Greer County (LST-799)
A county in Oklahoma.
(LST-799: displacement 1,625; length 328'; beam 50'; draft 11'; speed 12 knots; complement 119; armament 8 40 millimeter, 12 20 millimeter; class LST-545)
LST-799 was laid down by Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Co., Jeffersonville, Ind., on 25 August 1944; launched on 3 October 1944; sponsored by Miss Mary R. Whalen; and commissioned at New Orleans on 21 October 1944, Lt. Daniel C. Millet in command.
Following shakedown off Florida, LST-799 loaded construction equipment at Gulfport, Miss., and steamed 29 November for the West Coast. Loading ammunition cargo at San Francisco she departed 13 February 1945; and arrived Saipan 24 March. Two days later she was en route to Okinawa, where the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific war was about to begin. Under the threat of enemy air raids, LST-799 approached the beaches of Okinawa 2 April, one day after the initial landings. On 3 April LST-599 was hit by a kamikaze and a fire-rescue party from LST-799 assisted in extinguishing the blaze caused by the impact.
The landing ship was on General Quarters consistently during the next month as the enemy made a futile effort to stop the accelerating American drive across the Pacific toward Japan. Departing Okinawa 8 May, LST-799 sailed to Ulithi and for the rest of the war shuttled cargo among the American held bases. Following the hard fought victory which ended World War II, she supported occupation forces in Japan and the Philippines until 22 April 1946 when she decommissioned at Japan.
Following the Communist aggression in Korea in the summer of 1950, LST-799 recommissioned at Yokosuka 26 August 1950. On 5 September she departed with a cargo of ammunition and provisions, arriving Pusan, Korea 2 days later. There she loaded a tank unit of the 5th Marines and sailed for the landings at Inchon. The magnificently executed landings turned the tide of the conflict. General MacArthur summed up the success of the 15 September assault: "The Navy and Marines have never shone more brightly than this morning."
After the Inchon landings, LST-799 sailed for Wonsan, arriving there 25 October. During December an overhaul was interrupted to participate in the evacuation of American and South Korean troops at Hungnam. On 24 December she embarked final covering elements of the U.S. 3d Division, and sailed for Pusan arriving the 27th.
In early 1951, she completed overhaul and was equipped with helicopter landing facilities. Assigned as a mine squadron flagship, she performed logistic support for minesweepers off the Korean east coast. She remained off Korea until September 1952; and, in addition to logistics, performed helicopter rescue operations, engaged in the coastal blockade, and participated in the Wonsan Harbor Control System.
Following extended overhaul at Long Beach, Calif., LST-799 returned to the Western Pacific 9 April 1953. She resumed duties out of Wonsan as a Mine Squadron Flagship. After the armistice, she continued evacuation and training in the Far East, until sailing for the United States late in November 1953.From 1954 to 1956, LST-799 made two cruises to the Western Pacific. On 1 July 1955, she was named Greer County. Upon return from her 1956 cruise, she became Flagship of Mine Squadron 7 operating along the West Coast. She decommissioned 18 January 1960. Greer County was struck from the Navy List 1 November 1960 and she was sold for scrapping.
LST-799 received one battle star for World War II service and nine stars for the Korean conflict.