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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Pee Dee River (LSMR-517)
ex
USS LSM(R)-517 (1945 - 1955)

All material in blue italics was researched and contributed by Stanley Parker USS LSMR-517 and LCDR Leland Blehm, USN (Ret.) to correct the DANFS entry for Pee Dee River (LSMR-517)

**An additional email message was sent by Richard D Luce RMN2 USNR USS LSMR-517 who served aboard in 1950 and 1951


From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. V (1979), pp. 244

A river in the Carolinas.

(LSMR-517: dp. 790; 1. 206'3", b. 34'6", dr. 7'3", s. 13 k.; cpl. 75; a. 1 5", 4 40mm., 8 20mm., 10 rkt.; cl. LSMR-501)

Pee Dee River (LSMR-517), a medium landing ship (rocket), originally designed as a LSM but redesignated 9 February 1945 as LSMR-517, was laid down by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex. 28 April 1945, launched 2 June 1945; and accepted and commissioned 21 July 1945, Lt. Leo H. Bishkin in command.

LSMR-517 underwent final fitting out at the Charleston Navy Yard and then reported for shakedown 25 August 1945 at Little Creek, Va. Assigned to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, she conducted training operations out of Little Creek. *She was utilized chiefly to assist in fulfilling amphibious and midshipman training commitments until her deactivation in October 1947.

"The following information is all dated after she was allegedly decommissioned in October, 1947. On 2 January, 1948 she anchored at Smith Point. On 3 Jan, 1948, she hoisted anchor and arrived at Quantico, Va. on 3 Jan.,1948. Left Quantico, Va. 7 Jan., 1948, stayed overnight at New Point Comfort and arrived at Little Creek, Va. on 8 Jan., 1948. Between January, 1948 to November, 1948 she visited the following locations, Bloodsworth Island, Norfolk, Va., Yorktown, Va., Onslow Beach, N.C., New York, Newport News, Va., and Annapolis. On 30 October, 1948 she sailed to Argentia, Newfoundland. On 13 November, 1948, she left Newfoundland and arrived at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia on 16 November, 1948. Left Nov Scotia 16 Nov., 1948 and arrived at Coffin Island Light on 17, Nov., 1948. Arrived in Norfolk, Va. 20 Nov., 1948 She visited many, many more ports during the time she was allegedly decommissioned, too numerous to itemize or list here until July, 1954.. The last information I have on the 517 is, her last movement was on 24 July, 1954, when she arrived at Little Creek, Va. She might have been decommissioned at that time."

Reactivated in September 1951, she called at Fall River Mass. for repairs and then operated briefly out of Little Creek in the Virginia Capes and Chesapeake Bay Operating Areas. After taking part in Lantflex 1-55, she departed Little Creek 1 February 1955 and arrived Orange, Tex. 8 February. She decommissioned there 13 April and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group.

Named Pee Dee River 1 October 1955 while still in a reserve status, she remained berthed at Orange, Tex. until struck from the Navy List 1 February 1960. She was sold 22 June 1960 to Petrommer Corp.

*"She is recorded to have conducted a Midshipman's cruise, possibly with the LSM(R) 513. She left on 9 June, 1946 and is recorded to have been at Bloodsworth Island and returned to Little Creek 11 June, 1946. That is the ONLY record of her having Midshipmen on a cruise. That should eliminate the statement "she was used chiefly as." On 17 June, 1946. She left Little Creek and arrived at Camp Pendelton on 18 June, 1946 and arrived back at Little Creek on 20 June, 1946. There is a possibility of her being involve in a Marine training exercise."

**Former crew member Richard D Luce RMN2 USNR, states that LSMR-517 was in commission as a member of the Atlantic Fleet in 1950 and 1951 conducting maneuvers in the Caribbean and carrying VIPs to Vieques Island to demonstration the fire power of the LSMRs.


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