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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Charlie - Mike
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 - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (2)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

LST-491 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 9 November 1943, at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville, IN.
  • Launched, 10 January 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-539, 17 February 1944, ENS. Thurman J. Austin USN in command
  • During World War II USS LST-539 was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns

    European-Africa-Middle East Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Convoy UGS-37, 11 to 13 April 1944 Invasion of Normandy, 6 to 25 June 1944

  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS LST-539 came under the command of;
    LST Flotilla Thirty-Seven, CAPT. Riley;
    LST Group One Hundred Nine, CDR. E. W. Wilson USNR;
    LST Division Two Hundred-Seventeen
  • Following World War II USS LST-539 was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    16 to 29 October 19455 to 27 December 1945

  • Decommissioned, 22 June 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 31 July 1946
  • USS LST-539 earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 22 April 1948, to Bethlehem Steel Co., Bethlehem, PA.
    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
    LST-539 63k USS LST-539 crew photo, date and location unknown. Alan Abrams for his father S.D. Abrams MM3/c USS LST-539
    LST-539 328k Sketch of USS LST-539 This sketch was done by someone the ship picked up in North Africa, apparently from the French underground. The sketch was given to the ship's baker, in return for some pastry. Alan Abrams for his father S.D. Abrams MM3/c USS LST-539
    LST-539 243k USS LST-539 loading US Army trucks at Hardway, Gosport, Hampshire, England. They are reversing onto the ship so that on reaching Normandy they will be able to drive straight onto the beach. USS LST-512 is preparing to beach on the ramp alongside USS LST-539 to take on her cargo of waiting vehicles. Portsmouth harbor is in the background. Photo source unknown. Photos from "D-Day In Photographs by Portsmouth City Council", The History Press. ISBN 978 7524 7479 3. This photo can be dated based on personnel log entries of Sheldon D Abrams, RM3/c crew member of USS LST-539. The ship was at Portsmouth on three separate occasions, 29 June and 6 and 8 July 1944. Robert Hurst

    USS LST-539
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01ENS. Austin, Thurman Johnston, USN17 February 1944 - May 1945
    02LTjg. Brownson, J. L., USNR/b>May1945 - December 1945
    03LTjg. Chiara, J. A.,USNR/b>December 1945 - 22 February 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
    Notebook of S.D. Abrams MM3/c USS LST-539
    The USS LST Ship Memorial
    LST Home Port
    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 by David W. Almond and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 29 July 2016