International Radio Call Sign: November-Victor-Uniform-Victor
LCI(L)-1091 was laid down at Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan, and commissioned on 21 September 1944.
LCI-1091 arrived in the Pacific at the end of the battle for Iwo Jima, fought at Okinawa in 1945 and was used as a minesweeper to clean up around Japan after the war. She was assigned to the Pacific Theatre and participated in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto from 28 April to 30 June 1945. She received two battle stars for her WW II duty.
The landing craft performed minesweeping duties in the Kōchi-Shikoku area from 8 September to 16 September, and in the Nagoya area from 28 September to 25 October.
LCI(L)-1091 was on occupation duty from 2 September to 16 December 1945. In 1946 she participated in the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll as a testing support ship.
On 28 February 1949, she was, like all other LCIs remaining, reclassified as LSIL-1091.
The ship remained active during the Korean War. In 1951 she was converted to a Laboratory Ship. During her time in Korea, LSIL-1091 was assigned as an Epidemiological Control Ship for Fleet Epidemic Disease Control Unit No. 1, a part of the U.S. effort to combat malaria in Korea. From October to September 1951, LSIL-1091 was at Koje-do performing malaria testing among residents and refugees.
She was used in a covert missions behind enemy lines investigating disease outbreak of alleged bubonic plague in North Korea. Brigadier General Crawford Sams "medical intelligence" mission to Wonsan, North Korea in March 1951 had been first launched from the LSI(L)-1091. The ship received four battle stars for her role in the Korean War.
After Korea the LSI-1091 became one of the navy's smallest aircraft carriers when she was used to launch anti-aircraft target drones.
In 1955 she was decommissioned at Astoria, Oregon.
The former LSIL-1091 was sold for commercial use and operated as a cannery ship for salmon on the Yukon River in Alaska from 1961 until 1985. In 1988 she was purchased by Dr. Ralph Davis and moved to Eureka, California, where she fished for albacore from 1995 until 2003.
In 2005, she was donated to be a museum ship for the Humboldt Bay Naval Sea/Air Museum at Eureka, and is currently open to the public during restoration. She is open on Fridays and Sundays from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM or any time by arrangement(usually Fridays and Sundays, but if the flag is flying from the forward mast, visitors are welcome). The Humboldt Amateur Radio Club often runs a Special Event Amateur Radio station out of the original radio room.
LSI-1091 had been in continuous use for most of her 65 year life and remains in near original condition.
The Humboldt Bay Naval Sea/Air Museum is now defunct. The vessel has changed hands to the new group LSI-L Museum Association