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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Schenectady

 

A county and city in New York.

 

(LST-1185: dp. 8,342 (f.); 1. 522'3"; b. 69'5"; dr. 15'; s. 20 k.; cpl. 231; a. 4 3"; cl. Newport)

 

Schenectady (LST-1185) was laid down on 2 August 1968 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.; launched on 24 May 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Charles E. Goodell; and commissioned on 13 June 1970, Comdr. David E. Sigsworth in command.

 

Assigned to Amphibious Squadron (PhibRon) 9 and homeported at San Diego, Schenectady conducted training exercises and trials through the summer. In October, she got underway to accompany Defiance (PG-95) and Surprise (PG-97) to Panama. Detached on the 19th, she returned to San Diego on the 29th and, for the next six months, participated in further training exercises along the southern California coast.

 

On 5 May 1970, the LST departed San Diego and headed west to participate in Operation “Keystone Oriole,” an operation involving the withdrawal of Marine Corps units from Vietnam. Diverted en route to avoid typhoon Carla, she arrived at Danang, R.V.N., on 24 May; loaded; and departed again on the 25th. From Vietnam, she proceeded to Hong Kong, then to Subic Bay, whence she headed east to Pearl Harbor and San Diego.

 

Arriving at the latter on 19 June, Schenectady remained on the west coast into the fall and, on 1 October, departed San Diego with six other units comprising PhibRon 5. On the 14th, she joined the 7th Fleet. Four days later, she arrived at Yokosuka. Upkeep in Japan and training operations in the Ryukyus followed. From there, she moved into the Trust Territories; conducted survey operations; and returned to Okinawa to load diesel electric generating plants for delivery to the government of the Philippines for use in its rural electrification program.

 

Arriving at Manila on 23 November, she offloaded her cargo, then proceeded to Subic Bay and joined Amphibious Ready Group ALFA. She departed Subic Bay with that group on the 26th and, for the next three and a half weeks, conducted operations which ranged from the Philippines to Japan and into the South China Sea. On 20 December, she returned to Subic Bay. Six days later, she proceeded to Hong Kong, where she remained through the end of the year. On 5 January 1972, she departed Hong Kong and resumed her wide ranging 7th Fleet operations.

 

During this period, Schenectady participated in the South Vietnamese Army's offensive to recapture Quang Tri province. While so engaged, on 29 June, the LST came under the fire of enemy shore batteries and became the first ship of her class to return fire in an actual combat situation.

 

After an absence in excess of ten months, Schenectady returned to Coronado, Calif., on 6 August 1972. For the next year, she remained on the west coast, participating in exercises and engaged in normal operations and upkeep. On 29 August 1973, she departed from the United States for another deployment to the western Pacific. She arrived in Subic Bay, P.I., on 22 September and, for the next five months, transported men and cargo between ports in Japan, Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. On 10 February 1974, she stood out of Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to return to the United States. Stopping at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for four days, 23 to 27 February, Schenectady entered San Diego on 6 March. The LST is still in San Diego as of June 1974.

 

Schenectady earned 1 battle star for service along the coast of Vietnam.