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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Left patch contributed by Ron Reeves, Right patch by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Whetstone (LSD-27)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Foxtrot - Whiskey
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 - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal (4)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba) - Vietnam Service Medal (8) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
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, 7 April 1945, at Boston Naval Shipyard, Boston, MA.
  • Launched, 18 July 1945
  • Commissioned USS Whetstone (LSD-27), 12 February 1946, CDR. G. R. Keating USN in command
  • Following World War II USS Whetstone was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    9 to 16 April 19478 March to 8 April 1947
    1 to 3 June 19475 to 23 May 1947
    24 July to 21 August 194713 June to 23 July 1947

  • Decommissioned, 20 October 1948, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Recommissioned, 16 February 1949
  • During the Korean War USS Whetstone (LSD-27) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    12 June to 9 July 1951
    Third Korean Winter
    2 to 10 January 1953
    22 to 29 January 1953
    5 to 13 February 1953
    13 to 29 March 1953
    2 April 1953
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    9 to 21 July 1951
    31 July to 4 August 1951
    15 August to 10 September 1951
    9 to 21 November 1951
    Korea, Summer-Fall 1953
    14 to 20 May 1953
    1 to 11 June 1953
    19 to 20 June 1953
    22 to 27 July 1953

  • During the Vietnam War USS Whetstone (LSD-27) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    4 to 9 July 1965
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 20 February 1968
    1 to 18 March 1968
    26 to 30 March 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive
    27 March to 13 May 1966
    1 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    3 to 7 April 1968
    28 April to 8 May 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase II
    1 July to 3 August 1966
    28 August 1966
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    23 to 27 May 1969
    5 to 8 June 1969
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 4 December 1967
    12 to 16 December 1967
    24 December 1967 to 29 January 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    9 to 30 June 1969
    2 to 20 July 1969
    9 August to 30 September 1969

  • Decommissioned, 2 April 1970
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1971
  • USS Whetstone earned four battle stars for Korean service and eight campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Administration, 17 February 1983
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 17 February 1983
    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 News Shipbuilding 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
    229k Yokosuka Naval Base, 7 October 1953.
    USS Whetstone (LSD 27), USS Quincy (CA-71), USS Merrick (AKA 97), USS LST-737 behind Quincy in the far background.
    US National Archives photo #80-G-628700, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Chin Yu Chu
    Whetstone 17k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) at anchor, date and location unknown.  
    Whetstone 17k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) underway, date and location unknown. Frank Wood
    Whetstone 37k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) anchored, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Whetstone 19k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) underway, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Whetstone 254k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) underway off Point Loma, San Diego, circa early-1950s.
    US Navy photos
    David Buell
    Whetstone 221k
    202k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) out bound to sea passing Point Loma while exiting San Diego Bay, date unknown.
    © George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Whetstone 63k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) during operations near the DMZ off Vietnam, 1969. Photo by William P. Jones, M.D., former Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls.
    Whetstone 142k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) anchored off the coast the Hawaiian Islands during boat operations, 1964. Photo by LT. Richard Dawson USS Renville.
    Whetstone 82k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) anchored off the coast the Hawaiian Islands, 1964. Photo by LT. Richard Dawson USS Renville.
    Whetstone 66k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) underway, date and location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Whetstone 53k USS Whetstone (LSD-27) plaque. Robert Hurst

    For more photos and information about USS Whetstone see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Whetstone LSD-27 - The Rolling Stone "On-Line"

  • Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Keating, Gordon Ripley, USN12 February 1946 - August 1946
    02CDR. Beede, Albert Joseph, USNAugust 1946 - 15 October 1948
    03LT. Prada, Gerald Warren, USN (Officer in Charge)15 October 1948 - 20 October 1948
     Decommissioned20 October 1948 - 16 February 1949
    04LCDR. Zimmerman, Milton Abraham, USN16 February 1949 - 2 October 1950
    05CDR. Lavery, Richard John, USN (USNA 1932)1953 - September 1954
    06CDR. Spruance, Edward Dean, USN (USNA 1937)September 1954 - August 1955
    07CDR. Ahern, Robert Joseph, USNAugust 1955 - June 1957
    08CDR. Porter, Mell G., USNRJune 1957- June 1957 for a few weeks as Ahern broke arm
    09CDR. Ahern, Robert Joseph, USNJune 1957 - 28 February 1958
    10CDR. Somerville, Henru Brooke, USN28 February 1958 - 24 August 1959
    11CDR. Wiggins, Raymond, USN (USNA 1942)24 August 1959 - 21 April 1961
    12CDR. Debuhr, Claude Noel, USN (USNA 1944)21 April 1961 - 30 November 1962
    13CDR. French, Dean May, USN30 November 1962 - 22 October 1964
    14CDR. Seabaugh, Raymond Ray, USN22 October 1962 - 27 September 1966
    15CDR. Webb, William Hubert, USN27 September 1966 - 19 July 1968
    16CDR. Rabun, Floyd Kelley (Buck), USN19 July 1968 - 1969
    17LCDR. Flannery, William Jackson, USN (USNA 1944)1969 - 2 April 1970
    98LCDR. Galing, Searcy Garlits, USNno dates
    99CDR. Zinn, Franklyn Kingno dates
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 4 October 2022