Related resources: Coast Guard history of LST-71
LST-71 was laid down on 27 November 1942 at Jeffersonville, Ind., by the Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Co.; launched on 27 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Lew Murphy; and commissioned on 9 June 1943.
During World War II, LST-71 was assigned to LST Flotilla 5, Group 15, Division 30 and sailed for the Pacific theater in the summer of 1943.
The LST sailed to the South Pacific to prepare for the invasion of Bougainville in the northern Solomon Islands. Loading marines at Guadalcanal, LST-71 and seven other LSTs of Flotilla 5 sailed from Purvis Bay on 4 November 1943. Despite troubles with a shallow beach gradient, the troops and vehicles were unloaded by 6 November and the LSTs retired without incident.
LST-71 returned to Pearl Harbor on 29 April 1944 where slight damage was sustained at Alenuihaha Channel. On 3 July 1944 she was in the Saipan assault area, 19 days after the first day of the invasion and took part in the invasion of Guam between 21 July and 5 August 1944.
Returning to Pearl Harbor on 23 August 1944, LST-71 was engaged in resupply runs to Saipan and Guam, arriving Saipan on 20 November 1944, and at Guam on 24 December 1944.
Again returning to Pearl Harbor, she departed there for Tulagi and the Russell Islands, arriving there on 25 February 1945, in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa where she arrived on D-day, 1 April 1945. Here on 6 April, she shot down an enemy plane engaged in a suicide dive on her. She departed Kerama Rhetto on 14 April 1945 for Guam, Ulithi and Leyte, returning to Okinawa on 3 July 1945 for a 10-day stay. Proceeding via Leyte and Pearl Harbor, she reached Seattle on 7 September 7 1945, for 16-month availability.
Proceeding to San Diego on 4 January 1946, she arrived at San Francisco. LST-71 was decommissioned on 25 March 1946 and was struck from the Navy list on 8 May 1946. On 23 January 1948, she was sold to the Atlantic & Pacific Packing Co., of Seattle, Wash., and subsequently converted for merchant service.
LST-71 earned three battle stars for World War II service.
31 March 2004