LCI 35 arrived back in Bizerte and tied up to LCI 33 at 1315. Here the ship remained until Tuesday May 18th.

May 18 - May 25, 1943

Navy Base Near Bizerte Airport

General Duties, Soundings, and Airport Cleanup
On May 18th, the LCI 35, after having some trouble getting around sunken ships in the canal (La Percherie), arrived at the Navy base close to the airport where she tied up to LCI 33 at 0800. From May 18th until May 26th the crew of LCI 35 performed general and routine duties, assisted in the clean up of the airport, took soundings, and began painting the ship (On May 26th the red base coat that was just applied had to be painted over with gray since LCI 35 was informed that they were scheduled to shove off in the immediate future)

May 26 - 28, 1943

More Prisoners to Bone - More Enemy Attacks
At 1335 the LCI 35 and other ships at the docks began loading prisoners. After loading 250 Italian prisoners and their British and Irish guards, the LCI 35 shoved off for Bone at 1800. At 2100 a general alarm was sounded as an anti-aircraft barrage was evident ashore. A lone plane came in close to LCI 35 which immediately retaliated with simultaneous bursts from their 20 mm guns. After the incident, LCI 35 proceeded to Bone where the prisoners were unloaded at 0700 on Friday May 28th. The LCI 35 dropped anchor at 1420 and waited for darkness before moving any further. At 2315 anti-aircraft defenses went into action when enemy bombers again attacked the city.

May 29, 1943

Return to Bizerte

After returning to Bizerte on Saturday May 29th and anchoring outside the harbor, a small French boat came alongside the LCI 35 to take the British and Irish guards back to their own camps. Once again the quiet was broken when a general alarm was sounded at 2130 and ship and shore batteries opened up on the attacking enemy planes.

May 30 - June 30, 1943

Almost Daily Shuttle Between Bizerte Docks and Lake
On Sunday May 30th LCI 35 remained anchored outside the Bizerte harbor entrance with approximately 40 other British and American ships. At 1330 LCI 35 docked in Bizerte and while there a general alarm sounded for 2 unidentified planes. At 2000 LCI 35 anchored in Bizerte Lake tied to LCI 32.

For the next month LCI 35 would begin an almost daily routine of docking in Bizerte during the day and anchoring in Bizerte Lake at night.

May 31, 1943 - Minor Injury to Crew Member
On Monday May 31st at 1000 a pulley from LCI 35's conning tower fell and hit H.L. Phillips on the head. Fortunately, the injury was not serious, but as a precaution the ship entered the port so that Phillips could see the doctor.

Flotilla Two - Group 4 War Diary Supplement to LCI 35 Information
Group 4 of Flotilla Two arrived in Bizerte, Tunisia as part of Task Unit 81.1.121 under Commander Roger Nelson and was the first group to arrive at La Percherie in Bizerte after the Germans left.

The enemy attack on May 14th marked the first time that Group 4 came under direct air attack with one enemy plane shot down after "beams" of lights locked on to the plane's location.

While LCI 35 was transporting prisoners on May 27th, other LCIs in Group 4 were conducting ramp drills.

On Friday May 28th Group 5 and LCI Flotilla 4 (Coast Guard) joined Group 4 at Bizerte.

May 1943
Other WW II Action and Notable Events
May 11, 1943 U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian Island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese.
May 12, 1943 Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.
May 19, 1943 In an address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country's full support in the war against Japan.
May 29, 1943 Norman Rockwell's portrait of "Rosie the Riverter" appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
May 30, 1943 American forces secured the Aleutian Island of Attu from the Japanese.

June 1943 - Bizerte and Tunis, Tunisia
The LCI 35 spent the entire month of June in Bizerte except for a trip to Tunis, Tunisia on June 17th to provide escort service for LST 315. During the month the LCI 35 crew continued to paint the ship, carry out routine duties and take on food supplies, field rations, fresh water, and fuel. In addition to these duties repairs to the ship were made and several shipmates went to radio or aviation recognition school.

