Described by one soldier as a metal box designed by a sadist to move soldiers across the water, the Landing Craft, Infantry was a large beaching craft intended to deliver an infantry company to a hostile shore, once the beachhead was secured. The LCI and its vehicle-delivery counterpart, the Landing Ship, Medium were widely used by the allies during World War II. Later, the hulls of these ships were used as the basis for a fire support ship. While the landing ships were phased out after the Korean War, some fire support craft remained in use throughout the Vietnam War.
Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969 70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.