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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive



Contributed by Mike Smolinski



Contributed by David Buell

USS St Francis River (LFR-525)
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USS St Francis River (LSMR-525) (1955 - 1969)
USS LSM(R)-525 (1945 - 1955)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Lima - Romeo - Bravo
NLRB
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (5-6 January 1967, 30 October 1968) - Navy Unit Commendation (3) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (3) - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - United Nations Service Medal
Fourth Row - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (14) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Individual Awards

Silver Star - Commanding Officer USS LSM(R)-525, 17 July 1951 Wonsan Harbor, North Korea
LSM(R)-501 Class Landing Ship Medium (Rocket):
  • Laid down, 19 May 1945, at Brown Ship Building Co., Houston, TX.
  • Launched, 16 June 1945
  • Commissioned USS LSM(R)-525, 14 August 1945, LT Raymond J. Sponsler, USNR in command
  • Decommissioned, 28 March 1946, at Green Cove Springs, FL.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Florida Group, Green Cove Springs
  • Recommissioned, 16 September 1950
  • During the Korean War USS LSM(R)-525 participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    17 to 22 July 1951
    24 August to 21 September 1951
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    5 May to 6 June 1953
    Third Korean Winter
    23 March to 18 April 1953
     

  • Named USS St Francis River (LSMR-525), 1 October 1955
  • Decommissioned, 21 November 1955
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Columbia River Group
  • Recommissioned, 18 September 1965, at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Hunters Point
  • During the Vietnam War USS St Francis River participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    17 April to 3 May 1966
    9 to 27 May 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    7 August to 1 September 1968
    2 to 7 September 1968
    20 September to 7 October 1968
    25 October to 18 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    3 August to 1 September 1966
    12 September to 5 October 1966
    8 to 16 December 1966
    31 December to 10 February 1967
    15 April to 17 May 1967
    26 to 31 May 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 to 18 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 14 June 1967
    25 August to 23 September 1967
    3 October to 14 November 1967
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    23 February to 12 March 1969
    29 May to 8 June 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    1 April 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    9 to 20 June 1969
    23 June to 15 August 1969
    28 to 31 October 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    2 April to 21-May 1968
    27 May to 17 June 1968
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    1 November 1969 to 2 January 1970

