Elsie I

Other Names: ex-LCI(G)465 Date of Sinking: October 17, 1951
Rig/Type: Fishing Barge Cause of Sinking: Foundered
Length: 149.8 Breadth: 23.2' Tons: 79 Cargo: None
Built: Barber, N.J. 1943 Location: Huntington Beach
Hull Construction: Steel Depth: 55' Visibility: 5-20'

The Elsie I (a play on the letters "L","C" and "I") began as the LCI(G)465.  Launched September 20, 1945, the boat headed for NY, then to Solomons, MD for training with a crew of 26 and three officers. After transiting the Canal, the LCI headed up to San Diego, where rocket launchers were installed. The LCI then sailed to a number of islands in the South Pacific until it participated in the invasion of Guam on July 21, 1944. During the raid, the starboard side was shot up, damaging the engine. After a tow to Pearl Harbor for repairs and later returned to combat in Leyte.  

At the end of the war, the LCI found itself back in California amongst many similar barges waiting to be scrapped.  Having a sound steel hull, the LCIs made good barges. In 1948, the LCI(G)465 was purchased by Ivey Sparks and Orville Dant and employed as a fishing barge and renamed the Elsie I.  In 1949, the Elise I was sold to its long time captain, Ernest Ingersoll and Giles E. Wallace.  On April 29, 1951, a storm swept through southern California sinking or stranding four fishing barges, including the Elsie I.  At 4:30AM the Elsie I rolled over and capsized, taking the life of the bargemaster, Joseph Showalter.  Efforts to salvage the barge and possibly retrieve the body of the barge master failed. By May 12, the bow sank and the stern broke off and floated away before sinking a half mile away, upside down.

Bow Section of the Elsie I

A view from inside the bow, looking aft towards the stairs.

Bollards are on top of the forecastle deck.
Porthole holes.
The wreck is loaded with lobsters, even during the day.
Left: The infantry loading ramp--hallmark of an LCI.


Stern section of the Elsie I

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