Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Litchfield County

(LST-901: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-511)

A county in northwestern Connecticut.

LST-901 was laid down 29 October 1944 by Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.; launched 9 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. S. A. Evans; and commissioned 11 January 1945, Lt. C. A. Henson in command.

Upon completion of her shakedown off Florida, LST-901 sailed to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving Pearl Harbor 27 March. After additional training, she reached Saipan 12 June for resupply missions in the Marianas, Ryukyus, and Iwo Jima until the close of the war. She operated as mother ship for minesweepers around Truk until sailing for the States 28 November. After several short coastal voyages, she decommissioned at Vancouver, Wash., 9 August 1946, but world situations prevented a prolonged period in mothballs.

Recommissioned 30 November 1951, Lt. James E. Houlihan in command, LST-901 prepared for service in the Korean conflict, sailing from San Diego 7 July 1952 for Hawaii, Midway, and Inchon, arriving 5 September.

Logistic support lifts, amphibious landing rehearsals, and service as helicopter pad and control vessel for the Wonsan naval blockade were her missions until returning to San Diego 21 May. From 1 August to 12 October she participated in the lift of the 3d Marines to Japan.

Uneasy peace reigned in Korea as she departed for her third Far Eastern tour 27 March 1954. After amphibious exercises, on 17 August LST-901 joined the giant humanitarian "Passage to Freedom" effort as communism split asunder another nation. Between 29 August and 7 November she made seven trips to Haiphong, North Vietnam, to transport troops and anti-Communist refugees to Da Nang and Saigon. Following a cruise to Inchon, she returned to San Diego 13 February 1955.

After training operations along the west coast, LST-901 reported at San Francisco for inactivation 1 July. The following day she was named Litchfield County. Placed in commission in reserve 19 September, she decommissioned at Long Beach 20 December 1955.

As the Communists expanded efforts to take over South Vietnam, demands on American seapower again greatly increased, and early in 1966 Litchfield County was towed to Portland, Oreg., for reactivation. She recommissioned 5 March 1966, Lt. C. B. Bryant in command. After shakedown out of San Diego she sailed 3 June for her new home port, Apra, Guam, arriving on the 30th. Litchfield County sailed for Chu Lai with troops 9 July, arriving off Vietnam 10 days later. Resupply missions in support of ground forces continued through 9 November, when she returned to Guam. On 21 January 1967 she arrived off Vietnam once again to resume her essential resupply missions.

Shuttling between Da Nang and Chu Lai for the next 5 weeks, she departed 23 February, arriving at Guam 18 March. Litchfield County completed two more Vietnam tours before the end of the year, sandwiching in between those tours duty as a survey ship in the western Carolines during July. During 1968, and into 1969, she has continued to operate in the Pacific on survey and resupply missions from the Carolines, to Japan, to Vietnam.

Litchfield County received two battle stars for Korean service.

Published: Wed Jul 29 07:16:42 EDT 2015