Enter the mortar boats manned by Chemical Warfare Service (OWS) soldiers.
Mortar boats were nearly perfect for their intended mission--to provide indirect-fire support during the most vulnerable time of the amphibious operation.
After a series of training accidents, the Navy finally settled on using LCI mounted with three 4.2 mortars (one mounted forward and two amidships, with one on the port and the other on the starboard side) as mortar boats to support landings.
Four mortar boats were earmarked for the campaign in the Palaus (the principle fighting took place on the island of Pelielu and involved the First Marine Division and one Army regiment).
The results were excellent, so more LCIs were converted to mortar boats and two groups consisting of up to six mortar boats supported the Leyte Gulf landings.
Powhatan for a relief mission to Fort Pickens (off Pensacola, Florida) (April 1861); promoted to commander (August, retroactive to April), he performed blockade duty on the Gulf coast and searched for the commerce raider Sumter in the West Indies; planned a naval offensive against New Orleans (November 1861-April 1862), and recommended Farragut for command; given command of a flotilla of twenty mortar boats
, he played a significant role in both the capture of New Orleans (April 27) and of Forts St.