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Landing Craft Personnel - Large [LCP(L)]

Landing Craft Personnel (Large) (LCPL) Mk IV and Mk 12

Displacement: 9 tons 
Length: 36 feet 
Beam: 10.7 feet
Draft: 3 feet 
Propulsion: 1 Gray Marine diesel, 225 hp, 1 shaft 
Speed: 14 kts
Range: Crew: 4 
Weapons: LCPL Mk IV – 1 7.62mm Mini-gun, 3 to 5 .50 BMG, 2 to 4 7.62mm mg, 1 60mm mortar Mk 4 Mod 0, 40mm grenade launcher Mk 20 Mod 0, 40mm grenade launcher Mk 18 Mod 0. LCPL Mk 12 – 2 .50 BMG, 2 7.62mm mg

Photo: John Engstrom 



The LCPL Mk IV is steel-hulled. The LCPL Mk 12 is fiberglass. Four Mk IV LCPL’s were converted for SEAL support in Viet Nam. Mk 12 LCPL’s assigned to Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE did security patrols, provided escort, and did other security tasks on the rivers and ports of Viet Nam. The LCPL Mk 11/12/13-series boats are still used for security, as captain’s gigs, and admiral’s barges.

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Photo: Bill Masasso


03/13/04  dan and george

I do not know how my group and i can ever thank your people and readers who have helped us in getting the information that we needed together over this long and very cold north east winter. As a result we are set to start in doing the nitty gritty hands on labor . Photos of the work groups and boat as we go will be following shortly.

This lcp-l was completed in march of 1987 by Watercraft Wmerica of Edgewater FL. She is powered by a single 1986 Detroit Diesel model 7082-7399, a 8v71 TI with 460 horse power. The marine transmission is a 1986 Twin Disc model mg514c hooked to a 2-1/2 inch Aquamet prop shaft, spinning a 28 by 28, 4 blade bronze prop .The steering was built by Wagner Steering and is a T2 model rudder unit with a model b 1 helm unit, the LOL is 36 ft 2 inches with a 12 ft 8 inch beam, draft is just shy of 4 feet, load weight is almost 18.000 lbs. fuel cap. 200 gals. electric is all 24 volt. she at 1 time even had cabin heat and a/c, they could carry 17 people and a crew of 3 or 20 total.

They where used for small boat command and control functions during amphibious operations, with the last listed build information found to be in fy 1992 by Peterson Builders.

While doing the research we found these companies and their web sites of major help for a lot of mechanical information: tech sheets for all mechanical updates for DD motors. oil service sheets. coolant sheets, turbo information they have a down load area for almost any  marine motor built there we got the build, blue print and factory spec sheets for motors , gen. sets and transmissions. very informative and helpful they have a down load area where you can get the owners manual. and capacity sheets for all twindisc transmissions. and very kindly helped us find out the model and build date of the transmission, put us into a local factory service center, all from the only information we could find on the trans. the serial number. they even had a replacement id plate stamped out and shipped to us. With all the needed information on it for repairs along with the oil type, weight and cap. 6 gals of 40 weight.

Steering was the hard part but there are two companies in Canada that make replacement units and parts for the no longer Wagner company www.wagnersteering .com is Summer Equipment Ltd they seem to have the rights, builds and repairs all the Wagner steering units. They furnished us with build sheets of how the unit comes apart to remove it from the boat, they also helped us get in touch with 2 north east USA companies to get it repaired. They also have a down load area for unit information this area is still a work in progress but very helpful. true Wagner parts the second company, Jastram Technologies ltd. also in BC Canada makes a replacement unit very much like the original and services all the Wagner units. they again where very helpful with copies of the old Wagner build sheets it seems that when Wagner closed up these two companies formed, one got the rights the other got the engineers, at any rate the military units can be fixed or replaced by both companies. The t type is simple and easy to work on we also found some one who had a copy of the 36 pl tech manual and photo copied and shipped it at his cost for us, that was the biggest and most needed find, Ebay helped out with some people selling the actual DD factory service manuals for the motor.
cheap. Both in the factory books and on cd's.

Again if i can help any one doing a lcp-l restore out with any of my information I gladly will.

Thanks again, Charles Germer

(01-04-04)  Thank you very much for putting us into some help. We still can not find the year of build information about the motor ,etc.

We are in dire need of info on the steering gear as it leaks fluid and does not look easy to get out much less find a replacement .

We are hoping to have it operational by March 15, painted black bottom white top sides coast guard blue and red slashes and aux lettering.

Thank you again, Charles Germer  US Coast Guard Aux. Dist. 1 Southern Fl 10-13

(6-15-03)  Hi,

I was stationed at Qua Viet, South Vietnam with Taskforce Clearwater from July 0f 1969 to March 1970. I was a "Boat Captain" (E-4) with the Navy. I relieved an E-4, who commanded Lima 12.

We had a crew of four, myself (Boatswain's Mate 3rd), one snipe (engineman E3), one gunners mate E3), and a seaman (E3). I was in a squadron with metal hulled LCPL's and one other fiberglass or kevlar hulled boat.

When I took command, we had a plywood deck overhead. Radar didn't work, but we had a huge infrared light (on the overhead) and NOD (night observation device mounted on the starboard side of the door leading into the cabin). We had bow and stern 50 caliber machine guns and port and starboard 60 cal. machine guns. The stern 50 was interchangeable with a 60mm mortar.

