LST-1162 was laid down on 21 July 1952 at Pascagoula, Miss., by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 23 January 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Wilbur G. Dees; and commissioned on 13 August 1953, Lt. Comdr. I. W. Matthews in command.
Following shakedown, LST-1162 was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, and, for the next 17 years, alternated operations along the east coast of the United States with deployments to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. On 1 July 1955, the tank landing ship was redesignated Wahkiakum County (LST-1162) (q.v.) after a county in Washington. She was decommissioned on 16 October 1970 and transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 10 April 1972.