(LST-819: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-511)
Counties in Massachusetts and West Virginia.
LST-819 was laid down by the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co., Evansville, Ind., 12 September 1944; launched 21 October; sponsored by Mrs. William M. Gilmore; and commissioned 14 November 1944, Lt. George W. Ryerson in command.
Following shakedown off Florida, LST-819 loaded cargo, then departed New Orleans 18 December for the Pacific. After a brief stop at San Diego and Pearl Harbor, the tank landing ship arrived Tulagi 23 February 1945. During the next month she shuttled cargo throughout the Pacific, then ammunition for the Okinawa invasion.
Arriving 2 April, one day after the initial landing, LST-819 prepared to unload her cargo under heavy enemy air attack. Remaining off the island for the next 3 weeks, she assisted in the courageous effort as the Japanese made a futile attempt to stop the American thrust toward Japan. For the rest of the war she continued transport and cargo operations in the vicinity of Okinawa.
After V-J Day, she operated with the occupation forces in Okinawa and Japan, then sailed for the United States in mid-November, arriving San Francisco 6 January 1946. Later that month she sailed to Astoria, Oreg.; decommissioned there and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Because of the Korean conflict buildup LST-819 recom-missioned at Astoria 8 September 1950, Lt. J. H. Burch in command. Following training she departed San Diego 3 months later, arriving Yokosuka 17 January 1951. Two weeks later she steamed to Pusan where she embarked army personnel for transport to Inchon, arriving there 19 February. From February to June LST-819 carried troops and vehicles from Japan to Korean ports; then on 8 June departed for the United States. After 6 months out of San Diego, "819" was en route for her second tour in the Far East, arriving Yokosuka 15 February 1952. She resumed cargo runs to the war zone as American forces demonstrated their ability to fight for the cause of freedom. She continued cargo operations and harbor entrance patrol until late October when she steamed back to the United States.
After the Korean conflict LST-819 made another cruise to the Far East from August 1953 to June 1954 where she resumed her cargo operations under more peaceful conditions. She returned San Diego 17 July and operated along the West Coast until she decommissioned 24 June 1955.
While in reserve at San Diego LST-819 was named Hampshire County 1 July 1955.
Hampshire County (LST-819) reeommissioned 9 July 1966 for use in the Vietnam War. By 9 September she had completed shakedown training and on 24 September left Del Mar, Calif., for Danang, Vietnam, arriving 8 November. After debarking Marines and cargo there, she returned to Guam, anchoring 19 December. Hampshire County then participated in operation "Market Time" and continued into 1967 in her important combat support mission.
LST-819 received one battle star for World War service and four stars for the Korean conflict.