Updated 6/21/2008

Retrieval of the 102 - One of the purposes of the LCS(L) Association is to have one of our LCSs returned to the United States for a museum and memorial to all those who died aboard our ships in the service of their country during World War II.  The former USS LCS(L) 102 has been located.  In 1953, the 102 was lent to Japan and was named the Himawari.  It was returned to the U.S. Navy in 1966, then lent to Thailand on the Military Assistance Program and named the Nakha.
Status - This project has been accomplished - The following is from a speech by Admiral Bill Mason - Our LCS 102 is in the United States.  It is ready to be a museum and memorial at Mare Island to those officers and men who served so gallantly and bravely aboard one of these vessel during /world War II.

Founders of our National Association of the USS LCS(L) 1-130 stated that one of the purposes of our organization was to retrieve a LCS and establish a museum and memorial.  While we all rejoice in the culmination of their foresight, we are sadden that they are not alive today to share in this celebration that they worked so hard to accomplish, especially Phil Peterson.


Eleven years ago we learned that the Royal Thai Navy had the last operating LCS in the world.  I have been involved for only the last six years.  I am often asked why I spent so much time, effort, and money in retrieving the 102.  Well, I was 18 years old when I reported aboard ship.   It was a “Home Away from Home” for 17 months for me.  Now let me ask you, “Have you ever showed your children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren the home in which you grew up in?  Need I say more!”


Receiving permission from the U.S. State Department and the Royal Thai Navy to transfer the 102 to our organization has involved the cooperation of many individuals and organizations.


Foremost among them is Chris Alf, CEO of the National Air Cargo who provided the funding as well as the administration for transporting the 102 from Thailand to the United states.  Two of their key staff members from Bangkok are here tonight- John Romer, LCDR, USN(Ret) and Khun Zeny, a former employee of the U.S. Embassy in Thailand for 31 years.


Another key person in the retrieval is the Honorable Chris Lehman.  His father was the commanding officer of the LCS 19, and his brother John Lehman, Jr. was the Secretary of the U.S. Navy under President Reagan.  Chris made possible the arrangements with National Air Cargo for transporting the LCS 102 to the United States.


I highlight these individuals because, without their untiring devotion and support, the ceremony tomorrow would not be happening.


Another individual who has been my personal support system is my wife , Janice. 


Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this project

Adding forms to this Website - The first form will be a form to join the LCS(L) 1-130 Association.  Once filled out, users will be able to email the form to the Secretary.  The second form will be one that can be used to make donations to the fund to retrieve the 102.  The third form will be used to renew memberships in the LCS(L) 1-130 Association.
Status - This project is in the initial planning stages.  A FORMS page has been added.  Currently the forms can be printed, then filled out and mailed to the address on the form.  The next stage will

Individual Ship Histories Project - On the NavSource website www.navsource.org/archives/10/05/05idx.htm there are still too few LCS(L) histories. Only the histories of 60 of the 130 LCS's are available, that's only a bit over 46%!! The Association seeks to expand greatly this important collection. The ships, despite their physical uniformity, had a wide variety of experiences, to say the least. There is no such thing as "just another LCS history," as the ships' logs readily attest, and we need to produce a solid increase in this collection. The goal, of course, is to get all the possible histories. Making New Ship Histories - Ship's histories are about what happened to a ship, its crew, and its mission.  Although all of our 130 mighty midgets looked alike, their histories were as different as the sailors aboard them: the places they went, the things they saw and did, their failures and successes, their crew's thoughts, feelings, troubles and triumphs, their hopes and fears, were all a unique part of their war experiences and hence of their ships' histories.  Every sailor aboard, ten thousand of us, has these things recorded indelibly in his memory, in what was the great adventure of his days.  It's worth recording, and no one else can put these things down.  Dig through old records and letters you may have.  If you have access to our National Archives, get your ship's Deck Log for a guide and memory booster.  Make phone calls to old shipmates. Get as many of them involved as you can and collect thrir thoughts and records.  You might be surprised with what you come up with, maybe even some things you didn't know.  Write it all down.  Don't worry about spelling or grammar or composition  All that can be smoothed out later.  Just write it like you'd say it.  If writing is not your thing, cut a tape and send that to us.  We'll transcribe it.  Call or email Bob Wisner at 505-524-8499, rwlht@juno.com, or John Rooney at 610-935-0902, dahdit82@comcast.net, and we'll help you get started.  Aside from ship's Deck Logs in the National Archives (important records certainly, but mostly an impersonal bare-bones account of a ship's activities), we have no personally-written ship's histories for 70 of our LCSs.  Don't let histories remain silent.  We have to get as many histories as soon as possible into our Association archives and out there on the internet before we all become history ourselves.  Put something together, for yourself, your shipmates and family and friends, and all the readers and researchers who remain interested in World War Two.  What we and the Little Ships did is a unique and important contribution to the history of the war we knew.  What we don't record now, we'll lose, as all those who follow us will lose.  Like Snuffy Smith used to say, "Time's a'wastin'!!*".
Status -
The histories of LCS(L)s 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 42, 43, 46, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 75, 76, 78, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 91, 92, 99, 105, 111, 112, 114, 118, 120, 121, 122, 124, 128, and 130 are on the website.

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons Project - The seemingly limitless energy of Mr. Gary Priolo of NavSource (whom John Rooney describes as a one man anthill) has been put to work in placing the ribbons of ship awards and citations on the individual ship entries of their website.  The Association seeks to have such ribbons displayed for each ship.
Status -
To date, the following sixty-five ships have their awards and citation ribbons on display: LCS(L)s 1 through 35, 41- 43, 45 - 49, 52, 54 - 56, 59 - 61, 67, 71, 75, 76, 80, 82 - 84, 86, 102, 112, 116, 118, 122, and 130. Gary's description of the difficulties in doing this is interesting, and it shows the need for more ship histories: I am still working on this. I try to do the awards whenever I go to a ships page for updating. Unfortunately, the LCSs have very little new information and I therefore don't get to them much. The awards for the LCSs are based on several factors. All but two of them served in the Pacific, so they all have the American, Asiatic-Pacific, and WWII Victory ribbons. From here you must determine where in the Pacific they fought and then where they served after the war. These last two have to be based on the ships history which is missing on a lot of them. Sometimes if you do a Google inquiry using the ships side number you will find it referenced in another document which gives me a clue as to where they were serving. So you see it takes time to figure this all out. That in a nut shell is why this part of the files are a work in progress. 




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