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Raccoon River
(LSM(R)-520: displacement 1,084 (full load); length 206’3”; beam 34’6”; draft 9’9”; speed 12 knots; complement 140; armament 1 5”, 4 40mm., 8 20mm., 4 4.2” mortar, 10 rocket launchers; class LSM(R)-501)

A river in Iowa.

Raccoon River was laid down as LSM(R)-520 on 28 April 1945 by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Houston, Tex.; launched 2 June 1945; and commissioned 31 July 1945, Lt. W. F. Chapman, USNR, in command.

LSM(R)-520 departed the Texas coast on 10 August; arrived at Charleston on the 15th; continued on to Norfolk in early September, and completed shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay in early October. On 10 October she got underway for the Great Lakes to celebrate Navy Day at Erie, Pa., then returned to Norfolk. On 8 January 1946, she again departed Norfolk, this time for Florida and inactivation. Arriving at Jacksonville on the 11th, she commenced overhaul, and then shifted to Green Cove Springs where she was decommissioned on 15 May 1946.

LSM(R)-520 remained berthed with the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet until ordered activated in August 1950. Recommissioned on 2 February 1952, she returned to the Chesapeake Bay area; based at Little Creek through April; spent May and June at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard; and on 11 July returned to Little Creek to prepare for amphibious exercises in the Carolinas.

Her duty during the next 18 months included amphibious operations at Onslow Beach, N.C., training exercises in Chesapeake Bay, two cruises to Vieques Island, P.R., and cold weather operations off Labrador.

On 26 January 1954 she headed south again, and through February operated in waters off Cuba and southern Florida. In March she returned to Little Creek and spent the remainder of the year operating off the east coast, primarily in the Virginia Capes area.

On 1 February 1955, LSM(R)-520 departed Little Creek for the last time. On the 8th, she arrived at Orange, Tex., and again entered the Reserve Fleet. Although named Raccoon River on 1 October 1955, she was struck from the Navy list on 1 February 1960 and then sold to the Petromar Corp. on 22 June 1960.

07 September 2004