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USN Amphibious Ships - The Gator Navy "L" Ships & AKA/APA


Bearmon
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Salvage Sailor
On 10/9/2019 at 4:20 PM, Salvage Sailor said:

USS TERRELL COUNTY (LST-1157) Terrebonne Parish class tank landing ship in service 1953 to 1971

 

South Korean and American troop lifts to RVN, Market Time & Brown Water Navy support ship, Vietnam Advisory service and 12 campaign stars for Vietnam War service

 

Photos from Navsource

 

Seawolf Huey on Flight Deck

Army Huey on Flight Deck

Armed LCVP ashore in Vietnam

USS TERRELL COUNTY Flight Deck

 

LST 1157 USS TERRELL COUNTY 003.jpg

 

LST 1157 USS TERRELL COUNTY 004b.jpg

 

LST 1157 USS TERRELL COUNTY 005b.jpg

 

LST 1157 USS TERRELL COUNTY 006.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor
On 2/4/2014 at 9:25 AM, Bearmon said:

USS Wahkiakum County LST-1162 1953-1970 East Coast Amphib

 

 

USS WAHKIAKUM COUNTY (LST-1162) US made with rocker

 

LST 1162 USS WAHKIAKUM COUNTY 001.jpg

 

LST 1162 USS WAHKIAKUM COUNTY 002.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CHURCHILL COUNTY (LST-583) LST-542 class landing ship tank in service 1944-46, 1960-1968 assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. Primarily operated in Panama, the Caribbean and South America

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 001.jpg

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 001a.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CHURCHILL COUNTY (LST-583) LST-542 class landing ship tank in service 1944-46, 1960-1968 assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. Primarily operated in Panama, the Caribbean and South America

 

Three battle stars WWII for participating in the Lingayen Gulf landing in January 1945, the Zambales-Subic Bay landing in January 1945, and the Mindanao Island landings in March and April 1945. Following the war, LST-583 performed occupation duty in the Far East until mid-December 1945.

 

Patch circa 1960's, unknown maker

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 002.jpg

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 003.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CHURCHILL COUNTY (LST-583) LST-542 class landing ship tank in service 1944-46, 1960-1968 assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. Primarily operated in Panama, the Caribbean and South America

 

Personal Recollection of LT. Robert Burris, Executive Officer USS Churchill (LST-583)
 
"Summer 1965 - In the Aero Jet General yards in Jacksonville FL.
 
Fall 1965 - Cruise to Panama through Christmas. Liberty in Puerto Lemon, Costa Rico and Santa Marta, Columbia
Also went to the San Blas Islands to deliver aid material to the San Blas Indians. The last time any ship was there was 1790’s and that was the Spanish, all the soundings on the chart are mine. We followed a US Army Q boat which was following an Indian canoe though the reefs where we anchored in a small bay where we had about 15 feet of spare room on each end of the ship Rex [Commanding Officer LCDR Carpenter] was a great ship driver, and had lots of guts.
 
Spring 1966 - to Panama stopping in Kingston Jamaica where we took on a 50 ft boat on the main deck, and delivered it to Panama, LT. Michael H.V. Nolan relieved LCDR. Carpenter in Panama. We went to the back country south of the canal to support prep for a new canal. Big tide range and on the way home, we stopped in the Dominican Republic and evacuated the last US Army troops from the 1964 invasion. I was in USS Monrovia (APA-31) which sent in the first wave there in 1964.
 
Summer 1966 - We went to the head of the Chesapeake Bay to Havre De Grace Maryland to act as the judges stand for a hydra plane race, followed by a cruise to Argentia, Newfoundland Ireland and Iceland. I am pretty sure that this is the time frame when we hit the Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel.
 
Spring 1967 - Back to Panama, sailed to Lima Peru but had to turn around and return... This is when we had the “crossing” shellback celebration. We went to support the second canal again, and broached on the beach but with major effort and a hell of a lot of luck, we got off with no problem. We went to the San Blas Islands again, and that is where we hit a reef and ripped a hole in the bottom big enough to drive a Volkswagen through. Back to Little Creek and I left the ship...All of these things happened and I think I have the dates pretty close Many thanks Bob"
Source: navsource.org

 

 

Patch circa 1960's for service in Panama, US made by Gemsco

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 004.jpg

 

LST 583 USS CHURCHILL 005.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS GARRETT COUNTY (AGP-786), ex-WWII LST-786, Recommissioned in 1966 and converted to a Patrol Craft Tender (AGP) for service in Vietnam with the brown water navy and HAL-3.

 

Decommissioned in 1971 as part of the ACTOV program (Accelerated Turnover) and commissioned in the South Vietnamese Navy as RVNS CAN THO (HQ 801). She escaped to the Philippines in 1975 and was absorbed into the Philippine Navy as BPR Kalinga Apayao (LT 516)

 

Photos from Seawolf.org here USS GARRETT COUNTY

 

LST 786 AGP 786 USS GARRETT COUNTY 001.jpg

 

LST 786 AGP 786 USS GARRETT COUNTY 002.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS GARRETT COUNTY (AGP-786), ex-WWII LST-786, Recommissioned in 1966 and converted to a Patrol Craft Tender (AGP) for service in Vietnam with the brown water navy and HAL-3.

