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Polk County

 

Counties in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.(LST–1084: dp. 1,625; 1. 328’; b. 50’; dr. 13’; s. 11 k.; cpl. 119; t. 121; a. 8 40mm.; cl. LST–511)

 

Polk County was laid down as LST–1084 by the American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 27 November 1944; launched 19 January 1945; and commissioned 19 February 1945, Lt. Lawrence E. Prehn in command.

 

Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico, LST–1084 departed the Gulf coast, for the Pacific, 17 May 1945. Assigned to Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, she carried cargo between Pearl Harbor and ports in the Marshalls, Marianas, and the Ryukyus until ordered back to the United States at the end of 1945. On 20 January 1946, she arrived at San Francisco. Later shifted to Vancouver, Wash., she decommissioned 13 August 1946 and joined the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet.

 

Activated after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, LST–1084 recommissioned 3 November 1950, and during two Korean tours 16 May 1951–12 March 1952 and 7 February23 October 1953, provided transportation for men and equipment over the last stretches, from Japan to Korea and along the Korean coast, of the trans-oceanic supply line of the United Nations forces. After Korea, the LST, renamed Polk County, 1 July 1955, continued to deploy regularly to the western Pacific. Employed in training exercises and transport services in Hawaiian waters and off the California coast while with the 1st Fleet, she engaged in similar operations with the 7th Fleet, ranging from Japan to the Philippines, and, in August 1957, added passing through the eye of a typhoon, “Agnes”, to her experiences.

 

Between October 1960 and February 1961, Polk County underwent Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization overhaul and in May she resumed amphibious operations off California. From January to August, and during October and November, 1962, she operated in the central Pacific providing logistic support for Joint Task Force 8. MidPac deployments rotated with operations off California, including midshipmen training exercises, continued until December 1965. Then, instead of returning to San Diego after 6 months of training exercises with Army units in Hawaii, Polk County headed west for duty with the 7th Fleet.

 

Arriving in South Vietnamese waters 14 January 1966, Polk County transported heavy, bulk equipment not transportable by air or by deep draft vessel along the coast and provided ammunition and other vital supply shuttle services to Chu Lai and Da Nang. Departing the embattled coast 23 March, the LST returned to California 15 May.

 

On 28 July 1967, Polk County returned to Viet Nam. Offloading LCU 1619 at Saigon, she turned north and resumed support operations as a supply carrier for the Naval Support Activity, Da Nang. Shuttle runs to Chu Lai and Cua Viet were interrupted by visits to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Prior to getting underway for home she called at Yokosuka. Arriving at San Diego 21 December, the LST resumed training exercises off California and on 4 November 1968, got underway for another tour in South East Asia. Arriving the following month, she again operated under the Naval Support Activity, Da Nang, and into April, 1969, provided logistic support for South Vietnamese and American forces fighting North Vietnamese and Viet Cong units in the northern part of the Republic of South Viet Nam. On leaving the combat area, she once again called at Yokosuka and, on 29 May, returned to San Diego for inactivation. On 3 October 1969, she decommissioned and, for the second time, joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

 

LST–1084 earned three battle stars during the Korean Conflict.