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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Casa Grande (LSD-13)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - November - Hotel
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3)
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia/Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Dominican Republic) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Casa Grande Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Authorized under the Lend-Lease Act as British Mechanized Artillery Transport BAPM-5
  • Reclassified Landing Ship Dock LSD-13, 1 July 1942
  • Contract awarded for LSD-13 to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA., 10 September 1942
  • LSD-13 was laid down, 11 November 1943 as HMS Spear at Newport New Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News VA.
  • Launched, 11 April, 1944
  • Lend-Lease canceled or modified never commissioned in Royal Navy as HMS Portway (F-144)
  • Commissioned USS Casa Grande (LSD-13), 5 June 1944, LCDR. F. E. Strumm, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Casa Grande was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20, 31 October to 9 November and 13 to 21 November 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 April to 3 June 1945
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landing, 9 January 1945

  • Following World War II USS Casa Grande was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    21 to 28 October 19451 January to 16 February 1946
    4 to 7 November 1945 
    21 to 27 December 1945 
    19 to 28 February 1946 

  • Decommissioned, 23 October 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Norfolk Group;
  • Recommissioned, 1 November 1950
  • USS Casa Grande was assigned to Occupation service in Europe for the following period, 4 May to 17 October 1953
  • Decommissioned, 6 October 1969
  • Struck form the Naval Register, 11 October 1976
  • USS Casa Grande earned three battle stars for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold, 6 April 1992, for $270,000 to Baxter Shipping Inc, Burbank, CA., fate unknown
    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 Newport News Shipbuilding steam turbines
    two Babcock and Wilcox oil fired D-type boilers, two drum, single furnace, single uptake, 250psi
    single Newport New Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship' Service Generators
    twin propellers, 7,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Casa Grande
    Casa Grande ruins, 10 July 2006, photo by Greg Hume
    Casa Grande - Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona, preserves a group of Ancestral Puebloans Hohokam structures of the Pueblo III and Pueblo IV Eras.(Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Casa Grande 992k Port bow view of USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) departing Hampton Roads, 30 April 1951. Note USS Missouri (BB-63) at Norfolk Naval Station beyond the bow of Casa Grande
    Norfolk Navy Yard photo # NY6 7214.
    David Buell
    Colonial 344k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) at anchor, probably at Leyte, October 1944.
    Photo by J.L. Brown.
    William Brown for his father J.L. Brown EM3/c USS Rushmore
    Casa Grande 141k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) at anchor, date and location unknown.  
    Casa Grande
    176k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) underway at sea, circa late 1950s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 107625
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Casa Grande 203k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) discharging LCU-1491 from her well deck, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine September 1957 issue.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Casa Grande
    54k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) underway, date and location unknown.
    U.S. Navy photo from Cruise Book - Landformed 1-66 U.S. Marine Corps Med-Cruise March-August 1966
    Ben Cole Bravo company 2nd Tank Battalion
    Casa Grande
    225k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) at anchor in the Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta, July 1967.
    Photo courtesy Brian Harrington Spier licensed under Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
    Robert Hurst
    Casa Grande 48k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) in the Antarctic ice, circa June-July 1969. Submitted by Donald Wagner, courtesy Phil Burt, webmaster USS Casa Grande web site
    Glacier 670k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) and USS Nipmuc (ATF-157) moored at Thule, Greenland, circa June-July 1969 Marc Schenck, Photo by his father LTjg. Bernard Schenck USS Glacier
    Casa Grande 81k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) under way in San Diego Bay off Naval Station San Diego, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Casa Grande
    555k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) underway, date and location unknown. Nicholas Tiberio
    Casa Grande 95k USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) under way, date unknown and location. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    For more photos and information about USS Casa Grande3, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • USS Casa Grande (LSD-13) Reunion Association

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR, Strumm, Fred E.5 June 1944 - 28 June 1946
    02LT, Kassell, Bernard Maxwell, USN28 June 1946 - 23 October 1946
      Decommissioned23 October 1946 - 1 November 1950
    03CDR, Nienstadt, Daniel Albert1 November 1950 - 25 July 1952
    04CDR, Winkel, Robert Paul25 July 1952 - 2 August 1954
    05CDR, Spears Jr., William Oscar2 August 1954 - September 1955
    06CDR, Sullivan, John WilliamSeptember .1955 - November 1956
    07CDR, Charles, Robert G.November 1956 - June 1958
    08CDR, Strow, Albert RoweJune 1958 - 1959
    09CDR, Meehan, John Burton1959 - December 1960
    10CDR, Kunhardt, Robert Manton (Bob), USN (USNA 1943)December 1960 - November 1962
    11LCDR, Dunning, Bruce BakerNovember 1962 - 1 July 1964
    12CDR, Mashaw, Andrew Jackson, USN1 July 1964 - August 1965
    13CDR, Austin Jr., William HarryAugust 1965 - January 1967
    14CDR, Carr, Herbert WilliamJanuary1967 - March 1968
    15CDR, Mueller, George Edward, USN (USNA 1951)March 1968 - September 1969
    16CDR, Page Jr., Carroll SnowSeptember 1969 - 6 October 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 5 May 2024