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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Point Defiance (LSD-31)


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Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (2-Vietnam, 18 April 67, 27 January 72)
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Vietnam)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal (10)- Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (12) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


Thomaston Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 23 November 1953, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 28 September 1954
  • Commissioned USS Point Defiance (LSD-31), 31 March 1955, CDR. Oscar Blair Parker in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Point Defiance participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    1 to 10 November 1963
    26 to 27 MAY 1965
    5 to 7 June 1965
    16 to 17 June 1965
    30 June to 3 July 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 to 7 July 1968
    21 July to 1 September 1968
    25 October to 1 November 1968
    Vietnamese Defense
    4 to 21 July 1965
    17 to 23 August 1965
    11 September to 10 October 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 to 13 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    9 to 13 and 21 to 28 April 1966
    21 to 25 May 1966
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    19 to 23 November 1969
    16 to 27 December 1969
    30 January to 2 February 1970
    30 to 31 March 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    26 to 29 November 1966
    4 to 9 December 1966
    5 to 17 January 1967
    9 to 24 February 1967
    28 February to 7 March 1967
    25 April to 31 May 1967
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    2 to 6 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 5 June 1967
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    27 April to 28 May 1972
    9 June to 2 July 1972
    9 July to 25 August 1972
    16 to 18 September 1972
    29 September to 1 October 1972
    6 to 20 October 1972
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    10 to 30 June 1968
     

  • Decommissioned, 30 September 1983
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 12 August 1991
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 24 February 1992
  • USS Point Defiance earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with ten campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Custody transferred,12 August 1991, to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA. as a non-retention asset
  • Sold to Pegasus Inc, 29 September 1995, for scrapping
  • Re-possessed by the Navy, 1 July 1997, returned to the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet
  • MARAD acquired title, 18 August 1998
  • Cleared for disposal, 9 July 2011
  • Final Disposition, sold 28 July 2011 to All Star Metals, Brownsville TX. Departed the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, 7 September 2011, Sale Price $578,539
    Specifications:
    Displacement 8,899 t.(lt), 11,525 t(fl)
    Length 510'
    Beam 84'
    Draft 19'
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 18
    Enlisted 330
    Troop Accommodations 325
    Armament (as built)
    four twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm gun mounts
    six twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Boat Capacity (Well Deck)
    three LCUs or nine LCM-8's or fifty AAV's/LVTP-7's amphibious tractors
    Aircraft Capacity helicopter landing area
    Propulsion
    two D-type boilers, 600psi.
    two steam turbines
    two propellers, 24,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Point Defiance 113k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) under way in San Francisco Bay, September 1957.
    Photo by Allied Photographers.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Point Defiance 67k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) during amphibious exercises, circa 1957-58, WESTPAC. Donald J. Wagner, SM3, USN USS Gunston Hall
    Point Defiance
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 42630
    137k Starboard quarter and port broadside views of USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) under way during the later 1950s, while transporting a P2V aircraft on her helicopter deck.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No.'s NH 42630 and US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 42631
    Mike Green
    Point Defiance
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 42631
    143k
    Point Defiance 108k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine April 1959.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Point Defiance 86k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine April 1959.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Point Defiance 35k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) under way, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in World War II
    Point Defiance 68k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) during amphibious exercises, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Stanley C. Svec
    Point Defiance 89k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) under way off the California coast, date unknown.
    Photo @copy Marine Photo and Publishing Co., Spring Valley, CA.
    Submitted by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 273k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) with the U.S. Navy Bathyscaphe Trieste I loaded in her well deck at San Diego, 14 April 1963. Point Defiance carried Trieste I to Boston to participate in the search for USS Thresher (SSN-593).
    US Navy photo from the collections of the of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Point Defiance 64k Marine LVTP-5 (Amtracís) making their amphibious landing at Van Tuong, South Vietnam in Operation Starlite, 18 August 1965. Operation Starlite involved 5,500 US Marines and was the first major engagement between Viet Cong and US Marines in the Vietnam War, Photo taken from USS Point Defiance (LSD-31). Photo by Jerry Bass USS Point Defiance. Submitted by Frank Andrus BM3 USS Point Defiance
    Point Defiance 52k Scene in the USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) well deck as Marines prepare to disembark at Da Nang, South Vietnam, circa 1966. Frank Andrus BM3 USS Point Defiance
    Point Defiance 45k General views taken aboard USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) circa October 1968 to May 1969. Photos by Roy Smith USS Point Defiance
    Point Defiance 57k
    Point Defiance 61k
    Point Defiance 65k
    Point Defiance 57k
    Point Defiance 48k
    Point Defiance 69k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) at Pearl Harbor, circa 1977. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 68k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) at Pearl Harbor, circa 1977. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 66k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) at Pearl Harbor, circa 1977. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 131k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) well-deck loaded with vehicles, circa 1977. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 72k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) anchored, circa 1977, place unknown. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 69k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) being moored, circa 1977, place unknown. Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Point Defiance 133k USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) maneuvering in San Diego Bay in late 1978.
    Photos taken from the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).
    Photos by Richard Stiles
    Point Defiance 124k
    Point Defiance 592k Ex-USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) being moved from the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay to Mare Island, 8 September 2011, for hull cleaning prior to being scrapped Photo by John Cavano
    Point Defiance 1514k Ex-USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) in dry dock #3 at Mare Island, CA., 17 September 2011, to have her bottom cleaned by Allied Defense Recycling prior to being moved to the scrappers yard at Brownsville, TX. Photos by Darryl Baker
    Point Defiance 2760k
    Point Defiance 2401k
    Point Defiance 924k Ex-USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) moored pierside at Mare Island, 25 September 2011, after cleaning and prior to being towed to the dismantlers yard at Brownsville, TX. Photo by Darryl Baker

