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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS LSM-444


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
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)



USS LSM-444 was transferred to Chile and named Aspirante Morel (LSM-92)
LSM-1 Class Landing Ship Medium:
  • Laid down (date unknown) at Dravo Corporation, Wilmington, DE.
  • Launched, 17 April 1945
  • Commissioned USS LSM-444, 12 May 1945, LTjg. Loren B. Waller, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS LSM-444 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LSM Flotilla Fourteen, LCDR. W. R. McCaleb;
    LSM Group Forty-Two;
    LSM Division Eighty-Three
  • Following World War II USS LSM-444 was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    12 September to 29 November 194515 July 1946 to 2 August 1946
    4 to 15 July 194623 to 26 August 1946
    4 July 1946 to 1 September 19474 July 1946 to 1 September 1947
    3 to 22 August 194630 August to 4 September 1946
    27 to 29 August 19468 September 1946 to 28 July 1947
    5 to 7 September 19466 October 1947 to 26 April 1949
    28 April to 3 May 1949 

  • Decommissioned in 1949, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Reactivated and transferred, 13 November 1957, to the Atomic Energy Commission
  • Returned to US Navy custody in August 1960
  • Transferred, 2 September 1960, to Chile, named Aspirante Morel (LSM-92)
  • Converted in 1977 by Chilean Navy to a floating brig
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Final Disposition, hulk sold for scrapping by Chilean Navy in 1981
    Specifications:
    Displacement 520 t.(light), 743 t. (landing) 1,095 t.(fully loaded)
    Length 203' 6" oa
    Beam 34' 6"
    Draft light, 3' 6" forward, 7' 8" aft, fully loaded, 6' 4" forward, 8' 3" aft
    Speed 13.2 kts. (max.), (928 tons displacement)
    Complement 5 officers, 54 enlisted
    Armament one single bow mounted 40mm gun, four single 20mm gun mounts
    Vehicle/Boat Capacity 5 medium or 3 heavy tanks, or 6 LVT's, or 9 DUKW's
    Troop Capacity 2 officers, 46 enlisted
    Armor 10-lb. STS splinter shield to gun mounts, pilot house and conning station
    Propulsion two General Motors (non-reversible with airflex clutch) diesels. Direct drive with 1,440 BHP each @ 720rpm, twin screws, Endurance, 4,900 miles @ 12kts.(928 tons displacement)

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    USS LSM-444
    LSM-444 48k USS LSM-444 launching at Dravo Corporation, Wilmington, DE., 17 April 1945. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    LSM-444 92k USS LSM-444 grounded at Okinawa as a result of Typhoon "Louise", 5 October 1945. Paul Burket USS LSM-341 and C. Scott Harris to the USS LSM / LSMR Association
    LSM-380 57k USS LSM-444 moored inboard of USS LSM-447 and outboard of USS LSM-381 pierside at Tsing Tao, China. Ken Jankowski for his father John "Ski" Jankowski MOmm2/c USS LSM 381
    LSM-444 52k USS LSM-444 underway in the China Sea, circa 1947 Paul Burket USS LSM-341
    LSM-444 76k The unarmed ex-USS LSM-444 passing Point Loma as she departs San Diego, CA., in the mid-1950's. LSM-444 was on loan to the Atomic Energy Commission when this photo was taken.
    Photo courtesy US Naval Institute.
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Aspirante Morel (LSM-92)
    LSM-444 5k
    Namesake
    Juan Antonio Morel Zegers was born in Santiago (Chile) on 13 June 1865; died on 6 December 1880. He served in the Chilean Navy for a year and four months. This young officer died at the age of 15, in a clash between Chilean torpedo boats and Peruvian gunboats during the blockading of the port of Callao in 1880. Contribution of Francisco Javier Santos Vázquez.
    Fabio Pena
    LSM-444 45k Ex-USS LSM-444 in Chilean service as Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) at Punta Arenas, Chile, November 1967. Ricardo Rivera standing on the conning tower. Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 76k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) beaching at Tres Puentes, Punta Arenas, Chile, November 1967 to pickup lambs. The Aspirante Morel was not used exclusively for military exercises but also assisted civilians by providing transportation for livestock, etc, especially in the in the south of Chile. Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 151k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) loading wool bundles at Estancia Róbalo, the letters on the bundle "III ZN" stand for the Third Naval Zone (III Zona Naval). Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 41k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) at Punta Arenas, Chile, November 1967, starboard view of conning tower. Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 172k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92), November 1967. Crew members working in the tank deck. Note the heterogeneous seaman's dress that was common in Chilean naval service vessels in the 1970's. Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 64k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) moored to the seawall at Punta Arenas, Chile in 1967. Note the dent in the bow. Eduardo Rivera for his father Ricardo Rivera Aspirante Morel
    LSM-444 58k Aspirante Morel (LSM-92) underway, date and location unknown.
    Official Chilean Navy photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1967-1968.
    Mike Green and Robert Hurst

    The DANFS history extract for LSM-444 is from LSM-LSMR Amphibious Forces, Vol. II. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, © 1997. (ISBN 1-56311-389-9).
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    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 12 October 2012