ABOUT ACU 1
During World War II, Landing Craft Utility (LCU) operated as commissioned Landing Craft Tank (LCT) under Flotilla Commanders. The LCT had an Ensign or Lieutenant Junior Grade as Commanding Officer, and operated independently or were transported aboard larger ships. At the end of the war, most of the several hundred LCU in service were decommissioned and mothballed, and a "Centralized Flotilla Command" was established at Naval Amphibious Base. This command became LCU Squadron ONE and was made up of the approximately thirty remaining LCU in the Pacific organized into three LCU divisions.
In July, 1947, a new command came into being next door to LCU Squadron ONE: Boat Unit ONE, a small craft command specializing in the Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM), and Landing Craft Vehicle/Personnel (LCVP). In 1950 in response to the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, both commands deployed craft to the Far East. Within a few months, more than 36 LCU and more than 120 LCM and LCVP were in Korea, manned by over 1.500 Sailors. These craft formed the spearhead of the amphibious assault at Inchon, and LCU Squadron ONE and Boat Unit ONE craft took part in every amphibious operation of the conflict. Following hostilitiles, a detachment of LCU Squadron ONE and Boat Unit ONE craft were permanently forward-deployed in Japan.
Following the conflict in Korea, LCU Squadron ONE and Boat Unit ONE craft took part in various operations around the Pacific including goodwill tours to Borneo, Singapore, Pakistan, Ceylon, Bombay and Karachi, evacuation of over 100,000 French military and Vietnamese refugees from North Vietnam, as well as providing lift for the armed withdrawal of Chinese Nationalist troops from the Tachen Islands to Taiwan. On December 5, 1958 the CNO reclassified LCU from commissioned vessels, with ENS or LTJG Commanding Officers, to combatant craft with Chief Petty Officer Craftmasters.
On October 1 1963, CNO directed a merger between Boat Unit ONE and LCU Squadron ONE in order to combine and streamline the operation of the two similar commands. Boat Unit ONE was disestablished and all boats and personnel were transferred to the three LCU Divisions. LCU Squadron ONE was renamed Assault Craft Squadron ONE (ACS-1), and the divisions changed from LCU Divisions to Assault Craft Divisions to Assault Craft Divisions. The Squadron Commander was classified as a Commodore, with each Division having its own Commanding Officer and organizational staff. The squadron still retained its Western Pacific Detachment.
Beginning in 1963, ACS-1 craft were deployed to South Vietnam. Based at Naval Support Activity Danang, ACS-1 craft resupplied Marine forces far up river, and conducted day and night armed reconnaissance patrols. Over 20 ACS-1 Sailors were lost to hostile fire during this conflict, including the entire crew of LCU-1500. ACS-1 craft maintained a constant presence through the end of the conflict.
On 1 May 1968, CNO directed that Assault Craft Squadron ONE and its Assault Craft Divisions ELEVEN, TWELVE and THIRTEEN be disestablished, and reformed as Assault Craft Unit ONE (ACU 1). The overseas division became ACU-1 WESTPAC Detachment. The Squadron Commodore became the Commanding Officer.
On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and ACU-1 was one of the first Navy units to respond. Twenty LCM crews were immediately mobilized and flown to Al Jabail, Saudi Arabia, to begin offload of the Maritime Prepositioning Squadron ships. Meanwhile, on December 2, 1990 ACU-1 deployed nine LCUs and three LCMs as part of the Amphibious Task Force ONE. Within one month of arrival these craft offloaded over 20 million pounds of combat cargo.
Since September 11, 2001, ACU-1's mission set has expanded beyond the traditional assault and follow-on echelon operations to support the Global War on Terrorism. These missions include independent multi-day anti-piracy patrols, visit-board-search and seizure operations, oil platform defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Previous Commanding Officers1955-Present
CDR H. E. Hock, September 1955-January 1958
LCDR G. J. Flanders, January 1958-November 1958
LCDR E. L. Johnson, November 1958-October 1963
LCU SQUADRON ONE
LCDR E. L. Johnson, October 1963-February 1964
CDR J. V. LaVelle, February 1964-May 1966
CDR M. P. Vapo, May 1966-September 1967
CDR W. G. Sandberg, September 1967-May 1968
ASSAULT CRAFT UNIT ONE
CDR W. G. Sandberg, May 1968-March 1970
CDR G. E. Moyers, March 1970 TO March 1973
CDR C. L. Fuld, March 1973-October 1975
CDR T. A. Lewis, October 1975-April 1977
CDR A. C. Coulapides, April 1977-February 1979
CDR C. A. Weegar, February 1979-December 1980
CDR J. D. White II, December 1980-June 1981
CDR J. A. Hough, June 1981-July 1983
CDR G. W. Uhlenkott, July 1983-June 1985
CDR H. R. Wright III, June 1985-September 1987
CDR J. M. Mackey Jr., September 1987-June 1990
CDR T. J. McKearney, June 1990-February 1992
CDR J. R. Hugill, February 1992-July 1994
CDR R. Hascup, July 1994-August 1996
CDR J. L. Warren, August 1996-April 1998
CDR T. S. Wetherald, April 1998-November 1999
CDR W. C. Hammill, November 1999-August 2001
CDR S. L. Dunlap, August 2001-February 2003
CDR D. F. Jones, February 2003-November 2004
CDR K.C. Ritter, November 2004-November 2006
CDR C.J. Landis November 2006-October 2008
CDR Mike Lockwood served: October 2008- May 2010