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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Big Black River (LFR-401)
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USS Big Black River (LSMR-401) (1955 - 1969)
USS LSM(R)-401 (1945 - 1955)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Tango - Golf
NTTG
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 13 to 17 September 1950) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Bottom Row - Korean Service Medal (7) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


LSM(R)-401 Class Landing Ship Medium (Rocket):
  • Laid down, 2 January 1945, at US Naval Shipyard, Charleston, SC
  • Launched, 22 January 1945
  • Commissioned USS LSM(R)-401, 7 April 1945, LT. Robert Chitrin, USNR, in command
  • During the Korean War USS LSM(R)-401 assigned to LSMR Squadron Three and participated in the following campaigns:
    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    18 September to 21 October 1951
    U.N. Summer-Fall Offensive,
    16 to 24 November 1951
    Communist China Aggression,
    10 December 1950 to 14 January 1951
    Second Korean Winter,
    1 December 1951 to 3 April 1952
    Inchon Landing,
    13 to 17 September 1950
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall,
    5 to 16 May 1952,
    26 June to 4 July 1952
    First U.N. Counter Offensive,
    29 January to 10 February 1951
     

  • Decommissioned, 15 February 1954
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Named USS Big Black River (LSM(R)-401), 1 October 1955
  • Redesignated Inshore Fire Support Ship, (LFR-401), 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 May 1973
  • Final Disposition, sold by (DRMS) Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for scrap, 1 August 1974
  • USS LSM(R)-401 earned seven battle stars for Korean War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 758 t.(light), 993 t.(attack) 1,175 t. (fully loaded)
    Length 203' 6" o.a.
    Beam 34' 6"
    Draft 7' forward, 9' aft
    Speed 13 kts.
    Complement 6 officers, 137 enlisted
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm gun mounts
    four twin 20mm gun mounts (after Korean War)
    ten twin tube continuous loading 5" spin stabilizer rocket launchers (two removed after Korean War)
    four 4".2 mortars (removed after Korean War)
    two .50 cal machine guns on the forecastle
    two .30 cal machine guns on the bridge wings.
    Armor 10-lb. STS on conning station, pilot-house, radio room, radar plot, and rocket control, 10-lb. ASPP around 40 and 20mm gun mounts and directors
    Propulsion two General Motors 16-287A (non-reversing with airflex clutch) diesels, direct drive with 1,440 BHP each @ 720rpm, twin screws, Endurance, 3,000 miles @ 13kts

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Big Black River 74k USS LSM(R)-401 underway at Charleston, S.C. passing under the Cooper River Bridge during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945. Notice the US Army Hospital Ship USAHS Larkspur just visible beyond LSM(R)-401 The Larkspur served as the US Navy's destroyer tender Bridgeport (AD-10) prior to World War II. US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 49k USS LSM(R)-401 underway at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945. Port broadside view.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo # 1155-45.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 49k USS LSM(R)-401 underway on the Cooper River at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945. Starboard broadside view.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 92k USS LSM(R)-401 underway at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo # 1162-45.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 43k USS LSM(R)-401 underway probably at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, in April 1945. Her main armament consisted of ten continuously loading rocket launchers. Abaft the rocket launchers on each side were two 4.2" mortars, with a twin 20 mm gun abaft them.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Big Black River 175k
    Big Black River 84k USS LSM(R)-401 underway at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945, stern view.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 114k USS LSM(R)-401 underway at Charleston, S.C. during acceptance trials, 9 April 1945, overhead view.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 152k USS LSM(R)-401 moored second from the left in a nest of LSM(R)'s at San Diego, February 1946.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-354586, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 79k USS LSM(R)-409, USS LSM(R)-412, USS LSM(R)-401, USS LSM(R)-403, USS LSM(R)-404 and USS LSM(R)-419 moored at Yokosuka, Japan, 1 May 1951
    US Navy photo.
    Lewis Smith to the USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 123k USS LSM(R)-401 firing rockets, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, November 1951.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Big Black River 1379k USS LSM(R)-401 firing rockets at night off the west coast of North Korea near the island of Cho do., date unknown. Dr. Charles Cerney LSMR Squadron Three
    Big Black River 1396k
    Big Black River 97k USS LSM(R)-401 at anchor, off San Diego, circa October 1951. Dr. Charles Cerney LSMR Squadron Three
    Big Black River 801k USS LSM(R)-401 underway, off Korea, circa October 1951 - June 1952. Dr. Charles Cerney LSMR Squadron Three
    Big Black River 1991k USS LSM(R)-401 at anchor off the Korean coast after a shoot, circa October 1951 - June 1952. Dr. Charles Cerney LSMR Squadron Three
    Big Black River 1108k USS LSM(R)-401 entering a drydock in Japan. Note damaged mast, circa October 1951 - June 1952.
    Dr. Charles Cerney LSMR Squadron Three
    Big Black River 22k USS LSM(R)-401 entering USS Cabildo (LSD-16)'s well deck, date and location unknown. USS Cabildo Association Web Site
    Big Black River 92k USS LSM(R)-401 underway, off San Diego, CA. 5 April 1954.
    Photo by Oather Morper.
    Bill Brinkley and the USS LSM-LSMR Association
    Big Black River 143k USS Big Black River LSM(R)-401 firing rockets, date and location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 111k USS Big Black River LSM(R)-401 underway, date and location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Big Black River 72k USS Big Black River LSM(R)-401 moored to a buoy, date and location unknown.
    Photo from the collection of Samuel L. Morison.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association

    USS LSM(R)-401 / USS Big Black River (LSMR-401) / USS Big Black River (LSMR-401)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
    Fleet Reserve Association

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    None
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 21 May 2010