LST-1160 was laid down on 18 December 1952 at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works; launched on 3 October 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Omar R. King; and commissioned on 19 December 1953, Lt. Comdr. J. W. Perkins in command.
Following commissioning and shakedown training, LST-1160 was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, for duty. She remained in this assignment, alternating operations along the east coast of the United States with deployments to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, throughout her active service. On 1 July 1955, the ship was redesignated Traverse County (LST-1160) (q.v.) after a county in Minnesota. She was decommissioned in 1970 and assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Orange, Tex. On 7 June 1972, Traverse County was transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC).