LST-761 was laid down on 18 June 1944 at Ambridge, Pa., by the American Bridge Co.; launched on 7 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. H. A. Brainerd; and commissioned on 2 September 1944, Lt. H. A. Swagart, Jr., USCGR, in command.
During World War II, LST-761 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima in February and March 1945. She was decommissioned in March 1946 and assigned to the Columbia River Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 1 July 1955 the ship was named Esmeraldo County (LST-761) after an erroneous spelling of Esmeralda county in Nevada.
LST-761 earned one battle star for World War II service.