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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Colonial (LSD-18)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal (7)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Vietnam) - Vietnam Service Medal (6) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (11)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Casa Grande Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 1 August 1944, at Newport New Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 28 February 1945
  • Commissioned USS Colonial (LSD-18), 15 May 1945, LCDR. J. A. Paterson, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Colonial (LSD-18) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • During the Korean War USS Colonial (LSD-18) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    21 September to 2 November 1950
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    24 July to 1 August 1951
    Communist China Aggression
    3 November 1950 to 22 January 1951
    Second Korean Winter
    25 February to 25 March 1952
    First UN Counter Offensive
    16 February to 16 March 1951
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    6 to 13 and 18 to 26 June 1952
    2 to 14 July 1952
    19 to 24 August 1952
    13 September to 3 October 1952
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    1 to 12 May 1951
    11 to 20 June 1951

  • USS Colonial (LSD-18) was assigned to China Service from 6 to 18 February 1955
  • During the Vietnam War USS Colonial (LSD-18) participated in the following campaigns:

    1 to 4 May 1968

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    12 August to 8 October 1964
    6 to 25 November 1964
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    3 to 8 and 23 to 31 December 1967
    14 to 29 January 1968
    Vietnam Defense
    4 to 11 July 1965
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 to 31 January 1968
    22 February to 17 March 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    22 to 26 March 1966
    12 to 18 and 26 to 29 April 1966
    12 to 18 May 1966
    1 to 4 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    3 to 9 and 17 to 23 April 1968
    1 to 4 May 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    2 to 5 July 1966
    3 to 5 and 9 to 16 August 1966

  • Decommissioned in 1970 at the Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Vallejo, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 October 1976
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 29 July 1992, for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 8 September 1993, for $353,725, to California Imports and Exports and towed Shanghai, China for scrapping
  • USS Colonial earned seven battle stars for Korean war service, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with six campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    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
    Colonial 123k Mrs. Learned L. Dean sponsor of Colonial (LSD-18) Christens the ship, 25 February 1945, at Newport New Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
    Photo from the shipyard in house publication "Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Bulletin".
    S. Dale Hargrave
    Colonial 35k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way, date and location unknown. USS Colonial Association web site
    Colonial 143k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way in San Francisco Bay, 1958. Photo by Allied Photographers. Robert M. Cieri
    Catamount 84k From left to right; unknown LSD, USS Colonial (LSD-18), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5) and USS Catamount (LSD-17) rendezvous at a Japanese port, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine November 1954.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Colonial 21k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way, date and location unknown. .
    Colonial 37k USS Colonial (LSD-18) at Subic Bay, P.I. circa April-May 1966. © Richard Leonhardt
    Colonial 23k USS Colonial (LSD-18) at Subic Bay, P.I. circa April-May 1966. © Richard Leonhardt
    Colonial 76k USS Colonial (LSD-18), at anchor in Subic Bay. P.I., circa April May 1966. © Richard Leonhardt
    Colonial 443k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way, date and location unknown. USS Colonial Association web site
    Colonial 91k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Colonial 152k USS Colonial (LSD-18) emblem, adopted in 1969, represents the rich heritage of the Navy and the amphibious forces. The large letter "C" in the center stands for the COLONIAL, and the stars above it symbolize the thirteen original colonies. The old sailing ship, oared boat, and revolutionary war sailor on the left are contrasted with their twentieth century counterparts on the right. The old rifle and olive branch below these figures represent the Navy motto: "Ready power for peace." The entire emblem is enclosed in a ship's wheel.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 69688
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Colonial 228k USS Colonial (LSD-18) under way, circa 1970 near Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
    Photo LSD 18 98250-5-70 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Colonial 256k CDR Donald F. Hart, USN, Commanding Officer, USS Colonial (LSD-18) accepts the ship's colors as the ship is decommissioned during ceremonies, 30 June 1970, at Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Mare Island.
    Photo LSD 18 98886-6-70, 6/30/70 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker

    For more photos and information about USS Colonial, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • USS Colonial LSD-18 Association

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Paterson, John A.15 May 1945 - 5 July 1947
    02CDR. Fahle, Robert Peter5 July 1948 - 16 July 1948
    03CDR. Sotos, George Peter16 July 1948 - 28 October 1948
    04CDR. Lucas, Albert Davis28 October 1948 - 28 January 1950
    05CDR. Greene, Thomas Jethro28 January 1950 - 4 October 1951
    06CDR. Schutt, Edward Brown 4 October 1951 - 13 June
    07CDR. McFadden, James Francis 13 June 1953 - 10 May 1954
    08LCDR. Harvey, Brice A.10 May 1954 - 1 November 1954
    09CDR. Forrest, Blake Samuel1 November 1954 - 10 August 1956
    10CDR. Lamka, Raymond Walter10 August 1956 - 13 January 1958
    11CDR. Cunningham, Stewart B.13 January 1958 - 6 August 1959
    12CDR. Durham, Harold Dean 06 August 1959 - 14 October 1960
    13CDR. Perry, John Raymond 14 October 1960 - 7 August 1962
    14CDR. Morris, Lloyd Charles7 August 1962 - 11 March 1964
    15CDR. Perez, Raul B.11 March 1964 - 2 June 1965
    16CDR. Burton, James Brooke2 June 1965 - 8 December 1966
    17CDR. Agnew, Richard Scott 8 December 1966 - 10 October 1968
    18CDR. Hart, Donald F.10 October 1968 - 30 June 1970
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 30 September 2016