The Crew
About The Landing Craft Infantry



July 1943

Final Preparations for Invasion of Sicily

July 1-5, 1943
The first few days of July were spent making final preparations for the first invasion of foreign shores using the "New Ship of War", the Landing Craft Infantry (Large). During this time LCI 35 conducted speed trials, some shipmates attended school, 3 foot numbers (35) were painted on both sides of the hull and the Commanding Officer went ashore for final instructions before departing Bizerte for the invasion of Sicily.

LCI 35 in Bizerte in Preparation for the Invasion of Sicily

LCI 35 in Bizerte in Preparation for the Invasion of Sicily

Photo from Time Life Books

On July 5th Group 4 including LCI 35, joined Flotillas 1, 2, and 4 in loading soldiers and equipment aboard ships bound for Sicily. The photo below shows the preparations that were underway in Bizerte. Other information regarding the preparations is also below.

Bizerte Harbor

Preparing for the Invasion of Sicily

The photo of Bizerte Harbor above appears in the introduction of a video clip highlighting the 77th Medical Evacuation Hospital's preparation for the Sicily Invasion.  Also shown in the short clip are LCIs underway for Sicily and the LCI 36 disembarking troops.

July 6-7, 1943

Sousse, Tunisia

At 0450 on July 6th, while anchored in Bizerte Lake, LCI 35 noted that a plane was shot down in the sea. The Group 4 War Diary noted that 3 planes were shot down and several bombs just missed hitting LCIs 5 and 10.

At 0545 the convoy got underway with LCI 35 falling in a column behind LCI 231. The ships passed an island and the entrance to Tunis harbor at Cape Bon. At 2300 LCI 35 dropped anchor outside the entrance to Sousse. The following morning at 0615 LCI 35 hoisted its anchor and went into Sousse and tied alongside LCI 13 to allow the soldiers to disembark at 0900. The soldiers disembarked with rations, water, guns and ammunition probably to hike. At 1500 the soldiers returned and LCI 35 got underway and dropped anchor in Sousse harbor.

July 8, 1943

Underway for Sicily
At 2300 on July 8th, the convoy for the invasion of Sicily got underway. LCI 35 fell behind LCI 231 while underway. LCI 35 was part of the force to land at Licata, Sicily.

Convoy Map for Invasion of Sicily


From Samuel E. Morison's History of US Naval Operations in World War II

Operation "Husky"- Invasion of Sicily July 10th, 1943
Background Information
Additional detailed information on the Invasion of Sicily can be found by visiting the World War II Summaries for the Italy and Italian Campaigns.

In May 1943, the “Americans still wanted to concentrate on planning the cross-Channel invasion of France, but at the Casablanca Conference somewhat reluctantly agree to go ahead with the Sicily landings.” The British were effective in demonstrating the need to keep the Mediterranean open to Allied shipping. The final plan for the landings were approved in mid-May and within a month the first troop convoys headed across the Atlantic.

The following details are relevant for Flotilla 2 and USS LCI (L) 229 and USS LCI (L) 35 since these two ships participated in the Licata landings (JOSS Area Molla Attack Group). The map, obtained from Vol. IX of Samuel Eliot Morison's History of US Naval Operations in World War II, shows the landing area for the Molla Attack Group.

Landing Area - Gulf of Gela

Gulf of Gela, South Coast

US 7th Army – General Patton (66,000 troops)

Tunisia (LCI 229 and LCI 35)

Rear Admiral H K Hewitt USN

5 Cruisers, 48 Destroyers, 98 other Warships, 94 Troopships, Supply Ships LSIs, 190 Landing Ships and Craft

The LCI 35 was part of Task Group 86.8 of the Molla Attack Group (Green) under the command of Imlay. Included in this reserve group were: LCI 32* which served as the Regimental Combat Team Headquarters Ship and Flagship. Also included in this group were the following LCIs: 12, 13, 14, 35, 214, 215, 216, 219, 229, 231, 232*

LCI 33 served in the Replacement Group in case an LCI was needed due to a last minute casualty.

*LCI 32 was sunk at Anzio on January 26, 1944 and LCI 232 was sunk at Normandy on June 6, 1944

LCI 33 on Leading another LCI on the way to Sicily

The LCI 33 underway out of Bizerte leading another LCI

From the Deck Log of the USS LCI 35 (From National Archives)

July 9, 1943 (Friday)

0800 Still underway following the USS (L) 231. Sailing in a column of eight LCIs
1100 The sea is in a very rough condition
1500 Sighted an Island off of our starboard bow
1715 Passed Island off our starboard beam
2015 Have separated into our respective groups and convoys. We have separated into our group the Black and White. The Island reported sighted at 1510 is the Island of Gozo.