  • Reclassified Inshore Fire Support Ship (LFR-525), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned and Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1970 at Yokosuka, Japan
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in November 1970, to Nissho-Iwai American Corp, Sasebo, Japan
  • USS St. Francis River LSMR-525 / LFR-525 earned three battle stars for Korean War service and ten campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement
    light 758 t.
    attack 993 t.
    fully loaded 1,175 t.
    Length 203' 6" o.a.
    Beam 34' 6"
    Draft
    light 5'4" (mean)
    attack 6'9" (mean)
    fully loaded 7'9" (mean)
    Speed 13 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 6
    Enlisted 137
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm gun mounts
    four twin 20mm gun mounts
    ten twin tube continuous loading 5" (SS) spin stabilizer rocket launchers
    four 4.2" mortars
    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
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 1,225 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two General Motors 16-287A (non-reversing with airflex clutch) Diesel engines, direct drive with 1,440 BHP each @ 720rpm
    Ship's Service Generators
    four Diesel-drive 100Kw 450V A.C.
    two Diesel-drive 20Kw 120V D.C.
    twin screws 2,800 shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS LSM(R)-525
    LSMR-524 80k USS LSM(R)-525 (right) and USS LSM(R)-524 (left) preparing to get under way, probably from Southern Pacific Docks, Houston, TX. for NAB Little Creek, VA., circa August 1945. Photo by John A McDonald USS LSMR-524. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 89k USS LSM(R)-525 enroute to NAB Little Creek, circa August 1945. Photo taken from USS LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 48k USS LSM(R)-525 off Cape Hatteras, N.C. while enroute to NAB Little Creek, circa August 1945. Photo taken from USS LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 53k USS LSM(R)-525 under way, date and location unknown. Photo from USS LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 64k USS LSM(R)-525 under way, date and location unknown. Photo from USS LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 73k USS View of LSM(R)-525 bridge area while coming alongside LSM(R)-524, date and location unknown. Photo from LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 92k USS View of LSM(R)-525 bridge area while coming alongside LSM(R)-524, date and location unknown. Photo from LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 86k USS View of LSM(R)-525 bridge area while coming alongside LSM(R)-524, date and location unknown. Photo from LSM(R)-524 by John A. McDonald. Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    LSMR-523 95k USS LSM(R)-523,
    USS LSM(R)-524,
    USS LSM(R)-525,
    USS LSM(R)-527,
    USS LSM(R)-526 and
    USS LSM(R)-519
    at anchor in a nest of six LSMRs at Green Cove Springs, FL, January 1946. The deck log entry of USS LSM(R)-524 for January 1946 indicates the following:
    "Moored at Berth Oak 31, St. John's River, Green Cove Springs, Fla. in 14 feet of water, mud bottom, with 35 fathoms of chain to bow anchor, 300 feet of cable to the stern anchor and moored port side to the USS LSM(R) 523 moored to the starboard side, the starboard side to the USS LSM (R) 525 moored to the port, port side to, USS LSM (R) 527 moored to the USS LSM (R) 525, USS LSM (R) 526 moored to LSM (R) 527, USS LSM (R) 519 moored to starboard side of USS LSM (R) 526 on the following Bridge bearing 166 (T), North End of bridge 068 (T), tower 219 (T) with the following machinery in operation #1 ship service generator, #1 boiler, #2 refrigerator, #2 fresh water pump, #2 fire and flushing pump, #2 air compressor"
    Photo submitted by Donald Tourville USS LSMR-528
    Log Entry submitted by Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    Pit River 58k Seventeen LSM(R)s at Green Cove Springs, FL. during Operation "Zipper", the process of decommissioning the fleet, commonly called "mothballing", March 1946.
    From front to back:
    USS LSM(R)-519
    USS LSM(R)-526,
    USS LSM(R)-527,
    USS LSM(R)-525,
    USS LSM(R)-524, (See Deck Log entry below)
    USS LSM(R)-529,
    USS LSM(R)-521,
    USS LSM(R)-528,
    USS LSM(R)-522,
    USS LSM(R)-531,
    USS LSM(R)-536,
    USS LSM(R)-535,
    USS LSM(R)-534,
    USS LSM(R)-520,
    USS LSM(R)-533,
    USS LSM(R)-530,
    USS LSM(R)-523,
    The USS LSM(R)-524 Deck Log states during the month of March 1946
    Moored in Birth Oak 31, St. Johns River Green Cove Springs. Fla. Anchorage in 14 feet of water, mud bottom with 65 fathoms of chain to bow anchor and 495 feet of cable to the stern anchor. Nested with LSM (R) type ships: 523, 530, 533, 520, 534, 535, 536, 531, 522, 528, 521, and 529, moored to our starboard numbering from inboard to outboard. LSM(R) type ships: 525, 527, 526, and 519, moored to our port numbering from inboard to outboard , on the following bearing: bridge opening 180 .5 (T), signal tower 235 (T), pt. of land 336 (T). The following machinery in operation: #1 generator, #1 evaporator, #2 fire & flushing pumps, #2 fresh water pumps, #2 refrigeration unit.
    Robert Hanle to the USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Log Entry submitted by Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    St Francis River 66k USS LSM(R)-525 crew members resting on deck after their hot work down in the magazines during the "Battle of the Buzz Saw" Wonsan Harbor, North Korea, 17 July 1951. Empty 5"/38 shall casings are all that remain of the over 150 rounds fired during the battle. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    St Francis River 120k USS LSM(R)-525 under way, date and place unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    St Francis River 134k USS LSM(R)-525 under way, date and location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    USS St Francis River (LSMR-525)
    St Francis River 51k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way, circa 1960, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    St Francis River 102k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) and USS Clarion River LSM(R)-409 recommissioning ceremony, 18 September 1965, at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Hunters Point. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    St Francis River 119k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) passing through the Golden Gate at San Francisco enroute out to sea to conduct trials after recommissioning, September 1965. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN USS St. Francis River LSM()525 1966-67.
    St Francis River 136k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way at San Francisco while conducting trials after recommissioning, September 1965. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN USS St. Francis River LSMR-525 1966-67.
    St Francis River 93k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way at San Francisco while conducting trials after recommissioning, September 1965. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN USS St. Francis River LSMR-525 1966-67.
    St Francis River 66k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) out bound to sea passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, CA., 16 October 1965. Note the San Francisco Marina District in the background David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN USS St. Francis River LSM(R)-525 1966-67
    St Francis River 77k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) out bound to sea passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, CA., 16 October 1965. Note the Marin County headlands in the background. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    St Francis River 110k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way in San Diego Bay, circa late 1965 - early 1966. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN USS St. Francis River LSMR-525 1966-67
    St Francis River 77k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) fires a pair off rockets directed toward enemy positions near Chu Lai, Vietnam, 21 September 1966.
    US Navy photo # 28-GX-K33944 by PH1 McColley
    Michael Mohl
    St Francis River 203k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) closes on the beach while continuing her rocket attack on enemy positions near Chu Lai, Vietnam, 22 September 1966.
    US Navy photo # 429-GX-K33959: by PH1 McColley
    Michael Mohl
    Clarion River 134k USS Clarion River (LSMR-409), Carronade (IFS-1), White River (LSMR-536 ) and St. Francis River (LSMR-525) off Danang, South Vietnam in November 1967.
    US Navy photo.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Clarion River 120k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the 1968-69 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships".
    Robert Hurst
    Clarion River 168k Port bow view (right to left) of USS Clarion River (LSMR-409), USS White River (LSMR-536 ) and USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) moored at Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan, in1968. Bob Blair Engineering Officer, USS LSMR-409 1967-68
    Clarion River 173k Stern view (left to right) of USS Clarion River (LSMR-409), USS White River (LSMR-536 ) and USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) moored at Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan, in1968. Bob Blair Engineering Officer, USS LSMR-409 1967-68
    St Francis River 153k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) firing her rockets in August 1969 off the coast of South Vietnam. Photo taken from the ships bridge. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    St Francis River 79k USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) under way in 1969, location unknown.
    US Navy photo by PH3 W. D. Newton.
    Robert Hurst

    USS LSM(R)-525 / USS St. Francis River LSMR-525 / USS St. Francis River (LFR-525)
    Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Mobile Riverine Force Association

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    Last Updated 16 December 2016