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Graham County

 

Counties in Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina.

 

(LST-1176: dp. 3,560 (lt); l. 445'; b. 62'; dr. 16'8"; s. 17 k.; cpl. 172; a. 4 3"; cl. Suffolk County)

 

Graham County (LST-1176) was laid down by Newport News shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va., 4 February 1957; launched 9 September; sponsored by Mrs. Ralph Otis Davis; and commissioned 17 April 1958, Lt. Comdr. Gordon H. McCrea in command.

 

After shakedown Graham County continued tests and repairs throughout 1958. Assigned to the Atlantic amphibious force, the LST engaged in training exercises along the Atlantic coast until late November 1960 when she embarked a detachment of marines and sailed for her first extended deployment. (Touching ports in the Caribbean and Brazil, she sailed on to Africa, arriving Monrovia, Liberia, 5 January 1961. She stopped at other ports in Africa including the Congo, where she embarked 500 Guinean troops of the U.N. peacekeeping force for transport to their country. Graham County returned to Little Creek, Va., 17 May.

 

Following the assassination of Dominican Republic President Trujillo in early June, the LST, together with units of the fleet, steamed toward the Caribbean ready to assist if needed. Returning in early July, she resumed training operations for the next 2 years.

 

On 10 January 1964, Graham County with 170 marines on board departed Little Creek for amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean. Training was postponed, however, when the Cyprus crisis errupted; and Graham County, along with other units of Amphibious Squadron 4, rushed to the scene prepared for any mission. After 78 consecutive days in the area, she resumed her training exercises with the fleet. Returning home 21 June, Graham County resumed amphibious operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean for the rest of the year.