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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


The USS LST 284 was built in the autumn of 1943 by the American Bridge Company of Ambridge, PA. In early November 1943, she was pre-commissioned. It took her 13 days to be piloted down the Mississippi River to the naval docks at Algiers, LA, near New Orleans. There Ens. W. H. Pennington read his orders appointing him as the ship's first commanding officer and, in so doing, he assumed command of this ship which was now fully commissioned.
USS LST 284 remained at New Orleans to take on supplies, fuel and other equipment while being outfitted by the Pendleton and Todd-Johnson Shipyards during the 24 November through 14 December 1943 time period. Also, while there, LCT 595 was hoisted onto the main deck and secured for open sea travel. Together with a dozen other LSTs, the 284 went through her shakedown cruise at Panama City, FL (St. Andrew's Bay, Gulf of Mexico), while the crew performed an assortment of drills and maneuvers. At the end of 1943, the 284 returned to New Orleans for final commissioning alterations and additions. On 17 January 1944, Lt. James W. McBrier, USN, relieved Lt(jg) Pennington of his command and the 284 flew the division flag. While being further outfitted, a cargo of fuel oil was pumped aboard.
On 18 January 1944. the 284 proceeded independently for New York, bucking the Atlantic Ocean waves for one week. At Bayonne, NJ, cargo was loaded onto the tank deck and on 6 February 1944, the 284 sailed independently for Boston, MA. At Boston, US Army personnel were taken aboard to complete the load. On 11 February 1944, the 284 arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, the jumping off place for trans-Atlantic voyages. Now in convoy with several ships, the 284 departed from Halifax on 13 February 1944, enroute through a wintry Atlantic Ocean for Milford Haven, England. After 16 days of rough seas, land was sighted and shortly thereafter, the ship's anchor was dropped at Milford Haven. Then the next day, the 284 was again under way enroute for Plymouth, England, where, upon arrival on 4 March 1944, she tied up at Turnchapel to discharge her fuel cargo. This accomplished, the LCT 595 was launched on 6 March and thereafter, the 284 returned to Mill Bay docks to unload her remaining cargo. Emptied by 17 March 1944, the 284 moved to an anchorage in the outer bay.
For the next three weeks, the 284 maneuvered in the vicinity of Plymouth carrying US Army personnel on practice operations. On 8 May 1944, the 284 departed for Salcombe, England and remained at anchorage there for 10 days. Thereafter, the 284 departed for Dartmouth and Brixham where she remained until US Army personnel were loaded for the assault on Normandy. Troops for this invasion came aboard on 4 June 1944 and they participated in securing enemy beaches in the D-Day and succeeding operations. Thereafter, the 284 busied herself transporting troops from the English ports of Portland, Southamptnn and London to the shores of France, returning on three occasions with casualties. On these crossings, the 284 embarked a total of 1,414 allied personnel together with 446 vehicles.
Secured from the invasion of Normandy beaches, the 284 proceeded to Falmouth, England, where from 9 to 18 July 1944, she was subjected to an overhaul in drydock while taking on additional supplies. Her screws, which had whipped 11,751 nautical miles were changed.
In Mediterranean waters for the first time, the 284 was ordered to Bizerte, Tunisia. There, the 284 collided with the USS LST 504 which was executing an emergency turn. The 284 sustained, as a result of that collision, extensive damage to her starboard side, a crushed wing and a smashed boat davit. Upon arrival in Bizerte, these damages were repaired between 28 July and 6 August 1944. On 8 August 1944, the 284 arrived in Naples, Italy, for the purpose of being loaded for the invasion of southern France. On D-Day, 15 August 1944, the 284 participated in the assault of the Green Beach, just east of St. Raphael, France, by putting ashore soldiers and guns while enemy fire punctured the afternoon sky.
In the follow-up operations, the 284 carried eight loads of men and materials (two from Naples and the remaining six from Corsica) to France's Riviera country. After depositing 2,297 men in 415 vehicles there, the 284 commenced a series of shuttle runs which originated in Bastia, Corsica and which ended in the Italian ports of Piombino and Leghorn. The 284 was the first LST to transport cargo to Leghorn before either the city or harbor were satisfactorily secured. In these runs between Corsica and Italy, USS LST 283 and USS LST 492 accompanied the 284. From 6 to 10 October 1944, this series of runs was interrupted to allow provisions to be secured in Toulon, France. Just prior to this trip on 30 September 1944, Lt. Harold D. Decker relieved Lcdr. James W. McBrier as the commanding officer of the 284.
After completing this Corsica-Italy tour-of-duty, the 284 departed for Naples and Salerno, Italy. Then, loaded with LCVP,.the 284 returned to Bizerte for further assignments. After arriving in Bizerte on 25 October 1944, the 284 underwent a period of availability before a series of military inspections. After these inspections the 284 was adjudged the Mediterranean's number one LST and as a partial result of that designation, the LST Flotilla 10 flag was raised and Commander Blair brought his staff aboard.
