USS LST-823, a 2366-ton LST-511 class tank landing ship built at Evansville, Indiana, was commissioned in November 1944. She arrived at Pearl Harbor in February 1945 and delivered Seabees and cargo to Guam in March. At the end of May she and another LST, one towing a landing craft and the other a repair barge, sailed from Guam for Okinawa. On 4 June the small convoy rode out a typhoon that drove it some eighty miles off course. LST-823 entered Okinawa's Buckner Bay in early July but went to sea in mid-July to evade a typhoon. She called at Saipan in early August, delivered ammunition to Iwo Jima in mid-August, and returned to Buckner Bay in early September.
Caught off guard inside Buckner Bay by a typhoon on 16 September 1945, LST-823 was driven onto the Kutaka Shima reef there. She was pulled off a week later by the salvage ship Valve (ARS-28), but both engines were inoperative and the starboard engine and shaft were badly out of alignment. While awaiting drydocking at Buckner Bay she was caught by another typhoon on 9 October which tore her loose from her moorings, drove her into two other ships, and then deposited her on a reef parallel to and 75 yards from the shore near the entrance to the Yonabaru Channel. Her entire bottom was badly damaged and holed and both main engines were badly misaligned. LST-823 patched up her leaks with cement and became a fueling and provisions ship for small craft. The ship was not refloated, and in early November an inspection and survey party noted that she would need two weeks in drydock before she could be towed to a rear area and recommended she be decommissioned in place. Her gear was stripped away and taken to Guam, and she was decommissioned at the beginning of December 1945 and stricken from the Navy List in early January 1946.
In November 1945 CNO directed that the hulk be sunk or destroyed, but this was not done and she became one of around 15 Okinawa typhoon wrecks that were finally sold for scrap in two batches in May and November 1947 by the State Department's Foreign Liquidations Commission. LST-823 and a sister, LST-826, along with Nestor (ARB-6), three floating docks and some smaller craft, were included in the May batch and were purchased by the Oklahoma-Philippines Co. in what was referred to as the "Berry sale." The date of her scrapping is not known.
This page features the only view that we have concerning USS LST-823
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Photo #: USA C-6343
USS Inca (IX-229) and USS LST-823
Aground in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, after being stricken from the Navy List in early 1946 and before their removal by scrappers circa the late 1940s.
Inca served under this name and number into January 1946, when local authorities learned that she had been redesignated USS Gamage (IX-227) in August 1945. The hull number barely visible on her bow is probably IX-229.
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Online Image: 56KB; 740 x 605 pixels
Page made 22 March 2006