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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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