A county in North Carolina.
(LST-839: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'1"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 226; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-51,2)
LST-839 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Am-bridge, Pa., 25 September 1944; launched 12 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Lehner; and commissioned at New Orleans, La., 6 December 1944, Lt. Waldo F. McNeir in command.
After shakedown off the coast of Florida, LST-839 loaded Army troops and cargo and departed New Orleans for the Pacific 9 January 1945. Steaming via the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok, she reached Saipan 10 March. There she prepared to support the invasion of Okinawa; and, after embarking Seabees and loading construction equipment, she sailed 12 April for that strategic island, which lay at the gateway to the heart of the Japanese Empire.
The campaign was well underway when L8T-839 reached Kinmu Wan, Okinawa, 17 April. Despite heavy enemy air raids, she debarked troops and discharged cargo, then returned to Saipan 21 April to transport additional troops. During the 4 remaining months of the war, she shuttled troops and equipment among the Marianas, Philippine, and Okinawa staging areas for the possible invasion of Japan. The enemy's acceptance of Allied peace terms precluded an invasion, and the landing ship then operated between the Philippines and Japan, transporting occupation forces until mid-November.
Arriving Guam 12 November, LST-839 embarked 500 veterans of the Pacific fighting and sailed 17 November for the United States. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she reached San Francisco 28 December. She sailed for Astoria, Oreg., 25 January 1946; decommissioned at Vancouver, Wash., 24 July; and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. While berthed in the Columbia River, she was named Iredell County 1 July 1955.
Iredell County recommissioned at San Diego, Calif., 18 June 1966. Completing training, Iredell County sailed to join the 7th Fleet 3 September 1966. En route to Japan with her first cargo since 1945, she called at Pearl Harbor and her new homeport of Guam. Exchanging cargo at Iwakuni, Japan, on 12 October Iredell County departed for Danang, Vietnam, arriving 21 October. She shuttled petroleum, building materials, rations, troops, and equipment between Danang and Chu Lai, 65 miles to the south. Iredell County transported more than 7,360 tons of cargo and made 12 landings. She sailed to Guam 15 December 1966. In response to the American effort to protect and defend the independence and integrity of South Vietnam from external Communist aggression, she continues to serve the Pacific Fleet and participate in the vital peacekeeping operations currently underway in the turbulent and troubled Southeast Asia.
LST-839 received one battle star for World War II service.