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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Thames River (LSMR-534)
ex
USS LSM(R)-534 (1945 - 1955)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal



USS Thames LSM(R)-534 was transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany named Natter (L-755)
LSM(R)-501 Class Landing Ship Medium (Rocket):
  • Laid down, date unknown, at Brown Ship Building Co, Houston, TX.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Commissioned USS LSM(R)-534, 18 October 1945, LT Martin R. Harkavy, USNR in command
  • Decommissioned, 25 April 1946, at Green Cove Springs FL.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Florida Group, Green Cove Springs
  • Named Thames River (LSMR-534), 1 October 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany, 5 September 1958 and named Natter (L-755)
  • Decommissioned by Germany, 15 December 1967
  • Final Disposition, scrapped in 1968
    LSM(R) Specifications:
    Displacement 758 t.(light), 993 t. (attack) 1,175 t. (fully loaded)
    Length 206' 3"
    Beam 34' 6"
    Draft light, 5' 4" (mean), attack 6' 9" (mean), fully loaded 7' 9" (mean)
    Speed 13 kts.
    Complement 6 officers, 137 enlisted
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    ten twin continuous loading 5" SS 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
    Endurance 3,000 miles @ 13kts
    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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    USS Thames River LSM(R)-534
    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
    Thames River 62k Page one of the Schedule of Events pamphlet for the Transfer and Commissioning Ceremonies of six US Navy ships that will comprise the Federal Republic of Germany Second Landing Squadron, 5 September 1958 at US Naval Shipyard Charleston, S.C.
    USS Thames River (SMR-534) to Germany renamed Natter (L-755)
    USS Smyrna River (LSMR-532) to Germany renamed Otter (L-754)
    USS LSM-537 to Germany named Krokodil (L-750)
    USS LSM-491 to Germany named Eidechse (L-751)
    USS LSM-553 to Germany named Salamander (L-752)
    USS LSM-558 to Germany named Viper (L-753)
    Ingo Zeitz
    Thames River 45k Page two of the Transfer and Commissioning Ceremonies pamphlet for the six US Navy ships that will comprise the Federal Republic of Germany Second Landing Squadron, 5 September 1958 at US Naval Shipyard Charleston, S.C. Ingo Zeitz
    Natter (L-755)
    Thames River 94k Ex-USS Thames River (LSMR-534) in German service as Natter (L-755) arriving at the German Federal Republic Naval Base at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Thames River 33k Second Landing Squadron flagship Natter (L-755) and Otter (L-754) moored pierside, German Federal Republic Naval Base at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Ingo Zeitz
    Thames River 62k Natter (L-755) and Otter (L-754) moored pierside, German Federal Republic Naval Base at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Note: The German Training Ship Gorch Fock in the background. Ingo Zeitz
    Thames River 28k Natter (L-755) and Otter (L-754) moored pierside, German Federal Republic Naval Base at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Ingo Zeitz
    Thames River 47k Natter (L-755) underway, circa 1960s, location unknown. Karsten Petersen
    Thames River 63k Natter (L-755) underway, circa 1960s, location unknown.
    Official Photo Bundesmarine photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1961-62 edition.
    Robert Hurst

    The history for USS LSM(R)- 534 / USS Thames River LSM(R)-534 was partially extracted from LSM-LSMR Amphibious Forces, Vol. II. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, ©1997. (ISBN 1-56311-389-9).
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
    USS LSM-LSMR Association
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    Last Updated 2 April 2010