 

Repro patch with original & more SEAWOLVES photos aboard AGP-786

 

LST 786 AGP 786 USS GARRETT COUNTY 003.jpg

 

LST 786 AGP 786 USS GARRETT COUNTY 004.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS DE SOTO COUNTY (LST-1171) BRAVE, BOLD, RESOLUTE In service 1958 to 1977.

 

Class leader of seven new LST built in the 1950's. 1 campaign star for Vietnam service

 

Two different merrowed edge versions (note the teeth)

 

LST 1171 USS DE SOTO COUNTY 001.jpg

 

LST 1171 USS DE SOTO COUNTY 002.jpg

 

LST 1171 USS DE SOTO COUNTY 003.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS DE SOTO COUNTY (LST-1171) READY - WILLING - ABLE In service 1958 to 1977.

 

Class leader of seven new LST built in the 1950's. 1 campaign star for Vietnam service

 

Older and larger cut edge version with a different motto

 

LST 1171 USS DE SOTO COUNTY 005.jpg

 

LST 1171 USS DE SOTO COUNTY 006.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS COCONINO COUNTY (LST-603) In USN service 1944 to 1969, veteran of the Invasion of Southern France August 1944.  She was recommissioned for use in South Vietnam from 1966 to 1969 and during this period she was mined by VC swimmers at Cua Viet 29 June 1967.  Turned over to the RVNS in the ACTOV program and renamed the Vung-Tau (HQ-503) she served with the RVNS until 1975 when she was severely damaged and her Captain badly wounded by NVA artillery while rescuing ARVN 2nd division troops.  Soon after she was captured by the Vietnamese People's Navy and pressed into service as a training vessel.  She was still afloat and serving in Vietnam as late as 2003.

 

LST-603 received one battle star for World War II service, and Coconino County received six campaign stars and two awards of the Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam War service.

 

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 001.jpg

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 002.jpg

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 003.jpg

 

Photo:  Lookout stands watch on the sand-bagged bridge while USS Coconino County (LST-603) operates in South China Sea in February 1967.
US National Archives Photo # USN 1142211 US Navy photo by JOC R. D. Moeser, now in the collections of the US National Archives.

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 004.jpg

 

Photo:  The deck of USS Coconino County (LST-603) is the scene of an Ontos tank briefing in preparation for Operation Deckhouse V, 4 January 1967.
US National Archives Photo # K-35611, a US Navy photo by PH1 V.O. McColley, now in the collections of the US National Archives.

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 005.jpg

 

Photo: RVNS Vung Tau (HQ-503) underway, date and location unknown

 

LST 603 USS COCONINO COUNTY 006.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY (LST-1197) Newport class in service 1970 to 1994, Homeport Little Creek, VA

 

IMG_4532.JPG

 

IMG_4533.JPG

 

"ICE STATION TANGO"

 

USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY (LST-1197) Operation Smokey Topaz, Barents Sea 1982 Ice Edge hunting Commie Subs during the Cold War

 

IMG_4534.JPG

 

IMG_4535.JPG

 

"ICE STATION TANGO"

 

From May through July of 1982, the USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY (LST-1197) participated in Operation "Smokey Topaz", its own version of the "Hunt for Red October." This photo is the 51 member "Spook Detachment" that was embarked for this operation to gather intelligence on any Russian Naval activity.

 

LST 1197 USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY SMOKEY TOPAZ BARENTS SEA 1982 003.jpg

 

Source and more photos here including the SEAL team chasing Russian subs in their Zodiac

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CAPRICORNUS (AKA-57) Andromeda class amphibious cargo ship in service 1944 to 1970

 

AKA 57 USS CAPRICORNUS 001.jpg

 

AKA 57 USS CAPRICORNUS 002.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CHEBOYGAN COUNTY (LST-533) YOU CALL WE HAUL

 

LST 491 Class Landing Ship Tank in service 1944 to 1969, Renamed Cheboygan County (i.e. "The Big Boat") in 1955.  She participated in the Invasion of Normandy. LST-533 departed Trebah near Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom on 5 June 1944, transporting units of the 29th Infantry Division. Following the War, LST-533 performed occupation duty in Europe until early February 1953.  She served with Service Force Atlantic Fleet for the remainder of her career.

 

LST 533 USS CHEBOYGAN COUNTY 001.jpg

 

LST 533 USS CHEBOYGAN COUNTY 002.jpg

 

USS LST-533 dropping anchor while beaching at Normandy during the invasion, June 1944.
US Army Signal Corps newsreel photo.

 

1016053303.jpg

 

USS Cheboygan County (LST-533) beached during a training invasion near Ft. Pierce, FL in November 1962.

 

1016053306.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor
On 12/22/2013 at 9:37 AM, sigsaye said:

This was my first Gator. I was SM1, served from '81 to '84. Great ship and my favorite of all I served on. She still did the "Over the Side" boats WW 2 style. Great ships, very comfortable coming from old Tin Cans

post-2104-0-73446800-1387740936.jpg

 

Here ya go Steve,

 

USS ST LOUIS (LKA-116) Charleston class amphibious cargo ship, was the sixth US ship to bear the name. She served as a commissioned ship for 22 years and 11 months.

