By Tamas Mondovics
The High Country of North Carolina and Tennessee That provided you with advanced programs in answer to the Presidents request to document World War II veterans, is answering the call again. A representative of The National Museum Of The Pacific War will visit Mountain City next week. The museum has found and restored a WW II LCVP that made many of the 100 D Day Invasions in WW II. The representative, Jeff Copsetta will visit Ken Wiley, who drove an LCVP in seven invasions in the Pacific . The LCVP, famous from General Eisonhour’s statement that if it had not been for the LCVP we could not have fought the war. The Japanese referred to it as “The Teeth Of The Tiger” because it was the boat that landed the assault troops in every invasion. The Museum is Promoting a spectacular monthly program around it.
In World War II, the Americans made every ( D Day) invasion from the sea, with the LCVP, (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) leading the assault waves in every one. All 75 invasions that we made in the Pacific were from the sea and landing on hostile, enemy beaches. They weren’t about to provide docks for our ships to unload. The assault waves and their equipment were carried from the ships to the beaches in the LCVP’s and LCM’s. Their sole purpose was to establish and secure a beach head. That beach head was like a funnel so that all of the troops, equipment and logistics could be unloaded. The LCVP became an important part of the operation, moving troops around, rescuing troops and all sorts of utility usage.
Jeff Copsetta, Educational Director at The National Museum Of The Pacific War, in Fredericksburg, Texas is in charge of the restoration and program development of one of the last, original LCVP’s. Costa will visit the region on May 8-9 to visit and talk with Ken Wiley, of Mountain City, TN. Wiley, the Cox’n of an LCVP, off an Attack Transport, participated in seven major invasions, from Kwajalein to Okinawa in the Pacific during World War II. Wiley, a world war II history buff has written seven books on the Amphibious warfare in the Pacific. His first book, Lucky Thirteen; (Title named after the number of his boat), D Days In The Pacific With The Coast Guard in World War II, received 21 five star reviews and The Best Book Of 2007 by The Heritage Foundation. The book details the U S Amphibious Forces and the invasions as well as life of the boys that drove the LCVP’s.
A more recent book, 72 Hours That Changed The World describes the secret ambush that the Japanese had set for us if we had landed on the Japanese Mainland on November 1, 1945, as we had planned. In a secret plan, developed in mid 1943 called “Surprise Attack” to defend their homeland, they built 9,200 suicide boats , to hide in the coves around their homeland island of Tokyo and another 6,000 suicide planes, plus highly secret submarines that could launch airplane bombers.
Fortunately, the atomic bombs dropped 2.5 months before in August, 12945 and a threat to drop a third on Tokyo stopped the war. Wiley and Moretz , President and Vice President of The Appalachian High Country Round Table, both Co-Hosts of the seven year long T V show, Veterans Voice and Founders of The Local Veterans Video Museum’s , plus speakers at Symposiums, Schools, Universities and Civic organizations, have worked diligently to not only to give recognition to veterans, but to share their educational and historic contributions to the community .In order to offer autographed copies to an expanded area, they are opening a website, hopefully by July that will provide autographed copies, of the books along with DVD’s to the public, nationally . The National Museum of The Pacific War, with its LCVP program is a natural outlet for these.
Article provided by The Appalachian High Country World II Round Table
To The Tomahawk , Mountain City, TN . Also Recommend The Johnson City Press.
Ken Wiley; 182 Circle Dr. Mountain City, TN 37683; 423 460-1724; [email protected]