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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Comstock (LSD-19)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Alpha - Lima
NJAL
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 - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth - Korean Service Medal (10) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4-Quemoy-Matsu, 9-Vietnam) - Vietnam Service Medal (5)
Fifth Row - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (5) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal



USS Comstock (LSD-19) was transferred to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and renamed ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191)

Casa Grande Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Launched, 28 April 1945, at Newport New Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Commissioned USS Comstock (LSD-19), 2 July 1945, Lieutenant Commander J. C. Rochester, USNR, in command
  • During the Korean War USS Comstock participated in the following campaigns:
    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    10 to 12 September 1950
    18 September to 27 October 1950
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    22 to 23 October 1951
    1 to 27 November 1951
    Communist China Aggression
    3 December 1950 to 24 January 1951
    Second Korean Winter
    28 November 1951
    11 to 28 December 1951
    Inchon Landing
    13 to 17 September 1950
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    17 July 1952
    25 July to 13 August 1952
    25 August to 8 September 1952
    20 September to 17 October 1952
    First UN Counter Offensive
    25 January to 10 April 1951
    21 April 1951
    Third Korean Winter
    12 to 18 April 1953
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    22 April to 12 May 1951
    15 to 20 May 1951
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    3 to10 and 15 to 20 May 1953
    18 to 20 July 1953

  • During the Vietnam War USS Comstock participated in the following campaigns:
    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    30 August to 1 September 1965
    6 to 7 September 1965
    Tet counteroffensive
    1 February to 10 March 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensives - Phase II
    27 August 1966
    8 September to 14 November 1966
    4 and 10 to 17 December 1966
    8 to 16 January 1967
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    18 to 29 June 1969
    7 July to 13 August 1969
    11 to 13 and 18 to 20-September 1969
    29 September to 5 October 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensives - Phase II
    26 November 1967 to 3 January 1968
     

  • Decommissioned in early 1970s
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 June 1976
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Sold for scrapping, 17 October 1984 by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), towed to Taiwan for scrapping
  • Instead of being scrapped the Taiwanese Navy replaced ex-USS White Marsh (LSD-8) with ex-USS Comstock (LSD-19) and renamed ex-Comstock as ROCS Cheng Chung (LSD-191) the same name and hull number the ex-White Marsh carried
  • Current Disposition, still active in the Taiwanese Navy in 2004 and will remain on active duty until replaced by an Anchorage class LSD
  • USS Comstock earned ten battle stars for Korean War service and five 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"
    Draft
    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
    Complement
    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.
    Armament
    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
    Propulsion
    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
    By
    USS Comstock (LSD-19)
    Mount Katmai 157k Sasebo, Japan. US Navy ships take on supplies while moored in Sasebo harbor, circa December 1950. Photographed from USS Princeton (CV 37), which arrived in the area on her first Korean War deployment in early December. Among the ships in the background are USS Mount Katmai (AE 16), in left center, and USS Comstock (LSD 19), at right. Planes on Princeton's deck are AD "Skyraiders".
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-423620, a US Navy photo now in the collection of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Comstock 692k USS Comstock (LSD-19) underway in the Chinampo area of Korea, 20 May 1951.
    USN Navy photo released by Commander, Naval Forces Far East.
    David Buell
    Comstock 64k USS Comstock (LSD-19) at San Diego, 1956 Dale C Haskin
    Comstock 109k USS Comstock (LSD-19) in bound San Francisco Bay, June 1957, enroute to a shipyard at Alameda for an extended overhaul.
    Photo by Allied Photographers.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Comstock 114k USS Comstock (LSD-19) underway in San Francisco, circa 1958, after completion of overhaul at shipyard in Alameda. Note her 5" gun mount and 20mm gun mounts have been removed. John A. Gocke USS Comstock
    Comstock 40k USS Comstock (LSD-19) underway, circa November 1961, enroute WESTPAC, between Hawaii and Okinawa. Comstock's WESTPAC tour ran from October 1961 to April 1962. Other ships in the formation would have included; USS Lenawee (APA-195), USS Thomaston (LSD-28) an LPH and possibly an AKA. Photo - USS Gunston Hall web site
    Caption - Les Bates USS Gunston Hall
    Comstock 113k USS Comstock (LSD-19) at anchor off Chu Lai, South Vietnam, June 1965, with her stern gate down. She has not yet flooded her ballast tanks to bring the well deck under water. Alongside is LCU-1481. Note the superdeck fitted over the well deck for the carriage of additional vehicles. In the background is USS Thomaston (LSD-28), with her stern gate still raised.
    Photo and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Fort Marion 86k USS Comstock (LSD-19), with USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) and USS Cree (ATF-84) moored at Naval Station San Diego, circa 6 June to 7 December 1969. © Richard Leonhardt
    Comstock 1077k USS Comstock (LSD-19) underway, date and location unknown. Charles Lamm
    ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191)
    Comstock 76k Ex- Comstock (LSD-19) in the Republic of China service as ROCSChung Cheng (LSD-191), port side 29 July 2004 at Kaohsiung Naval Base. Yu-Lun Miao
    Comstock 117k Starboard broadside view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 137k Starboard bow view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 138k Port bow view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 118k Bow on view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 133k Starboard bow view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 156k Starboard side midships forward view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 96k Starboard side midships view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 95k Starboard side midships aft view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 138k Starboard side stern view of ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) at anchor in Keelung Harbor, Taiwan, 2006. Perry Huang
    Comstock 388k Ex-ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191) moored pierside at Tsoying, Taiwan, 18 September 2012, two months after being decommissioned by the Taiwan Navy in July 2012. Chung Cheng was 68 years old. She served in the US Navy for 35 years, being decommissioned in 1970 and laid up in reserve for 14 years thereafter. On 17 Oct. 1984 the ship was sold to Taiwan for scrap. However, after being towed to Taiwan the decision was made to commission the vessel as ROCS Chung Cheng (LSD-191). She operated out of Southern Taiwan for another 28 years. The simple propulsion plants allowed this to happen without access to any drawings or technical manuals. The two machinery spaces were each equipped with a Babcock and Wilcox 250 psi saturated steam boiler. Each HP/LP impulse - reaction turbine engine delivered a modest 3500 SHP. The final demise was due to hull leakage flooding. Settling at the aft end caused a permanent hull deflection at the stern. This resulted in severe shaft misalignment and the end of a remarkable career for the ship. Photo by Frank R. Liese

    USS Comstock (LSD-19)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Rochester, J. C.2 July 1945 - 25 January 1946
    02CDR. Baker, Harry Borden, USNR25 January 1946 - 5 July 1946
    03CDR. Benz, Alred Jacob5 July 1946 - 30 July 1946
    04CDR. Baker, Harry Borden, USNR30 July 1946 - 30 January 1947
    05LCDR. Lamka, Raymond Walter, USN30 January 1947 - 2 April 1948
    06CDR. Huff, George Perry, USN (31)2 April 1948 - ?
    07CDR. Morris, James Harris1964 - ?
    08LCDR. Stewart, Charles C.no dates
    09CAPT. Goyette, Emmanuel Thomas1950 - ?
    10CDR. Wasaluski, Alex1951 - ?
    11CDR. Kable, Donald MarkApril 1958 - 22 September 1959
    12CAPT. Sandvigen, Ralph E.22 September 1959 - June 1961
    13CDR. Meheus, John H.June 1961 - 28 May 1963
    14CDR. Kempf, Lawrence Albert (Larry)28 May 1963 - 2 November 1964
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 28 March 2014