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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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Lindenwald

 

President Martin Van Buren’s home at Kinderhook, N.Y.

 

(LSD-6: dp. 4,490; l. 457'9”; b. 72'2"; dr. 18'; s. 15 k.; cpl. 326; a. 15", 12 40mm.; cl. Ashland)

 

Lindenwald (LSD-6) was authorized as APM-6; reclassified LSD-6 1 July 1942; laid down 22 February 1943 by Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif.; launched 11 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Wilbur M. Lockhart and commissioned 9 December 1943, Comdr. William W. Weaver in command.

 

After shakedown off San Francisco, the new landing ship dock departed San Diego 27 December 1943 loaded with LCTs for docking and undocking trials in Maalaea Bay, Hawaii. Following 18 days of intensive training, Lindenwald sortied from Pearl Harbor with the Southern Transport Group for the invasion of the Marshall Islands 22 January 1944 with 18 tank-carrying LCMs stowed in her well deck. Arriving off Kwajalein late evening 31 January, she launched the LCMs at dawn the next mornIng. Six days later, the ship loaded 54 LVTs and sailed for the Ellice Islands en route Guadalcanal.

 

Anchoring off Guadalcanal 23 February, she received calls from Adm. W. F. Halsey and Maj. Gen. R. S. Geiger, USMC. During March she made two runs from Guadalcanal carrying boats and marines for the daring invasion of Emirau Island, just 150 miles north of the Japanese stronghold at Rabaul. She spent April and May in Hawaiian waters, training with marines, then departed 30 May for Eniwetok en route the invasion of Saipan. Lindenwald arrived the morning of D-Day, 15 June, and debarked LCMs preloaded with tanks and men of the 2d Marine Division. The ship then stood off Saipan while on the beaches the marines overcame tough opposition with naval gunfire and air support. Lindenwald departed for San Francisco 22 June and arrived 11 July, touching Pearl Harbor en route to unload boats and marine casualties.

 

Departing the west coast only 10 days after arrival, Lindenwald loaded boats at Pearl Harbor and steamed for the Admiralties to make final preparations for the invasion of Leyte. She left Manus for Leyte 14 October and anchored in the LSD launching area 20 October. The next day, she quickly unloaded boats and got underway for Hollandia, New Guinea, to carry General MacArthur’s rear echelon to the new headquarters at Leyte. For the next 2 months, Lindenwald carried troops and equipment from New Guinea to Manus and Leyte.

 

With Leyte secured, Lindenwald prepared for the invasion at Lingayen Gulf, about 150 miles north of Manila. as the Navy leapfrogged toward Japan. The ship departed Manus for Lingayen 31 December. En route, January, four suicide planes attacked the formation. One crashed the portside of Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). Formation antiaircraft fire splashed or diverted the others. The action continued with increased fury the next day. As the LSDs launched boats, Columbia (CL-56) was crashed just 1,000 yards from Lindenwald. That afternoon an enemy bomber damaged HMAS Australia. Nevertheless the operation was successful. On 10 January the ship steamed for Wake Island to get reinforcements and returned to Lingayen the 27th. Departing immediately, she picked up more men and equipment from Biak Island and returned again to Lingayen 11 February. Shoving off 13 February, she arrived Guam on the 24th, then proceeded to Milne Bay, New Guinea, loaded 38 boats, and steamed for Leyte. Arriving 12 March, she reported to TF 51 under Vice Admiral Turner and began preparations for the upcoming Okinawa campaign.

 

Lindenwald sailed due north from San Pedro Bay, Leyte, for Okinawa 26 March and arrived 1 April. She remained off Okinawa for 92 days, docking, repairing, and servicing landing craft damaged by enemy gunfire or the heavy surf. During this period, the ship repaired 452 boats. Enemy harassment twice threatened to cut short her busy career. Early morning 27 May, after suicide planes crashed two sister auxiliary ships, Lindenwald splashed an enemy aircraft before it could crash nearby Carina (AK-74). Two weeks later, a murderous barrage from Lindenwald diverted an incoming suicide plane just enough to escape disaster. It barely missed the radar mast and splashed 500 yards off the bow.

 

With the liberation of Okinawa completed, Lindenwald sailed for San Francisco 1 July and pulled in 3 weeks later. After a 2-month overhaul, she made a fast run to Pearl Harbor, then sailed via the Panama Canal for Galveston, Tex., and transport duty in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

She steamed from New Orleans for Bremerhaven 24 June 1946, touching Liberia, Casablanca, and Le Harve to debark men and supplies. Leaving northern Germany 18 August, Lindenwald arrived Norfolk the 30th, stayed 9 days and sailed for San Francisco, arriving 30 September. The ship decommissioned 5 April 1947 and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Francisco.

 

Lindenwald recommissioned 18 February 1949 and operated off the west coast until 26 November, then steamed to Norfolk for amphibious duty, arriving 13 December. For the next 3 years, she made yearly voyages to the Caribbean and north to Newfoundland, Labrador, and Thule, Greenland. On 8 September 1953, Lindenwald departed Norfolk with PhibGroup 4 en route the Mediterranean. She arrived Algiers 23 September, departed a week later for Crete, and spent October conducting amphibious exercises with the 6th Fleet in the Aegean Sea. Returning to the western Mediterranean, she visited ports in France, Italy, and Spain during late 1953, departing Oran for Norfolk 24 January 1954.

 

During the following 3 years, Lindenwald made another European voyage and spent each summer operating in the icy waters off Greenland with MSTS. Decommissioned 12 December 1956, she was transferred to MSTS the same date and was placed in service as USNS Lindenwald (T-LSD-6), and assigned to MSTS, Atlantic.

 

As a unit of MSTS, she made supply runs to bases in northern Greenland and the Arctic until mid-October 1958. Lindenwald then departed the east coast of Greenland on one of her supply runs. En route, she ran into, an Arctic storm. During the storm she lost her steering controls and lay helpless for several hours. A distress signal was sent out and picked up by USNS Chattahoochee (T-AOG-82) which shortly arrived on the scene and towed Lindenwald to a safe anchorage. With her steering controls repaired, but with a noticeable list she sailed for New York for further repairs, upon completion of which she was placed in MSTS Ready Reserve.

 

Reacquired by the Navy early the next year, she recommissioned 1 July 1960 and was assigned to the Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Besides extensive training duties with the Amphibious Forces, the ship also played a vital peacekeeping role during the volatile 1960’s. She helped stabilize the Caribbean area during the Dominican Republic revolt of November, 1961. From 14 February to 16 June 1962, the ship again patrolled the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet. When President Kennedy ordered the quarrantine of Cuba in the fall of 1962, Lindenwald policed the area around Puerto Rico.

 

After spending most of 1963 in Arctic waters, the ship displayed her combat readiness in Operation “Quick Kick” during April 1964 and again that summer with the transatlantic amphibious exercise operation “Steel Pike I.”

 

As civil disorder rocked the Dominican Republic in May 1965, Lindenwald steamed to Santo Domingo with peacekeeping forces to help stabilize the island and make possible the establishment of a viable government. The ship departed Little Creek for the Mediterranean in March 1966, returning 16 November. Until late 1968, Lindenwald alternated between upkeep, overhaul, and conducting amphibious exercises and training along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. Lindenwald decommissioned at Little Creek, Va., 30 November 1967 and was struck from the Navy list 1 December 1967. On 25 September 1968, she was sold to Union Minerals & Alloys Corp., for scrapping.

 

Lindenwald received five battle stars for World War II service.