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DeSoto County (LST-1171)

 

DeSoto County (LST-1171) (q.v.) was named after counties in Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. She was laid down in September 1956 at Avondale, La., by the Avondale Marine Ways, Inc.; launched on 28 February 1957; sponsored by Mrs. C. Horton Smith; and commissioned on 10 June 1958, Lt. Comdr. Daniel A. York in command.

 

For almost the entire length of her active service, DeSoto County was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. She interspersed operations off the east coast of the United States with frequent deployments to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The tank landing ship saw brief service in the Vietnam theater of operations in 1969. Decommissioned on 17 July 1972, DeSoto County was transferred to the Italian Navy where she served as Nave Grado (L9890).

 

DeSoto County earned one Meritorious Unit Commendation for service with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and one battle star for Vietnam service.