July 10, 1943 (Saturday)

0255 First gun flashes noted, off of our starboard. We are proceeding at 1/3 and 2/3 speeds
0900 Dropped anchor and waited with rest of reserve group for sailing orders
0940 Hoisted anchor and got underway to beach and disembark troops
1010 Beached but due to the formation of the beach were unable to land but a few troops so had to move farther down the beach
1030 Beached again and started landing troops by small rubber boats. An amphibious truck aided us in taking 25 to 30 men ashore
1100 All troops have been taken ashore and accounted for
1140 Had tried to leave the beach but the short anchor cable and the strong wind and heavy sea has forced us stern first onto the beach
1500 Have had air raids every hour or so since we have been on the beach
1850 USS L.C.I. 87 has come in to help us get off the beach
1945 Are off the beach and heading seaward to anchor for the night
2025 Have dropped anchor
2040 Gun watches were secured but a watch was placed on the conning tower, as look out and to ring general quarters -- The most important are noticeable raids were mad[e] as follows:
11 Air Raids lasting no more than 2 minutes each occurred between 0515 on 10 July through 0910 on 11 July - The raids ranged from 2 to 9 planes (average of 5 planes per raid)


July 11, 1943 (Sunday)

0800 Reveille for all hands.
0840 One of the L.S.Ts here at Licata unloading was hit by a bomb is exploding and fuel oil burning.
0910 During this raid our ship was credited or should receive credit for shooting down a German plane.
0915 Anchor was hoisted and got underway heading for L.S.T. anchorage.
1050 Have fallen in column and are following USS L.S.T. #6


July 12, 1943

Return to Bizerte

At 0800 on July 12th, while still in the convoy with LSTs and with fuel running low, a noticeable knock in the port engines was noted. The sound appeared to be caused by a cable tangled around the shaft. However, with "just enough fuel to make it" LCI 35 anchored in Bizerte Lake at 1400. After performing routine duties at the docks in Bizerte the ship anchored for the night in Bizerte Lake tied to PT Boat 217.

The Action Report that follows details the success of LCI (L) 35 in shooting down 1 of the 3 planes that participated in the last air raid noted in the ships deck log above

Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily
July 14, 1943 - Anti-Aircraft Action Report

At Licata, Sicily Attacked by German Messerschmitt on 11 July 1943 Opened Fire and Destroyed Enemy Plane

Action Report by Commanding Officer of LCI #35 – Samuel P. Strickland Jr.

Anti-aircraft Action by Surface Ships July 11 Licata, Sicily, Attack of 0910. Paragraph (11-23)

(1) At 0910 a German Messerschmitt 109 (similar to the one pictured on the right) came converging down from a hill on a true heading of approximately 270 degrees true, to make a run on our shipping, past about 750 yards forward of our bow. No. 1 gun opened fire two points off our port bow followed by the firing of NO. 2 and 3 guns as it passed in their line of bearing off the starboard bow. Upon immediate hit the plane attempted to make a vertical climb. At this time fire was seen in the cockpit, the plane immediately looped over completely out of control on a bearing of 315 degrees and crashed into the sea at a distance of 1 mile and about 1 point off of our starboard bow.

(2) As it was noticed no other ship opened fire until plane made loop and started down. It is definitely assumed that the gun fire from our ship brought down the plane.

(3) Immediately following crash of the plane our ship steamed to spot where the plane crashed and found nothing but large traces of oil and gas slick.

- From National Archives

Earl Eichorn


Photo of Earl Eichorn standing next to the marking signifying the shooting down of the German Messerschmitt 109.

Clarence Robins


Photo of Clarence Robins standing next to the marking signifying the shooting down of the German Messerschmitt 109.


July 15, 1943

More Beaching Exercises
At 0950 on Wednesday July 15th LCI 35 beached in the Lake Bizerte area to test its port ramp. After testing the port ramp, the LCI 35 stayed on the beach with the ramp lowered. The crew performed routine duties the next day and at 2000 one-half of the crew was granted liberty, climbed aboard an Army truck, and attended Army movies. On Saturday July 17th LCI 35 got underway from the beach and tied to the docks in Bizerte when, after the men got paid at 1300, the ship returned to the beach at 1500. The round trip to and from the beach and docks was repeated on Sunday July 18th, but the LCI 35 then stayed on the beach with its ramp lowered until Wednesday July 21st. The crew performed routine duties on Wednesday until work was stopped at 1300 due to the extremely hot weather (Deck Log indicated that it was 88 degrees at 1200). The LCI 35 was informed that it was to accompany a convoy the next day so the LCI 35 moved to deeper water and anchored for the night at 1850.

