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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


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Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (2)

LST-1 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 28 September 1942, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 23 November 1942
  • Commissioned USS LST-397, 28 December 1942, LT. Nathaniel L. Lewis, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-397 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Eight, CAPT. E. Watts, USN;
    LST Group Twenty Three, CDR. T.C. Linthicum, USN;
    LST Division Forty Five and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    New Georgia Group operations
    New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation, 30 June, 1 and 4 July 1943
    Vella Lavella occupation, 26 August 1943
    Leyte operations
    Leyte landings, 5 to 18 November 1944
    Treasury-Bougainville operation
    Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, 11 November and 3 to 4 December 1943
    Luzon operations
    Lingayen Gulf landing, 5 to 12 January 1945
    Hollandia operation
    21 to 28 April 1944
    Consolidation and capture of the Southern Philippines
    Mindanao Island landings, 10 to 11 March 1945
    Western New Guinea operations
    Biak Island operation, 3 to 7 June 1944
    Noemfoor Island operation, 2 to 4 and 6 to 11 July 1944
    Cape Sansapor operation, 30 July and 4 August 1944
    Morotai landings, 15 September 1944

  • Following World War II USS LST-397 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 23 to 29 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 26 April 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 30 September 1947, to Patapsco Scrap Corp., Baltimore, MD.
  • USS LST-397 earned seven battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for World War II service
    1,625 t.(lt)
    4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
    2,366 t. (beaching displacement)
    Length 328' o.a.
    Beam 50'
    light 2' 4" fwd, 7' 6" aft
    sea-going 8' 3" fwd, 14' 1" aft
    landing 3' 11" fwd, 9' 10" aft (landing w/500 ton load)
    limiting 11' 2"
    maximum navigation 14' 1"
    Speed 11.6 kts. (trial)
    Endurance 24,000 miles @ 9kts. while displacing 3960 tons
    13 officers
    104 enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    16 officers
    147 enlisted
    Boats 2 LCVP
    Cargo Capacity (varied with mission - payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
    Typical loads
    One Landing Craft Tank (LCT), tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment and military supplies. A ramp or elevator forward allowed vehicles access to tank deck from main deck
    Additional capacity included sectional pontoons carried on each side of vessel amidships, to either build Rhino Barges or use as causeways. Married to the bow ramp, the causeways would enabled payloads to be delivered ashore from deeper water or where a beachhead would not allow the vessel to be grounded forward after ballasting
    Armament (varied with availability when each vessel was outfitted. Retro-fitting was accomplished throughout WWII. The ultimate armament design for United States vessels was
    2 - Twin 40MM gun mounts w/Mk. 51 directors
    4 - Single 40MM gun mounts
    12 single 20MM gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 4,300 Bbls
    two General Motors 12-567A, 900hp Diesel engines
    single Falk Main Reduction Gears
    three Diesel-drive 100Kw 230V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    two propellers, 1,700shp
    twin rudders

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    LCI(L)-329 903k Rendova Beachhead, 30 June 1943. In the foreground two LCVPs from USS McCawley (APA-4)
    USS LST-397,
    USS LCI(L)-336,
    USS LCI(L)-334 and
    USS LCI(L)-329.
    NARA photo # 18-N-52630 a US Navy photo now in the US National Archives collection.
    Robert Morrissey, courtesy Dennis Blocker LCI National Association Historian
    LST-397 249k USS LST-397 moored inboard of an unidentified LST, at Blue Beach, Lingayen Gulf, Philippines, circa 12 January 1945 circa January 1945. Brian Miller

    USS LST-397
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Lewis, Nathaniel L., USNR28 December 1942 - 1 December 1943
    02LTjg. Hitch, William R., USN1 December 1943 - September 1944
    03LT. Wheat, Dick M., USNRSeptember 1944 - February 1945
    04LT. Teasley, E. W., USNRFebruary 1945 - December 1945
    05LTjg. Hanna, H. P., USNRDecember 1945 - March 1946
    06LTjg. Frank, M. S., USNRMarch 1946 - 26 April 1946
    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
    Action Report USS LST-397 Lingayen Gulf
    The USS LST Ship Memorial
    LST Home Port
    State LST Chapters
    United States LST Association
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    This page is created by David W. Almond and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 August 23016