June 8, 1943 - Chow with the Flotilla Commander
Flotilla Commander Lorenzo Sherwood Sabin Jr. arrived in Bizerte from Tenes, Algeria aboard the LST 314 either on June 6th or June 7th. At 1400 on June 8th, the crew of LCI 35 was to be in "Undress Blues" for the arrival of Commander Sabin. At 1730 Commander Sabin came aboard the LCI 35 to dine with the officers. This was the first of 2 occasions that Commander Sabin came aboard the LCI 35 for chow. After chow the LCI 35 was underway to help pull an LST off a sand bar.

Other June Activities

Repairs to the Ship
The LCI 35 had several repairs made during the month including work on the port and starboard ramps and repairs to damage caused by several "bumps" with other ships during the month. Damage to LCI 35 occurred on June 14th and on June 16th when transferring fuel. On June 14th the stern of LCI 35 swung into a YM boat and the port life raft broke loose bending the life raft support. On June 16th when LCI 212 tried to come alongside to receive 1200 gallons of fuel, a strong wind blew her port bow into the starboard bow of LCI 35 catching the starboard cable wire in the LCI 212 anchor. The cable broke, split the wooden piece under the ramp and knocked down the LCI 35 stanchions along the ramp. Some of these repairs were completed by June 24th.

Air Raids Continue
Air raids and enemy planes were noted on several occasions during June. An air raid occurred on Saturday June 12th when two high flying unidentified planes were sighted and were fired upon by the larger guns and shore batteries. On Tuesday June 15th general quarters were called four times but no planes were sighted. On Monday June 21st at 0255, airplanes were seen in searchlights but were too high for the LCI 35 to fire. However, shots were fired from other batteries. The last air raid noted by LCI 35 occurred on Wednesday June 23rd with no planes sighted.

Beaching Exercises
On Wednesday June 23rd at 1515 troops came aboard to participate in landing exercises in preparation for any contemplated future invasion. The LCI 35, with troops aboard, anchored in Bizerte Lake until 1600 on Friday June 25th when LCI 35 got underway to hold a beaching practice. The beaching exercise got underway at 1055 on Saturday June 26th. At 1240 the beaching exercise started and with both ramps working the beaching exercise was completed at 1300 when all soldiers were disembarked. On Wednesday June 30th another beaching exercise was conducted.

Getting Ready For An Invasion
The day after the beaching exercise of June 26th, the LCI 35 Commanding Officer went ashore in a small boat at 1330 and did not return until 1900. On Monday June 28th, the Commanding Officer again went ashore at 0745 and returned at 1400. These trips ashore may have been related to the planning for the invasion of Sicily that would occur within 2 weeks.

Note: On June 28, 1943 Commander Lorenzo Sherwood Sabin, Jr. was raised to the temporary rank of Captain

Other Ship References in LCI 35 Deck Log
During June the LCI 35 Deck Log contained notations related to other ships. During the month LCI 35 was tied to the following LCIs:32, 33, 211, 212, 215, 231, 322.

During refueling operations LCI 35 was alongside YM 34, YM 18, and LST 315.

LCI 35 also transferred an Officer to LCI 218, picked up 4 of its crew from LCI 92*, and took mail aboard for delivery to LCI 232 and LCI 4.

*Click here for more detailed information related to LCI 92

June 1943
Other WW II Action and Notable Events
June 1, 1943 A civilian flight from Lisbon to London was shot down by the Germans killing all aboard including actor Leslie Howard
June 21, 1943 Segi Point Landing, New Georgia, Solomon Islands - LCIs
June 22, 1943 Woodlark Island Landing, Tobriand Island - LCIs
June 23, 1943 Kiriwina Island, Tobriand Islands - LCIs
June 30, 1943 Rendova Island Landing; Sasavela, Baraula, Vangunu Island Landings, Solomons; Nassau Bay Landing, New Guinea - LCIs
Bone (Algeria) North Africa
Sunken Ship
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