With LCT 566 in tow, the 284 departed Bizerte on 5 November 1944 for Oran, Algeria, where LCT 566 was taken aboard as cargo. On 24 November 1944 (Thanksgiving Day), as commodore of the convoy, the 284 departed from Africa and passed through Gibraltar, crossed the south Atlantic and arrived at Norfolk, VA, on 11 December 1944. Here, fresh provisions came aboard as the small boats were removed. That same afternoon, the 284 left Norfolk for New York (thus far the 284 had churned up 24,533 nautical miles). In New York in mid-December 1944 two-thirds of the crew received 30 days of shore leave while the 284 was repaired and altered by the Sullivan Drydock Company of Brooklyn, NY. There, on 20 January 1945, Lt. Harold D. Decker was relieved of command by Lt. Joseph H. Gross. Three weeks later, her availability completed, the 284 saw another new skipper, Lt. Thomas B. Brooks. At the same time, LCT 560 was positioned on the main deck and the 284 was made ready for sea. After a successful full-power speed run in New York harbor, the 284 passed through the New York Narrows on 16 February 1945 and headed south for Norfolk, VA. There, moored alongside Pier 4, Naval Operating Base, tons of ammunition were loaded on the tank deck. The last shell was loaded on 6 March 1945, and on the morning of 7 March 1945, the 284 joined a convoy bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 14 March 1945, the 284 arrived in Cuba and after a few hours, the 284 joined another convoy bound for Cristobol, Canal Zone, a four day voyage. On 21 March 1945, the 284 headed through the locks of the Panama Canal and dropped anchor in the Pacific Ocean that same evening. The following morning, in convoy, with USS LST 970, the 284 proceeded to San Diego, CA, arriving there on 3 April 1945. After a mere 48 hours, the 284 departed for Pearl Harbor, Oahu, HI, in convoy with USS LST 1012 and USS YMS 404. After arriving at Pearl Harbor on 15 April 1945, the 284 was directed to anchor in Kaneohe Bay. After seven days availability to effect minor repairs and to take on provisions and supplies, the 284 headed west for Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands as a part of Task Organization 13.11.2. The 284 dropped anchor at Eniewtok on 4 May 1945 and took on more fuel. On 6 May 1945, the 284 sailed for Guam where port officials at Apra directed her to Ulithi in the western Carolinas together with USS LST 970 which had also been detached from the previously mentioned task organization. On 12 May 1945, the 284 arrived in Ulithi and took aboard a cargo of smoke pots. On 15 May 1945, the 284 departed in convoy for Kerama Retto in the Ryukyu Islands. The 284 remained there from 21 May to 1 July 1945 while issuing both smoke pots and ammunition to combatant vessels. The 284 also assisted in generating smoke at night and survived numerous air raids. While at Kerama Reno, the LCT 560 was launched which cleared the main deck.
After departing from Kerama Retto, the 284 joined a convoy enroute to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and arrived there on 6 July 1945. Additional ammunition was dispensed at Leyte and the cargo of shells and powder was loaded aboard fleet ships. Finally rid of this potentially dangerous cargo on 29 August 1945, the 284 was ready for further assignment. Captain D.F.J. Shea together with his flotilla staff came aboard on 17 August 1945, and in consequence, the 284 was again designated a flag ship, this time in connection with Flotilla 36. Before returning to sea, however, the 284 received some repairs from the USS Dixie (AD 14) and from 31 August to 4 September 1945.
From San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Philippines, the 284 sailed independently for Manila Bay, Luzon, and arrived there on 5 September 1945. Later that afternoon, the 284 departed for Batangas Bay, Luzon and arrived there the following morning. After loading Army vehicles and personnel, the 284 sailed for Tokyo Bay on 12 September 1945. Enroute there as convoy guide, the 284 was forced to reverse course in order to avoid a typhoon. This adverse weather caused a two day loss of time. On 23 September 1945, the 284 arrived in Japan and unloaded her cargo the following day. Thereafter, the 284 set out for Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where she dropped anchor on 30 September 1945.
With sufficient points for discharge, Lt. Thomas B. Brooks, the 284's commanding officer, was relieved of command on 1 October 1945 and Lt. Robert L. Whiteside became the new skipper. As convoy guide, the 284 headed a group of LSTs to Naha Ko, Okinawa. From Naha Ko, the 284 proceeded to Hagushi to load on 3 October 1945. Again, crowded with vehicles and personnel, the 284 returned to Yokohama, Japan, on 13 October 1945, and unloaded her cargo the following morning. On 16 October 1945, she moored alongside merchant ship SS Norman J. Coleman and took on a Navy cargo in addition to 1,000 bags of Army mail destined for Okinawa.
On 17 October 1945, the 284 left Tokyo Bay for Buckner Bay. She arrived there on 21 October 1945. After unloading this cargo, the 284 circled the island of Okinawa and departed for Hagushi. On 26 October 1945, another load of Army vehicles and personnel were loaded and transported to Yokohama on 4 November 1945. This shuttle complete, the 284 departed for Guam on 7 November 1945 in convoy with the USS LST 730 and arrived there on 13 November 1945. On the following afternoon, flying the homeward bound pennant, the 284 departed, unescorted and independently for Pearl Harbor. The 284 arrived at Pearl Harbor on 28 November 1945. To that date, the 284 had covered 49,490 nautical miles.
USS LST 284 was decommissioned on 13 March 1946 and sold on 11 December 1947 for scrap after traveling a total of 58,895 nautical miles.

Earl Blair

Submitted by Ralph Gallagher USCG Ret. USS LST-284

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