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