Landing Craft Headquarters Ship

No badge issued

Battle Honours

None.

 

Specifications

Builder: New Jersey Shipbuilding Corp., Barber, New Jersey,  United States

Displacement:
216 t. (light)
234 t. (landing)
 389 t. (loaded)

Length: 156 ft 5.5 in

Beam: 23 ft 3 in

Draught:
Light, 3' ft 1½ in mean
Landing,  2 ft' 8 in forward, 4 ft 10 in aft
Loaded, 5 ft 4 in forward, 5 ft 11 in aft

Armament:
Four single 20mm Oerlikon guns, mounted in tubs, one bow mounted, one mounted centrally on top of the superstructure aft of wheelhouse, one each port and starboard aft of superstructure.

Propulsion:

Two General Motors Quad units (4 General Motors 6051 series 71 Diesel engines per unit), driving twin variable pitch propellers, 2,320shp, 1 Quad unit per shaft.

Speed: 16 Knots

Cargo Capacity:
9 officers and 200 troops or 75 tons cargo - reduced by 50 troops after conversion.

Crew complement:
(LCI) 3 officers, 17 ratings
(LCH) 3 officers, 23 ratings

Commanding Officers:
Not known


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H.M.L.C.H. 247

 

No images exist of LCH 248, this is her Sister ship LCH 101. Photo cutesy of Mr. Tony Bull

Early history

Ordered and delivered as a Landing Craft Infantry (Large) for the US Navy she was built by the New Jersey Shipbuilding Corp., Barber, New Jersey. She was ordered on August 29th 1942 and laid down October 22nd 1942. She was launched on November 20th 1942 and transferred to the Royal Navy under the lend-lease agreement on December 9th 1942 at Staten Island, New York, and commissioned as LCI(L)- 247.

The ship next began four weeks of working up in the New York area, but on December 18th she arrived at the Todd Erie Basin Drydocks, Inc., facially at 35th St. Pier, Brooklyn, for voyage repairs and authorized alterations; she departed, work complete, on December 23rd to continue her work-up.

She sailed for Norfolk Navy Yard in the New Year, arriving at pier #2 on January 4th 1943 for further repairs and alterations. Over the next two months she underwent the installation of plastic armour and sounding equipment, the fitting of sponsons and flarepaltes, repairs to hull, electrical system and main engines; she also received a replacement winch and pinace. Before leaving Norfolk she was degaussed and calibrated at the Sewalls Point Magnetic Range, and visited the the US Naval Ammunition Depot, St. Juliens Creek, Virginia, to embark small arms and gun ammunition.

She sailed from Norfolk sometime in March, bound for Gibraltar via Bermuda in company with other RN LCI(L)s. She was operational in the Mediterranean, disembarking troops at Naples, Italy in September 1943 and took part in the Invasion of Southern France in August 1944.


Conversion to a Headquarters Ship

On release from operations in the Mediterranean she was converted into an LCH, Landing Craft Headquarters. The conversion involved turning part of the troop decks into operations rooms and wireless offices and the installation of command and control and communications equipment; 6 x Army No. 22 Radio sets; 6 X CDG, B28 receivers; 1 X CDF, B29 receiver. Echo Sounding type 763; 8 type visual signals (lanterns and torches); Type 970 Radar for navigation and control of assault craft; Outfit QH (Gee Hyperbolic Radio Navaid) 1 x TCS Transmitter, and a tripod foremast to mount the additional aerials. Addition single cabins were installed to accommodate assault force staff officers when embarked.
 

Allocated to the East Indies Fleet

At the end of 1944 LCH 247 was allocated for service with the East Indies Fleet and sailed for India In early January 1945. After the D-Day landings plans were made to relocate large numbers of Major Landing Craft from the UK to the Eastern theatre under the code name ‘APPIAN’. Convoys of craft, referred to as ‘Flights’, sailed for India and Ceylon calling at Gibraltar, Port Said, Aden, and Bombay; the first Flight, ‘A’ sailed on November 15th 1944. It is not clear which flight LCH 247 sailed with or when she arrived in India.

No further information is available about her service in the Far East


Post War

LCH 247 was returned to US custody on September 24th 1946. She was later struck from the U.S. Naval Register and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal. She was sold on November 13th 1947, fate unknown.

Primary information sources


Additional sources
NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive LCH-101 entry
www.uboat.net index of British and American LCI(L)
navypedia.org RN AMPHIBIOUS SHIPS AND CRAFT
D-Day : The assault Allied Landing Craft and Ships  LCH specifications
Combined Operations Staff Notebook (1945)  Accessed July 2015
War Diaries: Found on www.fold3.com
US Naval Ammunition Depot, St. Juliens Creek, Virginia,
U.S. Naval operating Base, Norfolk.
U.S. Naval operating Base, Bermuda.
U.S. Navy Yard, New York.
Admiralty War Diaries - various dates

 

Last modified: 02 August 2016