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Russell County

 

Counties in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky and Virginia.

 

(LST - 1090: displacement 4,080; length 3280; beam 500; draft 141; speed 11 knots; complement 119; armament 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; class LST-1081)

 

LST-1090 was laid down 28 December 1944 by the American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa.; launched 24 February 1945; sponsored by Mrs. R. B. Hunter; accepted and placed in reduced commission at Ambridge 21 March 1945; ferried to New Orleans and commissioned there 2 April 1945, Lt. E. J. Doering, USNR, in command.

 

After repairs to a damaged propeller at Mobile, Ala., LST-1090 underwent shakedown off Panama City, Fla. She got underway from New Orleans 6 May 1945, transited the Panama Canal, sailed north to Seattle to load vehicles, and steamed for Pearl Harbor 6 June. Proceeding on to Eniwetok, Saipan, and the Philippines, she arrived at Samar 26 July.

 

Operating in support of the occupation of Japan and Okinawa, and the extensive redeployment of troops and equipment through the Far East which followed the close of World War II, LST-1090 remained in Asiatic waters until 3 January 1946, when she cleared Sasebo, Japan, for San Diego.

 

LST-1090 returned to San Diego, 29 January 1946, and on 18 February got underway for Astoria, Oreg. After undergoing the preliminary stages of inactivation in San Francisco, she completed inactivation at Vancouver, Wash. where she decommissioned and was placed in reserve 22 July 1946.

 

With the outbreak of the Korean conflict, LST-1090 recommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., on 3 November 1950. After conducting trials and training her crew off the California coast, she sailed from Long Beach, Calif., 10 February 1951, bound for Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, where she arrived 23 March 1951. Her duty in the Far East found her transporting both American personnel, and Korean and Chinese prisoners of war, as well as rendering services in Japanese waters. She cleared Yokosuka 23 November 1951 for Pearl Harbor and San Diego, where she moored in December 1951.

 

Operating off the U.S. west coast until 3 January 1953, she then sailed from San Diego for Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, arriving in Japan 7 February 1953. The highlight of this tour was her participation in Operations "Big Switch" and "Little Switch," during which refugees and Korean prisoners of war were evacuated from Inchon, Korea. During Operation "Little Switch," when sick and wounded personnel were exchanged, LST-1090 carried more than 85 percent of the prisoners exchanged.

 

Clearing Yokosuka 23 October 1953, LST-1090 returned to San Diego 22 November 1953 for a period of leave, upkeep, overhaul, and further operations off the California coast. Her 1954 deployment to the Far East began when she sailed from San Diego 11 October, arriving in Yokosuka 4 November. Ports of call included Yokosuka, Fukuoka, Sasebo, and Inchon, off which she participated in two amphibious operations. She transported the 4th Marine Regiment from Korea to Kaneohe, then visited Hawaii from 12-22 February 1955, and returned to Korea to embark Marine personnel and aircraft for transportation to the United States. She cleared Inchon 29 March 1955, and returned to San Diego 25 April 1955. On 1 July 1955 she was named Russell County.

 

Russell County cleared San Diego for her fourth postwar tour of duty in the Far East 1 September 1955, spending most of her time operating in Japanese and Okinawan waters before returning to San Diego 31 March 1956. After overhaul and further training, she steamed for the Far East again 5 February 1957 for exercises off Okinawa and Korea and in Philippine waters. Returning to San Diego 4 October, she engaged in leave, upkeep, and local operations off San Diego until 26 February 1958, when she got underway for Pearl Harbor and a period of exercise with Marine units stationed in the Hawaiian Islands.

 

Returning to San Diego 18 April, she again engaged in local operations until redeploying to the Far East 9 October where she operated off Okinawa, Japan, and in the Philippines, then steaming for California where she arrived 23 March.

 

Following local operations, Russell County once again got underway for the Far East 1 October 1959. Operating again off Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines, she returned to San Diego 14 February 1960. She decommissioned there 5 April 1960 and was struck from the Navy list l November 1960 for transfer to the government of Indonesia that same day. The LST served as Tanjung Radja (LST 2) until 1963 when she was wrecked in a grounding accident.

 

Russell County earned five battle stars for service in the Korean Conflict.


21 October 2005