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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hamilton County

 

Counties in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

 

(LST-802: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 268; a. 840mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-511)

 

LST-802 was laid down by Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Co., Jeffersonville, Ind., 2 September 1944; launched 19 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Dolores Alberts; and commissioned 13 November, Lt. K. J. Adams in command.

 

Following shakedown off Florida, LST-802 loaded quonset hut sections at Gulfport, Miss., and departed New Orleans 18 December. Steaming via the Canal Zone and San Francisco, she arrived Pearl Harbor 4 February 1945. After unloading, she sailed 2 weeks later for the Solomon Islands, arriving Guadalcanal 7 March.

 

LST-802 departed Guadalcanal on the 18th ; transported Marines to Guam; then arrived Saipan 3 April to prepare for the Okinawa invasion. She embarked over 150 Sea-bees at Saipan and sailed on the 12th for the Byukyu Islands.

 

Arriving off Chimu Wan, Okinawa Snima 17 April she unloaded men and equipment to strengthen the beachhead and facilitate the flow of supplies to the troops. For the remainder of World War II LST-802 shuttled troops and equipment between Okinawa and the Philippines. After the Japanese surrender she remained in the Far East with the occupation forces operating out of Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines to various Pacific islands until she decommissioned at Guam 21 July 1946.

 

After communist aggression against South Korea, the United States met this challenge to freedom by sending American forces to aid the embattled people. To assist in the transportation of cargo and troops, LST-802 re-commissioned at Yokosuka 30 August 1950, Lt. Vladimir Fedorowicz in command. Sailing to Kobe, she embarked units of the 1st Marine Division, for the daring invasion of Inchon; then departing Japan 10 September, she arrived off Blue Beach, Inchon 5 days later. The Marines stormed ashore, and the well planned, and well coordinated invasion caused General Douglas MacArthur's famous remark "The Navy and Marines have never shone more brightly than this morning." LST-802 continued loading equipment and supplies until 15 October when she joined a task group for Wonson.

 

Following a month of cargo operations at Wonson, she returned to Yokosuka for replenishment. In mid December she was enroute to Hungnam, where she assisted in the evacuation of United States and South Korean Forces. During January 1951 she shuttled troops and prisoners-of-war along the Korean coast, then on 20 March she departed Yokosuka for a stateside overhaul.

 

Returning to the war zone 8 months later, LST-802 resumed cargo and troop transport duty between Japan and Korea. From November 1951 to June 1952, the veteran landing ship performed cargo operations, evacuation services, and harbor control duties in the vicinity of Korea.

 

Following another brief period in the United States, LST-802 resumed operations in the Far East, just as the Korean conflict ended; and remained there until February 1954. One year later she was again operating in the Far East during a crisis over the Tachen Islands. When communist artillery threatened Nationalist Chinese positions on the islands, the veteran LST and other 7th Fleet units evacuated forces and supplies to Formosa.

 

LST-802 was named Hamilton County 1 July 1955, then operated off the California coast from August 1955 to August 1956. After returning to the Western Pacific in mid October 1956, Hamilton County was assigned to Mine Squadron 3, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Equipped with helicopter, she performed in mine warfare exercises and provided replenishment for minesweepers off Okinawa, Korea, and Japan for the next four years. Hamilton County decommissioned at Sasebo 30 June 1960, and was loaned to Japan under the Military Assistance Program. She now serves the Japanese Self-Defense Forces as Hayatomo (MST-461).

 

LST-802 received one battle star for World War II service and seven stars for Korean service.