The parish in Louisiana containing the city of New Orleans.
(LST–1069: dp. 1,625; l. 328’; b. 50’; dr. 11’2”; s. 12 k.; cpl. 266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST–511)
LST 1069 was laid down 7 February 1945 at Bethlehem Hingham Steel Co., Hingham, Mass.; launched 7 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. James Whitfield; commissioned 31 March 1945, Lt. Lewis A. Rockwell in command.
This new landing ship steamed to Chesapeake Bay for shakedown prior to her departure for the Pacific war zone. Before the end of June LCT sections, transported from New York to the Hawaiian Islands, had been off-loaded and Army troops destined for Leyte, Philippines embarked. Sailing via the Marshall and Mariana Islands, LST–1069 completed this mission and remained in the Philippines until after the Japanese capitulation.
With LST Group 37 she proceeded to Shanghai thus becoming one of the first American ships to steam up the Yangtze River since the late 1930s. Here naval personnel were discharged in mid-September to set up an advanced operational base. In October and November Chinese troops were transferred to Formosa for occupation duty from Ningpoo, China and Haiphong, French Indo China respectively. Four round trips between Tsingtao, China and Sasebo, Japan returned a number of Japanese civilians and soldiers to their home soil by 18 February 1946. After an additional voyage deposited a group of Korean repatriates at Pusan, Korea, LST 1069 began to work her way toward the “States.”
In the Bonin Islands 110 Marines along with some 18 Japanese war criminals and suspects awaited transportation to Guam. A round trip to Saipan followed and then on to Pearl Harbor; where LCI–757 was taken in tow and delivered 29 May at San Francisco. Upon resuming her journey she transited the Panama Canal 5 July, visited Norfolk, unloaded her ammunition in New Jersey and decommissioned at Staten Island, N.Y., 6 August 1956. The ship remained in the 3rd Naval District serving the Naval Reserve Training Program until transferred to the Reserve Fleet, Green Cove Springs, Fla. September 1949.
The outbreak of Communist aggression in Korea ended her retirement 2 years later. Recommissioning on 11 January 1952 preceded conversion as a mine squadron flagship and logistic support vessel. Helicopter landing, fueling, and repair facilities also permitted her to embark and control helicoptors as demonstrated during 1955 LANTMINEX. Also during 1955, on 1 July, LST–1069 was named Orleans Parish, and in December, she made her first Atlantic crossing to take part in an Atlantic Fleet mine evaluation project at Port Lyautey, (French) Morocco. Her duties as flagship for MinRon 8 were interrupted from 16 December 1957 to 19 December 1958, while the ship was out of commission in reserve at Charleston, S. C.
With additional communications equipment installed and other modifications she rejoined the fleet as the mine countermeasure support ship, MSC–6. Besides resuming participation in the annual Springboard, MinEx, and PhibEx exercises, on 20 November 1959 she departed Charleston escorting across the Atlantic several recently acquired Norwegian and Spanish minesweepers. After visiting Lisbon, Portugal she returned to her homeport 4 January 1960. That summer she conducted her first R.O.T.C. Midshipmen indoctrination cruise. During February 1963 she paid her first visit to her namesake city at the height of the Mardi Gras festival.
Orleans Parish’s area of operation and assignment changed greatly when she decommissioned, 20 May 1966, and was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service. Designated Orleans Parish LST–1069 and altered to serve as a cargo ship, she soon received a civilian crew and 12 September sailed for the Panama Canal and the Pacific. Her first voyage brought her to Guam; Subic Bay, Philippines; Vung Tau, South Vietnam; and Yokohama, Japan. She continues to sail in 1970 under the MSTS Far Eastern Command.