It was powered by a supercharged Detroit Diesel 671 and we had a power screw on the out drive. Had to replace it once or twice because we dug our way out of sand bars in the river frequently. All of our patrols were at night and 7 days a week.

When I first got there, Lima 12 was olive drab in color. We prepped for a visit from the Secretary of the Navy by painting the hull, deck and super structure dark gray and the gunwale black, I believe. I coxswained the boat on about 250 night time missions up the Qua Viet River to Dong Ha. We supported the 3rd Marine Division until they pulled out.

Had a detachment of PBR's there as well. They were ok, but I liked my LCPL! :)
We would get underway at dusk and travel up river to our patrol area. All night long we would power up river, cut engine, and drift to the other end of our zone. Had seven to nine boats out there along a 7-9 mile stretch. When we drifted we frequently hit sand bars and the only way to get off of them was to back off. We used the power screw to "dig our way out".

We steered by dead reckoning. Had no visible lights for obvious reasons, so we had to learn the river, villages, and rice paddies any way we could.

I had a Marine Corps sniper team on board for a while. Great guys!! One carried an M14 with a starlight scope. The other had a Remington BDL 306. Never saw a whisp of dust on those rifles. Had an Army sniper time for a short period too. One carried an M79 Grenade launcher and the other had an M16 with a bolt rusted shut. Didn't stay on board long!!

Stayed in "hootches" at the mouth of the River. Had a village on the north side and we were on the south. Use to have a dredge to keep the river mouth open for LST's and LCM's. The base got mortared one holiday night. We were watching them walk the rounds across the river toward our base. Saw the green and red lights one minute and red and green the next. Never saw a ship turn so fast!! :)

I don't remember my boat having a hull number, but it may have. We painted it a couple of times. Our whole squadron wore "black berets". We had the Taskforce Clearwater shield on the side, an upright sword over a couple of background colors.

Lima 12 was one heck of a boat. It had a deep V hull. We engaged the NVA and Viet Cong on about 25 occasions. The deck made it really easy to catch all the brass. Spent a while cleaning up after a firefight, throwing brass over the side while rearming in Dong Ha.

As I'm sure you're aware, there weren't any "toilets" on board, so we spent a lot of time "hangin' over the side"!! :) Carried our own personal weapons as well. My personal favorite was my 12 gauge Remington.

I only have one or two black and white photo's of my boat and they were from a distance. We worked with a Vietnamese navy unit stationed west of our base. When I left and returned to DaNang before going stateside, I said my good-byes, but a week later everyone else showed up at Camp TienSha. The US had given our entire base, equipment and all to the South Vietnamese. They lasted about a week and walked away from the base when the NVA showed up. They took the whole base without firing a single round. That really sucked!! :)

Anyway, hope this helps answer some of your mystery. I don't remember anything we did to make Lima 12 truly distinctive. It did have a quarter inch plate around the coxswains area when I was on board. Had one of my drunk buddies on another LCPL one night riddle the port side with a "burp gun". Kicked his butt when I caught up to him next morning.

My son is looking back at my time there so I am copying this to him. He was the one who found this sight, and your email.


Mark S. Morgan
Seaside, California

(12-11-02) As I understand it, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE was responsible for port and river security. Their task was not interdiction of enemy supplies and manpower. That task was done by the PBR's on the rivers and the PCF's/WPB's along the coast. According to my internet search there were 5 of these units in RVN and they used a combination of LCPL's, Boston Whalers, and a nifty 45-foot picket boat for security work. These units were located at: IUWU-1, Vung Tau; IUWU-2, Cam Ranh Bay; IUWU-3, Qui Nhon; IUWU-4, Nha Trang; and IUWU-5, Vung Ro Bay. 

There is a shot of the 45-foot picket boat at the Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE site, but I was not able to copy it. The boat loosely resembles the old 70-foot Elco PT boats of WW2 with two gun tubs for twin .50 BMGs and no torpedo tubes. 

Most of the LCPL's I have seen (or are for sale) are the fiberglass versions. The LCPL at the UDT/SEAL Museum is a fiberglass boat. I don't know how many of the steel hulled types were built, but they were a 1950s-early 1960s boat. Uniflite builds them today (same outfit that built the PBR). - Bob Stoner

04/09/01 - Dan I served with the Inshore Undersea Warfare Group One (IUWG-1) in Nha Trang, Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. We used the LCP(L)'s and "Skimmers" (13 1/2 Boston Whalers). The LCP(L)'s were prop driven (Pre-PBR) that patroled the Harbors of Vietnam. They were 36" long, 1 engine with a "V-Drive". (The engine sit in the boat backwards). Don't have any other infomation on these boats. Would like to have more info. Picture attached. Larry R. Eberlin    []

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Photos: Larry Eberlin


 I own a 36ft LCPL here in Guam and would like to find others that own similar boats. This one was built by Miami Beach Yacht Corp. in 1965 and is powered by a single Detroit Diesel 6-71T engine thru a v-drive. I intend to go commercial fishing here locally and would like to gather info on this type of boat from others that have some knowledge of this vessel. Thank you, Jonathan       DIABLO []

12/07/00   Hi; I was given your email as a contact to find out about a boat that I have acquired which is apparently a LCPL, made by Uniflite. The hull appears to be Kevlar, the boat is approx. 37 feet long and 13.5 feet wide. It has a single turbo 6-71.The hull is black over an original camo and the numbers prominent are SB-12. The windshield articulates and folds flat on the cabin top. Thanks for the assistance,  Stephen Burt;

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