LST-344 was laid down on 18 October 1942 at the Norfolk Navy Yard; launched on 15 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. H. H. Ward; and commissioned on 14 January 1943, Lt. Maurice G. Jackson, USNR, in command.
During World War II, LST-344 was assigned to the European theater and participated in the following operations:
Sicilian occupation—July 1943
Salerno landings—September 1943
Invasion of Normandy—June 1944
On 1 July 1955, she was named Blanco County (LST-344) after a county in south central Texas. The tank landing ship was decommissioned on 3 October 1969 and struck from the Navy list on 15 September 1974. She was sold for scrap.
LST-344 earned three battle stars for World War II service.
LST-344 off Guam in the 1960s, with Army LCU-1517—descendant of the Navy's LCT of World War II—and vehicles on deck. Except for a tripod mast and additional 40mm guns, she is little changed from her original appearance.