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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 - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (1)

LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 26 May 1944, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
  • Launched, 28 August 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-639, 14 September 1944, LT. George M. Brown, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-639 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Consolidation and capture of Southern Philippines
    Palawan Island landings, 1 to 2 March 1945
    Visayan Island landings, 18 March 1945
    Borneo operation
    Balikpapan operation, 25 June to 8 July 1945

  • Following World War II USS LST-639 was assigned to Occupation and China Service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    16 September 1945 to 25 May 194616 September 1945 to 25 May 1946
  • Decommissioned, 1 June 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 16 September 1947
  • USS LST-639 earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Sold, 5 December 1947, to Bosey, Philippines
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    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-933 259k Among the LSTs beached at Mindoro, Philippines are USS LST-933, USS LST 912, USS LST 639, USS LST 721, USS LST 680. The photo is undated but the handwriting on the back identified the location as Mindoro. Based on hull numbers alone, this was likely taken while this element of CTU 78.7.2 unloaded the 41st Infantry Division at Mangarin Bay from 8-10 February 1945. LST 639 reportedly had an LCT aboard that was launched on 10 February that does not appear here, but everything else matches the reports. CTU 78.7.2 was comprised of LSTís from across a few LST groups, although most pictured here were from LST Group 66 (CTF 76). This convoy was the smaller element of the task unit and consisted of 16 LSTs, six LSMs, and five merchant ships under the command of Navy CAPT H. B. Hudson, CO of LST Flotilla Twenty-Four. The larger convoy of CTU 78.7.2 split off for Lingayen the day before. Brian Miller
    LST-933 309k
    LST-639 17k USS LST-639 beached in the Philippines while unloading equipment, date and location unknown. John De Noma
    322k USS LST-639 towing LCT(6)-1302 while in a convoy enroute to Balikpapan with Australian troops, circa June-July 1945.
    US National Archives ID 205584160, Local Identifier 26-G-4722, US Coast Guard photo # 4722.
    David Upton

    USS LST-639
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Brown, George Maynard, USNR14 September 1944 - 14 January 1946
    02LTjg. Carlson Jr., John E., USNR14 January 1946 - 1 June 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 7 May 2021