Bearmon Posted December 16, 2012 Share #1 Posted December 16, 2012 I have seen a few of these over the past few years, so i pulled the trigger on this one. Then I looked up the History: And the History thanks to the internet: The year 1947 saw the formation of LCU Divisions Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen and a name change to "Assault Craft Squadron ONE" (ACS-1), headquartered in several quonset huts on the north side of NAB. In July, 1947, a new command came into being next door to ACS-1: "Boat Unit ONE", a small craft command specializing in the smaller Landing Craft Mechanized (LCMH3), and Landing Craft Vehicle/Personnel (LCVP). With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in July of 1950, both commands began building to full strength. Boat Unit ONE deployed immediately, leaving behind only a small rear echelon to handle administrative matters. meanwhile, ACS-1 began reactivating mothballed LCU and training crews in preparation for impending deployments. To facilitate a more coordinated effort on both sides of the Pacific and to save time, "Assault Craft Squadron THREE" was formed with Divisions 31,32, and 33. It was ACS-3 that would deploy, leaving ACS-1 in Coronado as a support squadron tasked with reactivating LCU and training crews. Within a few months, both commands had more than 36 LCU as well as 120 LCM and LCVP In Korea, manned by over 1500 personnel. During their time in Korea, both commands distinguished themselves by participating in every amphibious landing, including General MacArthur's landing at Inchon, the evacuation from the Chosen Reservoir, and the evacuations of Wonsan and Hungnam. Two incidents illustrate the kinds of activities which occurred. In one action, Boat Unit ONE was assigned an unusual action in which its LCM assumed the role of gunboats. At this time a river marked the front line between United Nations and Communist forces. The Communists had adopted the tactic of sending small craft down the river to land troops behind UN lines. To put a stop to this tactic, several Boat Unit ONE craft were equipped with machine guns and embarked Army personnel with additional machine guns. Intercepted Communist boats would either be destroyed by the gunboats or forced to land on the UN bank of the river, where they were eagerly engaged by Army forces of the "Greek Contingent" of the UN Command. In another unorthodox operation, several boat crews whose boats had become inoperative joined with Marines and fought side by side with them in the Seoul sector before being rounded up and brought back. After the evacuation of Inchon in January 1951, Boat Unit ONE moved its entire unit to Camp McGuil, near Yokosuka Japan. It would operate from there for the remainder of hostilities, thus becoming a Navy Unit stationed at an Army Base. With the Hungnam, withdrawal in early 1953, the hard working LCU of ACS-3 steamed unescorted to Pusan Harbor, where they were refitted and remained until after the cease-fire in July. They were then utilized extensively in the POW exchange, to resupply the garrison forces at Inchon, and to assist in training South Korean troops. As the various units were being phased out of Korea, the "Workhorses of the Pacific", as the Marines called the LCU, were stationed in Yokosuka, not far from the boat unit. In the fall of 1954, LCU and LCM-3 from both commands combined to participate in the "Passage to Freedom" at Haipong, French Indochina. In this operation French Military Forces and Vietnamese refugees were evacuated from Communist North Vietnam to freedom in South Vietnam. As a part of task force 90, the LCU were reported to have moved over 100,000 refugees. Another collaboration took place early in 1955 when Boat Unit ONE and ACS-3, provided services during the armed withdrawal of Chinese Nationalists Troops from the Tachen Islands to Formosa. August-September 1955 saw ACS-3 disestablished with boats and crews absorbed back into ACS-1. Boat Unit ONE was called home and reduced from 850 men to its peacetime complement of 9 Officers and 145 Enlisted. Both commands took part in various operations around the Pacific during the next few years. Boat Unit ONE covered waterborne transportation needs for a 1958 expedition to Danger Island in the South Pacific to record a rare total Solar Eclipse, in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year. They were then utilized extensively in the POW exchange, to resupply the garrison forces at Inchon, and to assist in training South Korean troops. A year earlier, four LCU from ACS-1 had made a four month goodwill tour to Borneo, Singapore, Pakistan, Ceylon, Bombay and Karachi. December 5, 1958 marks a turning point in ACU ONE history, because on that date CNO reclassified LCU from commissioned status. Previous to their "inservice" status, and prior to the 1955 reorganization, LCU had remained commissioned vessels with an ENS or LTJG as skipper. This directive officially ended that era of LCU history, and the "all enlisted" concept that we now employ became a permanent part of our organizational structure. In the summer of 1959 Boat Unit ONE received the first LCM-8, and October of that same year brought the arrival of LCU-1613, our first 1610 Class "U-Boat", with three more similar craft to follow. The arrival of eight more 1610's by 1960 marked the beginning of a period of experimentation and development at ACS-1. During the next few years the squadron evaluated various ideas and new developments in Amphibious Warfare. Among the most interesting of these developments were two boats with vertical propulsion systems and the prototype LCA-X1, an amphibious tracked boat which could deliver troops and cargo from ships at sea to supply dumps inland. The growing conflict in Southeast Asia in 1963 caused a general step up in training operations Navy-wide. ACS-1 participated in three different amphibious exercises, including a special presidential demonstration in June of that year. The demonstration took place on the Silver Strand near NAB, and consisted of a full scale amphibious landing. As President Kennedy looked on, ACDIV-12, in the form of LCU 1613, 1618, 1619 and 1620 brought in the third wave of the landing force, and executed four "flawless" beach landings. Between June and October, the LCU participated in four more big operations, one up north called "Cascade Columbia", two at Camp Pendleton, and another in Hawaii called exercise "Dull Knife". On 1 October 1963, CNO directed a merger between Boat Unit ONE and Assault Craft Squadron-1 in order to combine and streamline the operation of the two similar commands. Boat Unit ONE was disestablished and all boats and personnel were transferred to the three LCU Divisions. ACS-1 retained it's name, but the divisions changed from LCU Divisions to "Assault Craft Divisions." The squadron Commanding Officer was classified as a Commodore, with each division having its own Commanding Officer and organizational staff. The squadron still retained its WESTPAC Detachment in Yokosuka at that time, so the division rotation cycle (under normal conditions) was twelve months in CONUS and six months in WESTPAC. The unusual aspect of ACDIV Deployment was that the crews were rotated between CONUS and EASTPAC by air; thus all craft remained in either WESTPAC or EASTPAC for indefinite periods. It was ACDIV-13 that took the LCU to Vietnam for the first time in mid 1963 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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