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Somervell County

 

A county in Texas.

 

(LST-1129: dp. 3,960; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'2"; s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 119; trp. 147; a. 8 40mm.; cl. LST-542)

 

Somervell County (LST-1129) was laid down on 29 November 1944 by Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, 111.; launched on 22 February 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth P. Leatzow; and commissioned on 6 March 1945, Lt. J. K. Marshall in command.

 

Somervell County conducted shakedown at St. Andrews Bay, Fla., and departed for Gulfport, Miss., on 5 April. She loaded her tank deck with general cargo for Pearl Harbor, moved to New Orleans, La., for additional stores and ammunition and sailed for Panama on 20 April. She transited the canal on 28 April; and the LST arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 10 May.

 

Somervell County got underway for Pearl Harbor on 19 May. On the 27th, she received a distress signal from YP-642 and towed the patrol craft into Pearl Harbor on 29 May. She sailed from Oahu on 21 June, bound, via Eniwetok, for Leyte Gulf, with personnel and equipment of the 9th Army Corps. The LST arrived there on 15 July and was assigned to the 7th Fleet to transport equipment from the Philippines to Okinawa. She made one round trip, returning on 29 August. On 19 September, she sailed for Korea, with Army personnel and equipment and arrived at Jinsen on 29 September. From Jinsen, Somervell County moved to Pusan to unload the remainder of her cargo. She was rerouted to Jinsen and departed there on 17 October with 1,000 Japanese prisoners of war (POW's) and their American Army guards.

 

The ship disembarked the POW's at Sasebo, Japan, on the 17th and sailed to Okinawa to embark Army engineers and carry them to Korea. She arrived at Jinsen on 2 November; moved to Pusan and, on the 13th, sailed for Taku, China, for repatriation duty. Until 30 January 1946, the LST shuttled between Japan, Korea, and China, taking Japanese POW's to Japan, Korean repatriates to Korea, and displaced Chinese back to China.

 

Somervell County sailed to Pearl Harbor via Okinawa; loaded LCT-1244 on board; and headed for the California coast on 15 March. On 25 April, she moved from San Francisco to Astoria, Oreg., to be placed in an inactive status.

 

Somervell County was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 31 July 1946, with the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1958.