Other Ship References in LCI 35 Deck Log

During the period July 15th to July 21st the LCI 35 Deck Log contained notations related to the following LCIs or other ships: LCI 32, and PT Boat 217.

July 22 - August 15, 1943

Repairs - Tunis, Tunisia (At La Goulette)
At 0510 on Thursday July 22nd LCI 35 got underway for Tunis, Tunisia following LCI 11 and arriving at 1530 where she tied up to the barges in Tunis. LCI 35 remained in Tunis for repairs until August 15th when she returned to Bizerte.

During the time spent in Tunis, the ship's port ramp was ordered removed and given as a replacement to another LCI on July 29th and other repairs were delayed until August 3rd due to the unavailability of spare parts. LCI 35 entered dry dock on August 8th where work began on the screws and shafts. During this same time the ship's hull was painted. Work on the ship was completed on Saturday August 14th. While in Tunis, the crew of LCI 35 were granted liberty whenever possible.

General Alarm

On Saturday August 7th at 0430 a general alarm was sounded, but the LCI 35 did not fire her guns since the bombing attack appeared to be in the vicinity of Bizerte Lake.

Other Ship References in LCI 35 Deck Log

During the period July 22nd to August 14th the LCI 35 Deck Log contained notations related to the following LCIs or other ships: LCI 11, LCI 88, HM LCI 313, LCI 232, LCI 9, LCI 95, HMS ML1163, and US SC 691.

July 1943
Other WW II Action and Notable Events
July 19, 1943 Allied air forces raided Rome.
July 22, 1943 American Forces led by Gen. George S. Patton captured Palermo, Sicily
July 25, 1943 Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest.  (Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and reasserted his authority.
July 28, 1943 President Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing.
August 1943
Other WW II Action and Notable Events
August 1, 1943 Race-related rioting erupted in New York's Harlem section, resulting in several deaths.
August 2, 1943 A Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109 commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri of the Solomon Islands. (The future president was credited with saving members of the crew; he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism, and also received the Purple Heart for injuries he had received.
August 3, 1943 Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and second similar episode).

August 15, 1943

Return to Bizerte, Tunisia - Eclipse of the Moon Noted
At 0805 on Sunday August 15th LCI 35 left dry dock in Tunis and got underway for Bizerte arriving and anchoring in Bizerte Lake at 1840 tied to LCI 32. At 2100 an eclipse of the moon was noticed by the crew.

On Monday August 16th LCI 35 tied up to LCI 32 both in Bizerte Lake and at the docks in Bizerte. In addition, LCI 35 tied up to the repair ship USS Delta in Bizerte Lake.

Sicily Pre- Invasion
Sicily Pre-Invasion
Sircily Pre-Invasion
Sicily Pre-Invasion

Newspaper or Signal Corps Telephoto Coverage of the Sicily Invasion

LCI 317 Sicily Invasion

LCI 317 disembarking troops during the Invasion of Sicily.

-Widely available photo  

LCI underway for Sicily
An LCI underway toward Sicily
Earl Eichorn

Earl Eichorn

The Invasion of Sicily was particularly significant for Earl Eichorn who vividly remembers the LCI 35 Licata landing since it occurred on his 18th birthday. Earl also recalls the explosion and burning of the L.S.T. that was struck by the bomb on July 11, 1943.

German Messerschmitt 109


Photo from World War II - A Visual Encyclopedia

This was the type of German plane that the LCI 35 got credited for shooting down on July 11, 1943 and described in the July 14, 1943 Action Report.

Map of Tunisia

Map of Tunisia

From Samuel Eliot Morison's Vol IX: History of US Naval Operations in World War II

Post Card - La Goulette, Tunisia

La Goulette, Tunisia

The port in which the LCI 35 was being repaired from July 22 to August 15, 1943.


T H E   L I F E   O F   S T A N L E Y   G A L I K  
 W O R L D   W A R   I I   E X P E R I E N C E S POST-WAR
1942 1943 1944 1945
  1943 1944   THE CREW ABOUT THE
T H E   L C I   ( L )   3 5

Unless noted otherwise, all content © 2002-2009 Stanley G. Galik. All rights reserved.
Please contact us for permission to use any photos or content from this site.
Site design and development by slashmedia.