The Landing Craft, Personnel (Ramp) (LCP(R)) was developed during 1941 by Andrew Higgins to solve the biggest problem with the basic LCP(L) – the difficulties encountered in disembarking over the sides of the craft, and was the first version of the Higgins Boat to feature a bow ramp.
In April 1941 Higgins visited Quantico, where he was shown a picture of a Japanese landing craft with a bow ramp. He returned to New Orleans where he installed a similar ramp in the bow of a 36ft LCP(L). Tests took place on 21 May on Lake Pontchartrain. The modified boat proved to be seaworthy. It was beached and retracted with ease, the ramp was lowered successfully and troops and a light truck were landed and re-embarked. The LCP(R) passed its official acceptance tests in the first week of June 1941 and soon entered service. Eventually 2,572 were built before construction moved on to the armoured LCVP.
The LCP(R) was of fully wooden construction, with a wooden frame, plywood sides and a double plank bottom with a pine block outer layer and plywood inner. Most were powered by the same Gray Marine 225hp diesel engine as the LCP(L) although some were given less powerful gasoline engines. It could carry 36 (or 39) fully loaded troops, up to 8,000lb of cargo or a light vehicle. It was sturdy enough to be lowered fully loaded on davits, or empty by crane.
The LCP(R) was used in North Africa and on Guadalcanal, Salerno and Tarawa. Like the LCP(L) its wooden construction meant that it was vulnerable to damage by beach obstacles, and by the time of the D-Day landings it had been superseded by the LCVP, of which over 20,000 were constructed during the war.
Length: 35ft 11.75in
Width: 10ft 9.5in
Draft when light: 2ft 6in
Draft when loaded: 3ft 6in
Maximum hoisting weight: 16,000lb
Loaded Displacement: 24,100lb
Engine: Gray Marine 64HN9 six-cylinder diesel most common
Armament: Two .30in machine guns (one in some sources)