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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Buncombe County (LST-510)
USS LST-510 (1944 - 1955)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Delta - Yankee - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal

LST-491 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 27 September 1943, at Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Co., Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Launched, 30 November 1943
  • Commissioned USS LST-510, 31 January 1944, at New Orleans, LA., LT. George P. Andrews in command
  • During World War II USS LST-510 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    European-Africa-Middle East Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Invasion of Normandy, 6 to 25 June 1944
  • Decommissioned, 1 July 1946, at Green Cove Springs, FL.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Green Cove Springs
  • Named USS Buncombe County (LST-510), 1 July 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1958
  • USS LST-510 earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Merchant Service
    Sold in September 1959 to the Chesapeake Bay Ferry District Commission (CBFD), Norfolk, VA.
    Conversion into RO/RO ferry was accomplished at Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in Norfolk, VA., renamed MS Virginia Beach
    Virginia Beach operated between Kiptopeke, on Virginia's Eastern Shore and Little Creek in Virginia Beach, VA. from early 1960 to April 15 1964. ferry operations ceased on this date with the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
    Virginia Beach along with three of her fleetmates was sold to the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA) in 1964 for a new ferry crossing between Lewes, DE and North Cape May, N.J.
    Virginia Beach and her sister ferries were refurbished at Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Virginia Beach was renamed MS Cape Henlopen
    Cape Henlopen served the DRBA from July 1 1964 through the summer of 1975
    Sold in 1975 to Mascony Transport and Ferry Service for a proposed ferry connection between Greenport, N.Y. and New London, CT.
    Politics, environmental concerns and a competing ferry service were successful in preventing Mascony from obtaining a license to operate a new ferry service
    In 1976 the Cape Henlopen was moved to India Point in Providence, R.I. where she remained idle
    During OP Sail in the summer of 1976, Cape Henlopen ran excursions to Newport, R.I. to view the Tall Ships
    In 1983 Cape Henlopen was sold to the Cross Sound Ferry (CSF). CSF refurbished her, made modifications and has since repowered her several times.
    Current Disposition, operational as ferry between New London, CT. and Orient Point on Long Island, N.Y.

    1,625 t.(lt)
    4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
    2,366 t.
    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 Contributed
    USS LST-510
    LST-510 239k USS LST-510 underway, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Paul Mcllvaine.
    Tommy Trampp
    LST-510 72k D-Day plaque mounted on ex-USS LST-510. Photo taken by Amares (real name unknown). Robert Hurst
    Merchant Service
    LST-510 144k Ex-USS Buncombe County (LST-510) under way while in merchant service with the Cheasepeake Bay Ferry District as MV Virginia Beach, circa 1960-1964. Photo includes specification for US Coast Guard.
    William J. Brooks family collection
    William L. Baxter
    LST-510 403k Post card image of the Cheasepeake Bay Ferry District's ferry MV Virginia Beach under way in Cheasepeake Bay, circa 1960. William L. Baxter
    LST-510 507k Post card image of the Delaware River and Bay Authority's ferry MV Cape Henlopen entering Cape May, N.J., circa 1960s or 1970s. William L. Baxter
    LST-510 423k Post card image of the Delaware River and Bay Authority's ferry MV Cape Henlopen under way in Delaware Bay, circa late 1960s. William L. Baxter
    LST-510 186k MV Cape Henlopen in service with the Delaware River and Bay Authority, moored in a ferry slip at Cape May, N.J. in 1967. Photo by William L. Baxter
    LST-510 238k MV Cape Henlopen in service with the Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc. departing Orient Point, N.Y. for New London, CT., July 1995. Photos by William L. Baxter
    LST-510 248k
    LST-510 210k
    LST-510 215k
    LST-510 55k Ex-USS Buncombe County (LST-510) in merchant service with Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc., as the ferry MV Cape Henlopen, date unknown. Richard Houser
    LST-510 77k MV Cape Henlopen underway, while in merchant service with Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc., passing through Plum Gut between Orient Point and Plum Island on her regular run between Orient Point on Long Island and New London, CT., 2 September 2007 Richard Houser
    LST-510 584k MV Cape Henlopen at New London, CT., date unknown.
    Photo courtesy Kyle Stubbs.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS LST-510 / USS Buncombe County (LST-510)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Andrews, George P.31 January 1944 - March 1945
    02LT. Sandefur, D. D., USNRMarch 1945 - July 1945
    03LT. O'Neill, John William, USNJuly 1945 - December 1945
    04LT. Mack, Edward J.,USNRDecember 1945 - 1 July 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
    The USS LST Ship Memorial
    LST Homeport
    State LST Chapters
    United States LST Association
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Tank Landing Ship (LST) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 27 May 2016