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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Epping Forest (MCS-7)
USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) (1943 - 1962)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Yankee - Golf
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6) - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (5) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam) - Vietnam Service Medal (6)
Fourth Row - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Ashland Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Originally authorized as (APM-4), a Mechanized Artillery Transport
  • Reclassified as Dock Landing Ship (LSD-4), 1 July 1941
  • Laid down 23 November 1942, at Moore Drydock Co. Oakland CA;
  • Launched, 2 April 1943
  • Commissioned USS Epping Forest (LSD-4), 11 October 1943, LCDR. L. Martin, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Epping Forest was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 26 July 1944
    Hollandia operation, 21 to 26 April and 28 April to 2 May 1944 Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 13 to 24 October, 31 October to 9 November and 13 to 21 November 1944
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 April to 30 June 1945

  • Decommissioned, 25 March 1947, at San Diego, CA.
  • Placed in Reserve at Long Beach CA.
  • Recommissioned, 1 December 1950
  • During the Korean War USS Epping Forest participated in the following campaigns;

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    18 July to 25 September 1951
    9 November 1951
    Third Korean Winter
    1 to 6 and 12 to 19 December 1952
    21 February to 1 March 1953
    8 to 15 March 1953
    Second Korean Winter
    5 to 6 and 17 to 19 December 1951
    Korea, Summer-Fall 1953
    28 May to 7 June 1953
    12 June to 14 July 1953
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    29 October to 17 November 1952
    27 to 30 November 1952

  • Redesignated Mine Countermeasures Support Ship (MCS-7) 30 November 1962
  • During the Vietnam War USS Epping Forest participated in the following campaigns;

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    29 November to 10 December 1961
    11 to 23 January 1962
    19 to 31 July 1964
    10 to 15 October 1964
    25 March to 4 May 1965
    24 June to 3 July 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    4 to 11 June 1967
    Vietnam Defense
    4 to 19 July 1965
    25 September to 22 October 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase IV
    24 April to 24 May 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    2 to 14 March 1966
    9 to 10 and 23 to 25-May 1966
    7 to 9 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    4 to 20 August 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    12 September to 6 October 1966
    21 March to 14 April 1967

