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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Foxtrot - India - Foxtrot
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 Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

  • LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 30 June 1944, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
  • Launched, 25 September 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-646, 13 October 1944, LT. Hugh F. Fitzgerald, USN, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-646 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Twenty-One, CAPT. W. H. Brereton, USN (24);
    LST Group Sixty-Three, LCDR. R .E. Farnestock USNR;
    LST Division One Hundred Twenty-Five and participated in the follow campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 20 February to 16 March 1945

  • Following World War II USS LST-646 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 September to 26 October 1945
    1 to 6 November 1945
    1 to 6 December 1945
  • Decommissioned, 15 March 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • USS LST-646 earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold, 11 May 1948 to J. Willis Smith and Bros. for scrap
    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 Contributed
    LST-646 47k LST-646, launching, 25 September 1944, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL LST Home Port Web Site
    389k USS LST-646 crew photo taken on commissioning day, 13 October 1944, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL Joe Schmidt for his grandfather Leslie Schmidt RDmC USS LST-646
    Solace 403k USS LST 646 in the background moored in Apra Harbor, Guam, 15 April 1945, while undergoing overhaul following a month of heavy action at Iwo Jima. In the foreground Navy hospital personnel offload 595 patients (and the remains of one soldier who died enroute) from the fight raging on Okinawa from USS Solace (AH-5) Solace also disembarked Navy photographer LTjg. Victor Jorgenson who was assigned temporarily to the ship. He is very likely the source of these photos. Solace, “The Workhorse of the Pacific” then took on fuel and other supplies in preparation for a return to Okinawa for more casualties. This was one of seven trips Solace made from Okinawa, delivering over 4000 casualties to base hospitals throughout the Marianas. Brian Miller
    Solace 517k
    LST-662 128k USS LST-646 and USS LST-662 entering the floating drydock USS ABSD-6 in Apra Harbor, Guam, 29 May 1945.
    US National Archives photo #80-G-379469, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    LST-662 143k USS LST-646 and USS LST-662 in the floating drydock USS ABSD-6, Apra Harbor, Guam, 29 May 1945.
    US National Archives photo # 80-N-379472, a US Navy photo now in the collection of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    LST-646 19k USS LST-646 beached at Iwo Jima, circa 1945. LST Home Port Web Site

    USS LST-646
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Fitzgerald, Hugh F., USNR13 October 1944 - 26 November 1945
    02LT. Muenster, William R., USNR26 November 1945 - 15 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
    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 22 April 2022