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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Foxtrot - Hotel - Xray
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, Iwo Jima) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia clasp)

LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 5 June 1944, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
  • Launched, 8 September 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-642, 28 September 1944, LT. R. J. Schaefer, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-642 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Twenty-One, CAPT. W. H. Brereton USN (24);
    LST Group Sixty-Two, CDR. W. M. Gullett USN (27);
    LST Division One Hundred Twenty-Three and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation Iwo Jima, 19 February to 16 March 1945
  • Following World War II USS LST-642 was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 September to 11 December 1945
    24 February 1946 to 19 February 1947

  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1947 and placed in service by the Navy in support of explorations for oil and gas at the Naval Petroleum Reserve, now called the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPRA)
  • Ex-USS LST-642 was abandoned at Barter Island, Alaska, 10 February 1948
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 February 1948
  • USS LST-642 earned one battle star 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
    LST-642 264k USS LST-642 at anchor off Iwo Jima, (Note Mount Surabachi in the background) with other ships of the invasion fleet, circa July - August 1945.
    Photo taken from USS Randall (APA-224) by LTjg. Jack Station DC.
    Mark Stanton for his father LTjg. Jack Stanton DC, USS Randall
    LST-642 97k USS LST-642 crew, circa 1945, location unknown. Note Virgil D'Lamatter, 3rd row from the front, 4th from the left. Linda D'Lamatter Killian for her father Virgil D'Lamatter USS LST-642

    USS LST-642
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Schaefer, R. J., USNR28 September 1944 - October 1945
    02LT. De La Mare, Grover W., USNROctober 1945 - February 1946
    03LTjg. Weinberg, Sidney, USNRFebruary 1946 - 15 June 1946
    04LTjg. Geiser, Paul E., USNR 15 June 1946 - 30 June 1947
    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 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
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created by David W. Almond and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 9 January 2015