    USS Point Defiance (LSD-31)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Parker, Oscar Blair31 March 1955 - November 1957
    02CDR. Woodhead, Edwin Fletcher November 1957 - November 1958
    03CDR. Madley, Edward Peter, USN (USNA 1937) November 1958 - 1960
    04CDR. Bowell, John Howard, USN (USNA 1940)1960 - 18 February 1961
    05CAPT. Hawley, Rupert Dexter18 February 1961 - 30 January 1962
    06CAPT. Haisten Jr., Homer Howard, USN (USNA 1943)30 January 1962 - 1963
    07CDR. Bader, Allen Louisno dates
    08CAPT. Graham, Woodrow Wilson? - 12 September 1965
    09CAPT. Holbrook, James Louis (Jim), USN (USNA 1943)12 September 1965 - August 1967
    10CAPT. Saroch Jr., EmilAugust 1967 - 9 November 1967
    11CAPT. Haak, Frank Sutherland, USN (USNA 1945) :RADM9 November 1967 - 1 November 1968
    12CAPT. Thomas, Robert Earl1 November 1968 - November 1969
    13CAPT. Myatt Jr., Bert Albert Zebulon, USNNovember 1969 - 22 January 1971
    14CAPT. Gorder, Merle Howard, USN22 January 1971 - 1972
    15CDR. Bader, Allen Louis, USN1972 - 1974
    16CDR. McHugh, Charles Earl1974 - 10 November 1975
    17CDR. Christenson, Robert Warnhoff Sig, USN (USNA 1957)10 November 1975 - 10 March 1978
    18CDR. McIntire, Lloyd Gilman10 March 1978 - 22 March 1980
    19CDR. Austin, Michael Gaylord22 March 1980 - 1982
    20CDR. Marsden, Philip Scherrer, USN (USNA 1963)1982 - 18 March 1983
    21CDR. Montgomery, David James, USN18 March 1983 - 30 September 1983
    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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Dock Landing Ship (LSD) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 31 March 2017