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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 - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal
Bottom Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)
LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
Laid down, 24 May 1944, at Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
Launched, 18 August 1944
Commissioned USS LST-637, 5 September 1944, LT. C. E. Helfrich, USNR, in command
During World War II USS LST-637 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the and participated in the following campaigns:
Lingayen Gulf landings, 4 to 18 January 1945
Tarakan Island operation, 27 April to 5 May 1945
Consolidation and capture of Southern Philippines
Visayan Island landings, 18 March and 29 March to 5 April 1945
Following World War II USS LST-637 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:
Navy Occupation Service Medal
|15 September to 5 October 1945
|20 to 30 October 1945
Decommissioned, 29 March 1946
Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
Final Disposition, sold to the Ships & Power Equipment Corp., Barber, N.J., 18 December 1947, and subsequently scrapped
USS LST-637 earned three battle stars for World War II service
4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
2,366 t. (beaching displacement)
Length 328' o.a.
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
Boats 2 LCVP
Cargo Capacity (varied with mission - payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
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
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
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
||USS LST-637 at anchor off Morotai, fully loaded and waiting to get underway with the rest of the invasion fleet for the four day trip to Tarakan Island, Borneo, 27 April 1945.
Australian War Memorial photo # 090897.
|Australian War Memorial
||USS LST-637, USS LST-590 and an unidentified LST at Morotai, Halmahera Islands, Netherlands, East Indies, 29 May 1945. From a crowded waterfront that only six months earlier had been a deserted tropical beach hundreds of heavily laden Royal Australian Air Force vehicles were embarked at Morotai before the invasion fleet sailed for Labuan, British North Borneo.
Australian War Memorial photo # OG2802.
|Australian War Memorial
||USS LST-637 and two unidentified LST's load troops, equipment and supplies before departure for Tarakan, Borneo
||Submitted by Adrain K
'for educational purposes'
Source-"Pictorial History of Australia at War 39-45",
5 Volumes. 1959
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||LT. Helfrich, Carl E., USNR||5 September 1944 - 6 April 1945|
|02||LT. Vielhaber, Robert A., USNR||6 April 1945 - 1 March 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
State LST Chapters
United States LST Association
Last Updated 9 January 2015
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|