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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 (5) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 6 March 1944, at Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Co., Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Launched, 1 May 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-697, 30 May 1944, ENS. Vincenzo Lopresti, USN in command
  • During World War II USS LST-697 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Eight, CAPT E. Watts, USN;
    LST Group Twenty-Three, CDR. T.C. Linthicum, USN;
    LST Division Forty-Six and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Western New Guinea operations
    Morotai landings, 15 September 1944
    Consolidation and capture of the Southern Philippines
    Visayan Island landings, 28 March to 1 April 1945
    Leyte operations
    Leyte landings, Tacloban, San Pedro Bay, 19 to 29 November 1944
    Borneo operations
    Tarakan Island operation, 27 April to 5 May 1945
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landing, San Fabian, 4 to 18 January 1945

  • Following World War II USS LST-697 was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    23 September to 25 October 194512 November to 15 December 1945
    16 December 1945 to 10 April 1946 
  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 August 1946
  • USS LST-697 earned five battle stars for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold, 14 October 1947, to William E. Skinner for scrapping
    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
    9 officers, 120 enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    14 officers, 131 enlisted
    Boats 6 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
    USS LST-697
    LST-741 85k USS LST-741 USS LST-1017, USS LST-170, USS LST-460, USS LST-613, USS LST-1018, USS LST-695, USS LST-628, USS LST-697, beached on D+2, 22 October 1944, while unloading at Tacloban, San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I.
    Photo was taken from the deck of USS LST-666
    Photo by James Hopkins BM2/c USS LST-666 submitted by Harold A. Young SM2/c USS LST-666
    LST-697 69k USS LST-697 beached at Halmahera Islands, Netherlands East Indies, 16 November 1944, while members of the Royal Australian Air Force No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron board as part of invasion force for the Leyte operation in the Philippines.
    Australian War Memorial photo # OG1818.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 133k Five LSTs beached at San Fabian, Lingayen Gulf while unloading trucks, circa January 1945. Right to left; USS LST-697 USS LST-573, USS LST-1025, USS LST-496 and unidentified. John De Noma
    LST-171 314k USS LST-171, USS LST-584, USS LST-697 and USS LST-585 loading at Morotai in April, 1945.
    LIFE Magazine Archives, Carl Mydans Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.
    Mike Green
    LST-171 389k
    LST-697 267k USS LST-697 and USS LST-585 loading supplies at Morotai, in April, 1945. The Battle of Tarakan Island was the first campaign in the recapture of Borneo from the Japanese.
    LIFE Magazine Archives, Carl Mydans Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest
    Mike Green
    LST-697 234k
    LST-697 317k
    LST-584/697 40k US LST-697 and USS LST-584 beached at Tarakan, Borneo, circa April-June 1945. LST Home Port web site
    LST-1025 25k USS LST-697 and USS LST-1025 beached on Blue Beach at Morotai, 17 May 1945. USS LST-1025 is unloading wounded from Tarakan Island. Members of the Australian Army 2/12 Field Ambulance Transferred them to the 2/5 General Hospital. Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 79k USS LST-697 and USS LST-626 beached at Morotai, 1 June 1945, while members of the 2/3RD Anti Aircraft Regiment wait on the beach to board the LSTs in preparation for "Operation Oboe 6".
    Australian War Memorial photo # 108691.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 81k USS LST-697 beached at Morotai, 1 June 1945, while members of B Troop 6th Battery, 2/3rd Anti Aircraft Regiment embark in preparation for "Operation Oboe 6".
    Australian War Memorial photo # 108695.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 76k USS LST-697 beached at Morotai, 1 June 1945, while a 150cm searchlight of 2/3rd Anti Aircraft Regiment is loaded aboard in preparation for "Operation Oboe 6".
    Australian War Memorial photo # 108696.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 57k USS LST-697 beached at Morotai, 1 June 1945, while a 150cm searchlight of 2/3rd Anti Aircraft Regiment is loaded aboard in preparation for "Operation Oboe 6".
    Australian War Memorial photo # 108697.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 66k USS LST-697 beached at Morotai, 1 June 1945, while a line of trucks and heavy equipment belonging to the Australian Army's 2/4th Pioneer Battalion waits to be loaded in preparation for "Operation Oboe 6".
    Australian War Memorial photo # 108410.
    Australian War Memorial
    LST-697 26k USS LST-697 beached at Lingayen Gulf, P.I. unloading trucks, November 1945 LST Home Port web site
    LST-697 24k USS LST-697 entering San Francisco Bay while carrying 10 Kamikaze warheads which had started leaking necessitating that she sail 3 miles astern of the rest of the homeward bound Flotilla. LST Home Port web site

    USS LST-697
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01ENS. Lopresti, Vincenzo USN30 May 1944 - 27 June 1944
    02ENS. Tanner James E. USNR27 June 1944 - March 1946
    03LTjg. Desonia, William L., USNRMarch 1946 - 30 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
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    Last Updated 19 October 2018