5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2021 1:55 PM by Frank DeVita

    Seeking records of USS Samuel Chase landing craft


      Hi, During a walk I discovered a landing craft in the UK going by the designation PA26-25. Some research led me to discover it, assuming the numbers are correct,  was assigned to the USS Samuel Chase. Reading the Narrative Report of Operations 6/6-7/44 it mentions that only 20 of the landing craft were required, rather than 35 by embarkation orders.  I wondered if any more in-depth items existed recording which specific Landing Crafts were active during the invasion. It's more of a curiosity, just hoping to find some backstory behind this interesting vehicle.

        • Re: Seeking records of USS Samuel Chase landing craft
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Barry


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          While the Navy did not retain logs of individual landing craft, there may be additional details in the deck logs of the USS Samuel Chase. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck log of the USS Samuel Chase (AP-56/APA-56) for 12 June 1942 through 26 February 1947. For access to and/or copies of this log, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov


          We also located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) which contains war diaries and reports concerning the USS Samuel Chase’s activities during World War 2. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online through the Catalog.  Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.


          There are also a number of photographs of landing craft during the D-Day invasion in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov. Their web site is Photographs and Graphic Works in College Park, Maryland.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from these units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          In addition, we searched the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and located an article about the Samuel Chase as well as multiple photographs. Many of the photographs show LVCP’s from the Samuel Chase which have similar numbers such as the PA26-24 in the photograph on the main article.  The LCVP shown in photograph NH 100082-KN Southern France Invasion, August 1944. British Army personnel landing from a U.S. LCVP may be a match for the PA26-25 based on the partial number.


          We also searched online located a brief mention of PA26-26 on a website that states that it was used in D-Day as well as the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” Unfortunately, the news article linked is no longer available. You may wish to contact Nottinghamshire Live and the Beeston Marina for more information.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking records of USS Samuel Chase landing craft
            Alex Daverede Adventurer



            Sorry to disappoint you, but the LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel) you saw in Great Britain is not a World War II veteran of the USS Samuel Chase (APA-26), but rather an LCVP of postwar construction.  The WWII boats (from Higgins as well as other contractors) were made of wood.  One can count on one hand the number of possible survivors, and they certainly would not be still afloat.  The boat you saw was of fiberglass construction built in the 1950’s, 60’s, or 70’s.  You can tell the difference between the wartime boats and postwar construction by looking at the coxswain’s position abaft the troop compartment.  The WWII boats had two Scarff ring mounts for .30 caliber machine guns aft of the steering stations; the postwar construction boats were unarmed.  The bow ramps differ as well.


            I Hope you find this information useful.


            A. J.

            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking records of USS Samuel Chase landing craft
              Frank DeVita Newbie

              My father, living, was the mate on one of the Samuel Chase landing craft at DDay. Definitely wood with iron ramp. hold 30 troops, 30 feet long and about 6 feet wide.


              There were 21 landing craft on the ship at DDay and 5 were lost in the 1st wave.


              The # 1 landing craft was always the captains Gig which also went into the beach. The famous shot into Jaws of Death is a photograph taken on June 6, 1944, by Robert F. Sargent, a chief photographer's mate in the United States Coast Guard.


              Here is his story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU8oNX9AB_E