(LSMR-402: dp. 1,084 (f.); l. 203'6"; b. 34'6"; dr. 6'8" (mean); s. 12.6 k.; cpl. 138; a. 10 rkt. ln., 1 5", 4 4.2" M., 4 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. LSMR-401)
An incorrect spelling of Bighorn River, a stream that is formed by the confluence of the Popo Agie and Wind Rivers in west central Wyoming and that flows north to empty into the Yellowstone River in Treasure County in southeastern Montana.
LSMR-402 was laid down on 2 January 1945 at Charleston, S.C., by the Charleston Navy Yard; launched on 22 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. John L. Huntsman; and commissioned on 16 April 1945, Lt. Walter B. McCown, Jr., USNR, in command.
The rocket armed medium landing ship reported for duty to the Shakedown Group, Little Creek, Va., on 25 April and spent the next four weeks engaged in shakedown training in the lower Chesapeake Bay. After completing post shakedown repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 21 May, she got underway for the west coast two days later. After transiting the Panama Canal on 1 June, LSMR-402 entered port at San Diego, Calif., on the 13th. Amphibious warfare training out of San Diego occupied her for the next two months.
LSMR 402 set sail from San Diego on 12 August and reached Pearl Harbor on the 21st. Over the ensuing five weeks, she conducted further amphibious exercises at various locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands. On 29 September, she departed Oahu and reached San Diego sometime during the second week in October.
Five days after her arrival in San Diego, LSMR-402 headed north to Astoria, Oreg., to be inactivated. However, after about two weeks, she received orders back to San Diego to resume active service. Over the following 14 months, the warship alternated between periods of active operations and periods of reduced operational status. Ultimately, she was decommissioned on 16 January 1948 and was berthed with the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 6 August 1955 while she was still in reserve at San Diego, LSMR-402 was named Big Horn River. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1958. Details of her disposition are unknown, but presumably she was sold for scrap.
Raymond A. Mann
6 February 2006