  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 31 October 1968
  • USS Epping Forrest earned six battle stars for World War II service, five battle stars for Korean War service, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with six campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 30 October 1969
    Specifications: (as reported by Office of Naval Intelligence, 7 April 1944)
    Displacement 4,032 (light draft), 7,930 (seagoing - loaded)
    Length 457' 9" o.a.
    Beam 72"
    8' 2 ½" fwd, 10' ½" aft (light draft)
    15' 5 ½" fwd, 16' 2" aft (seagoing loaded)
    Speed 17 kts (design speed)
    Endurance 8,000 miles @ 15 knots
    Officers 17
    Enlisted 237
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 218
    Well Deck Capacity (varies with mission)
    three LCT (Mk V or VI) each w/ 5 medium tanks or
    two LCT (Mk III or IV) each w/ 12 medium tanks or
    fourteen LCM (Mk III) each w/ 1 medium tank or 1, 500 long tons cargo or
    forty-seven DUKW or
    forty-one LVT or
    Any combination of landing vehicles and landing craft up to capacity
    Aircraft (still in commission in late 40's or early 50's) were fitted/retro-fitted with a prefabricated steel grated "Portable Deck" suspended between the wing walls and supported by removable I-beam girders. The aft end of the portable deck contained a wooden helicopter platform, enabling the ship to land and launch 1 helicopter at a time. Stowage of helicopters was limited to capacity of the portable deck installed for the mission. Aircraft servicing was limited to re-fueling. With portable deck and aircraft platform installed, the Landing ship, dock was still capable of transporting, launching and repairing smaller amphibious craft and vehicles up to the size of a Landing craft, utility (LCU) in their well decks.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount in open tub (w/director)
    two quad 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    sixteen single 20mm AA gun mounts (local control)
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 11,720 Bbls
    Diesel 160 Bbls
    Gasoline 5,085 Gals
    two Skinner Uniflow 5-cylinder reciprocating steam engines
    two Babcock and Wilcox oil fired D-type boilers, two drum, single furnace, single uptake, 250psi
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 150Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    twin propellers, 7,400shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Epping Forest (LSD-4)
    Epping Forest
    Epping Forest - Mary Ball the daughter of COL. Joseph Ball was born at Epping Forest, Lancaster County, VA. in 1707/08. She was the mother of George Washington.
    From the 1915 book Historic Virginia Houses and Churches by Robert A. Lancaster, Jr., circa 1900.
    Tommy Trampp
    Epping Forest 192k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) crew photo, probably taken in the Los Angeles area soon after the ship was commissioned.
    Photo by Thompson Photo Studios, Los Angeles.
    Teri Williams Easterling for her father Lomas Bryant Williams USS Epping Forest
    Epping Forest
    184k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) with and unidentified ship coming alongside, date and location unknown. Kelly McCrystle for his grandfather Ernie Osburn USS LST-1081
    Epping Forest
    Epping Forest 30k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4), date and location unknown. USS Gunston Hall web site
    Epping Forest 219k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) in November 1953 at the start of her overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard when her helicopter deck was added.
    US Navy photo from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Epping Forest 79k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) under way, circa 1950s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 107620.
    Robert Hurst
    Epping Forest 56k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) leaving San Diego, 1956. Note Coronado Ferry entering photo at far left. Dale C Haskin
    Epping Forest 92k USS Epping Forest (LSD-4) under way after her conversion for Mine Sweeper support, and before being designated Mine Countermeasures Support Ship (MCS-7), circa 1962, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Peacock 65k Epping Forest (LSD 4) "mothering" coastal minesweeper USS Peacock (MSC-198)
    U.S. Navy photo from the July 1962 edition of All Hands magazine
    Robert Hurst
    USS Epping Forest (MCS-7)
    Epping Forest 65k USS Epping Forest (MCS-7), circa 1962, western Pacific.
    US Navy photo.
    Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships
    Epping Forest
    147k USS Epping Forest (MCS-7) at anchor with a landing craft in the water, circa the mid-1960s.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 66445
    Robert Hurst

    For more photos and information about USS Epping Forest, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • Western Caroline Islands Attack Landing Order
  • Beach White Peleliu - CTF 32 Operation Plan A501-44 Appendix 4 to Annex "D"
  • "Epping Forest History Supporting Mine Sweeping Boats" by Ed Sinclair

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Martin, Lester11 October 1943 - April 1944LSD-4
    02CDR. Kaltenbacher, Roy James, USNRApril 1944 - November 1945LSD-4
    03CDR. Ovrom, Robert JohnstonNovember 1945 - 25 March 1947LSD-4
     Decommissioned25 March 1947 - 1 December 1950LSD-4
    04CDR. Miller, Rodger Farrington1 December 1950 - July 1951LSD-4
    05CDR. Hack, John AdrianJuly 1951 - April 1952LSD-4
    06CDR. Fallon, Frederic ClaytonApril 1952 - 1954LSD-4
    07LCDR. Davis, Robert Allan, USN (USNA 1946)1954 - 1954LSD-4
    08CDR. Fallon, Frederic Clayton1954 - February 1955LSD-4
    09CDR. Mehlhop, Donald L.February 1955 - 1956LSD-4
    10CDR. Ferron, Alan William1956 - 1958LSD-4
    11CAPT. Long Jr., Andrew Willison1958 - July 1960LSD-4
    12CDR. Bush Jr., George BernardJuly 1960 - 26 March 1962LSD-4
    13CDR. Schaedler, George Alden26 March 1962 - 22 May 1964 MSC-7
    14CDR. Dutra, John Eugene22 May 1964 - 16 July 1966 MSC-7
    15CDR. Clark, William Ernest, USN (USNA 1948-A)16 July 1966 - 19 January 1968 MSC-7
    16CDR. Dyer, George Wesley (Jerry), USN (USNA 1949)19 January 1968 - 31 October 1968 MSC-7
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Association of Minemen
    Minewarfare Association
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Mine Warfare Ship Type Index Back To The Mechanized Artillery Transport (APM) Photo Index Back To The Dock Landing Ship (LSD) Photo Index Back To The Mine Countermeasures Support Ship (MCS) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 24 March 2023