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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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LST-1168

 

LST-1168 was laid down on 27 February 1952 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., by the Christy Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 28 November 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Philip K. Wrigley; and commissioned on 15 June 1954, Lt. Comdr. V. W. Vanzant in command.

 

LST-1168 was initially assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, and, on 1 July 1955, was redesignated Wexfprd County (LST-1168) (q.v.) after a county in Michigan. In 1956, the tank landing ship was transferred to the Pacific Fleet. Commencing in 1965, Wexford County saw extensive service in support of operations in Vietnam. On 29 October 1971, she was decommissioned and transferred to the Spanish Navy where she served as Martin Alvarez (L-12). The ship was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1976.

 

LST-1168 earned one Meritorious Unit Commendation and five battle stars for Vietnam service as Wexford County.

 

Wexford County (LST-1168), about 1967. Her deck is marked as a helicopter landing area; ships of this class can land the heavy CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-53 Sea Stallion. She is armed with three 3-inch 50-caliber rapid-fire twin gun mounts, introduced after Korea to replace the earlier 40-millimeter weapons. The "shelves" along the sides of her hull are supports for pontoon causeway sections, often carried by LST's.