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Jefferson County

(LST-845: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'1"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 226; a 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-542)

Counties in 26 states.

LST-845 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Am-bridge, Pa., 23 October 1944; launched 7 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. B. F. Fairless; and commissioned at New Orleans, La., 1 January 1945, Lt. C. E. Lowe in command.

After shakedown off the Florida coast, LST-845 departed New Orleans for the West Coast 7 February. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she loaded cargo at San Diego and San Francisco, then sailed 15 March for the Hawaiian Islands. She touched at Maul 24 March to unload cargo; reached Pearl Harbor the 26th; and returned to Maui 4 April for amphibious training operations. While beached 6 April, she broached in heavy surf and sustained heavy damage to her hull. Towed out to sea 9 April, she underwent repairs at Pearl Harbor from 10 April to 27 July before resuming amphibious training.

Carrying troops and cargo, LST-845 departed Pearl Harbor in convoy for Japan 29 August. She arrived Sasebo 22 September and supported occupation landings before sailing for the Philippines 3 days later. Steaming via Subic Bay, she reached Lingayen Gulf 7 October to embark more occupation troops for transportation to Japan. Between 12 and 19 October she sailed to Sasebo; and, during the next month, she supported occupation operations along the western coast of Kyushu Island. Departing Sasebo late in November, she steamed via the Marianas to Pearl Harbor where she arrived 20 January 1946.

LST-845 operated out of Pearl Harbor until 29 April when she sailed for the Far East. Sailing via Okinawa, she arrived off Shanghai, China, 30 May. During the next 2 months, she operated from Nanking to Hankow in the Yangtze River, carrying men and military cargo and supporting Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalist troops during their struggle with the Chinese Communist forces for control of the Chinese mainland. She departed Shanghai 24 July; and, after steaming on cargo runs to the Philippines and Okinawa, she returned to Tsingtao, China, 3 September, loaded with military cargo. Then, from 9 to 28 September, she sailed to Pearl Harbor. Departing 4 December for the West Coast, she touched at San Francisco the 15th and reached San Diego 20 December.

During the next 2 years she took part in amphibious training operations out of San Diego. Between 10 January and 4 March 1949 she transported cargo to Juneau and Kodiak, Alaska. Departing San Diego 16 May. LST-845 made a cargo run to the mid-Pacific, carrying military supplies to bases in the Marshalls and the Marianas. After returning to San Diego 17 July, she operated off southern California during the next 12 months.

In response to the invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops 25 June 1950, LST-845 departed San Diego 10 August and sailed to the Far East to bolster the American effort to repel this Communist aggression. Arriving Kobe, Japan, 6 September, she embarked combat troops and departed 10 September for amphibious landings at Inchon, Korea, which were designed to thwart the Communist advance through South Korea and spearhead an Allied offensive northward. Standing off Inchon, she boated troops for the assault; and, following the successful landings, she remained off Inchon during the next month to unload military cargo. She departed Inchon 15 October and steamed to the eastern coast of Korea to carry cargo from Pusan to Wonsan and Hungnam. Following the entrance of Communist China into the Korean conflict. LST-845 supported the evacuation of Hungnam and made three runs south to Pusan. On 24 December she helped evacuate the remaining military forces before sailing via Pusan to Japan where she arrived Yokosuka 31 December. During the next few months LST-845 continued to carry cargo between Japan and ports in South Korea. She departed Yokosuka 25 April 1951, sailed via Pearl Harbor, and reached San Diego 23 May.

LST-845 took part in amphibious training operations for the better part of a year; and, after overhaul, she departed San Diego 26 May 1952 to again support U.N. forces in Korea. Arriving Sasebo, Japan, 10 July, she spent more than 6 months in Japanese and Korean waters bolstering the naval supply line to South Korea. She departed the Far East 4 February 1953, arrived San Diego 5 March, and operated off southern California during the remainder of 1953.

Departing San Diego 25 January 1954, LST-845 steamed on her third deployment with the mighty 7th Fleet in the Far East. She reached Yokosuka 25 February; and during the next 5 months cargo runs and amphibious exercises sent her from Japan to Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Inchon. On 14 August she departed Yokosuka for Haiphong, North Vietnam, to provide support for Operation "Passage to Freedom." She reached Haiphong 27 August and made four runs to Tourane, South Vietnam, during the several weeks. In addition to transporting military cargo, she carried civilian refugees seeking to escape from Communist domination in North Vietnam. After returning to Yokosuka 20 October, LST-845 sailed for the United States 7 November and arrived San Diego 12 December.

While operating out of San Diego, LST-845 was named Jefferson County 1 July 1955. She trained along the California coast until 13 August 1957 when she again departed for the western Pacific. She arrived Yokosuka 13 September and resumed cargo runs and amphibious exercises which carried her along the Japanese coast to Okinawa, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Departing Dingalan Bay, Luzon, 1 March, she arrived San Diego 1 April.

Jefferson County sailed for the Marshall Islands 9 October; and, after arriving Kwajalein 2 November, she operated during the next 3 months supporting the establishment of Air Force stations in the Marshalls. She returned to San Diego 4 March 1959. Following amphibious training out of San Diego, she departed for the Far East 1 October. She reached Yokosuka 3 November and resumed training and readiness exercises along the coast of Japan. Sailing for the United States 12 April 1960, she arrived San Diego 5 May. She decommissioned there 28 November 1960 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy List 1 February 1961. She was sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc., 22 August 1961.

LST-845 received five battle stars for Korean service.

Published: Wed Jul 22 14:42:20 EDT 2015