Saipan 1944


An Example of a new type of vessel at the time of the Saipanoperation is the USS Oak Hill , LSD-7.
Landing Ship Dock means a lower able stern of the ship , which can be flooded.
So the Landing crafts are be able to floating out of there own.
In the later part of the operation LSDīs servered as Repair ships for Landing crafts.

The basic model from the producer Hansa was named "Ashland"

and received a lot of conversions.

The camouflage scheme MS31/9L of the Oak Hill and some of her sisters was rather short
living and was replaced from summer 1944 on by Navy Blue. However until that time the LSDīs
were the biggest units camouflaged in green tones.

A view into the Dock bay with numerous Landing crafts with in …

LST-242 ,Landing Ship Tank, is a 100m long type of Landing ship which is able to reach in the beaches.
On and below the deck it is transporting many trucks, halftracks, Jeeps and others …

A Landing Ship Medium (LSM) in a new " tropical green " scheme
and behind some Landing Craft Tank (LCT), with Tanks and other vehicles
on their way to the Landing zone "red" …

In a long procession the vehicle carrying LSMs and LCTs are following the smaller Landing crafts
with Marines of the first waves, which are just reaching the beaches.
In the background a cruiser is firing the last salvo of preparing fire support.

The smaller Landing crafts wear a lot of different camouflage schemes and colours,
so even the less used brown colours could show some variations.

This LCT is carrying a mixed load on deck: In front an open halftrack, behind an artillery carrying halftrack and a closed one with an awning. On the port side: A light tank of type M5-Stuart and an open Jeep with a MG.

Another LSM is shown here in Navy Blue with floatable vehicles
which are embarking in the deepwater area.

As a matter of fact this are LVT-2 amphibious tanks with two dozens of Marines in each and LVT-A (the same type as an artillery carrier ).
Especially during the Saipanlandings this successful amphibious tanks
servered in large numbers, because they were able to overcome the edge of the coral reefs on the way to beaches.

The high speed Attack transport USS Kane ( APD-18 ) is crossing the assembly zone.
She belongs to the type of the old flush deck destroyers , from which many were converted
for other duties, like the Kane - with four Landing crafts.

Meanwhile Landing crafts of the second wave are passing a PC - type submarine chaser, used as a control ship on its position.
The bigger ones of the Landing crafts are LCMīs Landing Craft Mechanized
- which are carrying also light Tanks instead of Infantry …

A Battleship of the firer support group is visible in the background, it is the USS New Mexico , BB-40.She had just fired the last salvo before the firer intermission for the moment zero of the Landing.

In the foreground here again the LSM with the disembarking amphibious tanks, while the New Mexico
is near the edge of the coral reef, like some other heavy Units.

Another type of Landing vessel is the Landing Craft Infantry (LCI)
which is able to transport more than a full company direct to the beaches.
This LCI with numerous Marines on the forecastle appears in camouflage scheme 22.