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 001.jpg

 

Officers & Enlisted ball cap patches and rocker (UIM or Tab if you prefer)

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 002.jpg

 

USS ST LOUIS (LKA-116) MEDICAL DEPARTMENT - All LKA'a had a full medical and surgical ward for the Gators and their embarked troops.

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS MEDICAL 001.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS MEDICAL 002.jpg

 

USS ST. LOUIS LKA-116  The first and hard to find yellow & green version of her patch made by Swiss-Tex

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 003.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 004.jpg

 

and the yellow and red version of her patch, same as sigsaye's, made by Marine Photos & Publishing

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 005.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 006.jpg

 

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sigsaye
5 hours ago, Salvage Sailor said:

 

Here ya go Steve,

 

USS ST LOUIS (LKA-116) Charleston class amphibious cargo ship, was the sixth US ship to bear the name. She served as a commissioned ship for 22 years and 11 months.

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 001.jpg

 

Officers & Enlisted ball cap patches and rocker (UIM or Tab if you prefer)

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 002.jpg

 

USS ST LOUIS (LKA-116) MEDICAL DEPARTMENT - All LKA'a had a full medical and surgical ward for the Gators and their embarked troops.

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS MEDICAL 001.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS MEDICAL 002.jpg

 

USS ST. LOUIS LKA-116  The first and hard to find yellow & green version of her patch made by Swiss-Tex

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 003.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 004.jpg

 

and the yellow and red version of her patch, same as sigsaye's, made by Marine Photos & Publishing

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 005.jpg

 

LKA 116 USS ST LOUIS 006.jpg

 

She was a great ship. She was put down during RimPac ‘18 I believe. Sunk

as a target. Took a couple of missiles to sink her. 

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Salvage Sailor

USS CADDO PARISH (LST-515) LST-491 class tank landing ship in USN service 1944 to 1969.  She was one of the eight LST's that took part in the disastrous "Exercise Tiger" (a practice for the planned invasion of France) in April 1944. Under attack from German E-boats, LST-515 returned fire and lowered her boats to pick up survivors from LST-507.  LST-515 participated in the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Following the war, LST-515 performed occupation duty in the Far East until mid-November 1952. She also saw postwar service with the Service Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

 

02 Amphibious Squadron Two 005.jpg

 

The Caddo Parish was one of eleven LST’s assigned to Landing Ship Squadron Two (LANSHIPRON-2) operating out of the U.S. Amphibious base at Little Creek, Virginia. She performed duties with the U.S. Expeditionary Force in the Dominican Republic in 1965.  In December 1965 she was refitted with single 40mm gun mounts fore and aft and transferred to the Pacific Fleet arriving Chu Lai, South Vietnam March 1966.  

 

Photo from navsource:  Refitted with a flight deck and dedicated spaces for service in RVN with the brown water navy

 

LST 515 USS CADDO PARISH 003.jpg

 

While in Vietnam she was attached to the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) in a combat support role operating out of Vung Tau. Although her main duties were to run supplies for the MRF, she did come under fire on several occasions, and did have the opportunity to “Fire a Shot in Anger” more than once. The most significant of these incidents was a late night rocket attack at Dong Tam in March 1969 when she took 3 or 4 direct hits to the port side. One rocket entered the berthing compartment nearest the galley shredding the top bunk with shrapnel. Four men sustained various wounds during this attack. After repairs were made in Subic Bay, the Caddo Parish returned to the Delta and continued her calls to Nha Be, Dong Tam, Can Tho (Bien Thuy) and other ports of call known to the Gator Freighters in support to the brown water navy in RVN. 

 

LST 515 USS CADDO PARISH 001.jpg

 

The tank landing ship performed service in Vietnam until transferred to the Republic of the Philippines as grant aid on 26 November 1969, whereafter she served the Philippine Navy as RPS Bataan (LT-85). Her final fate is unknown.  LST-515 received one battle star for World War II service

 

LST 515 USS CADDO PARISH 002.jpg

 

Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendations, (2) Meritorious Unit Commendation, RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm, RVN Civil Action Medal, First Class, with Palm, RVN Campaign Medal with 60’s device and the Vietnam Service Medal with (10) Battle Stars.

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) 'Devil Dog',  Tarawa class amphibious assault ship (general purpose) in service 1978 to 2005

 

1978 Swiss-Tex Commissioning Set, The Leonard Corporation, Patch, Covers, Decals, Welcome Aboard

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Swiss Tex 005.jpg

 

USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) Swiss Tex 

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Swiss Tex 002.jpg

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Swiss Tex 001.jpg

 

Full card version above, Ships' store boxed version below with rocker

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Swiss Tex 003.jpg

 

USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) MEDICAL DEPARTMENT

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Medical Department 001.jpg

 

LHA 3 USS BELLEAU WOOD Medical Department 002.jpg

 

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