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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Harnett County (AGP-821)
USS Harnett County (LST-821) (1955 - 1970)
USS LST-821 (1944 - 1955)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (13JUN67, 29DEC67, 23DEC68, 29JAN-1FEB69, 15MAR69, 24MAR69) - Presidential Unit Citation (2)
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation (3) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (11) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (8) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

USS Harnett County (AGP-821) transferred to South Vietnam, renamed RVNS My Tho (HQ-800) later to the Philippines renamed BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57)

LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 19 September 1944, at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville, IN.
  • Launched, 27 October 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-821, 22 November 1944, at New Orleans, LA., LT. Carl J. Rudine, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-821 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Twenty-Three CAPT. W. W. Weeden Jr., USN;
    LST Group Sixty-Seven, CDR V. A. King USN;
    LST Division One Hundred Thirty-Four and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 18 April to 18 June 1945

  • Following World War II USS LST-821 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    20 September to 5 October 1945
    20 October to 9 November 1945
    18 November to 6 December 1945

  • Decommissioned, 8 July 1946, at Vancouver, WA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Columbia River Group
  • Named USS Harnett County (LST-821), 1 July 1955
  • Recommissioned, 20 August 1966, LT. J. P. W. Decker in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Harnett County (LST-821 / AGP-821) served continuously in country and in contiguous waters, with the exception of overhaul periods, from early 1967 to mid 1970 participating in the following campaigns. (Dates listed do not include underway transit times within the contiguous waters along the Vietnam coast as defined by the US Navy and so specified by the Vietnam Service Medal.)

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    12 January to 31 May 1967
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    23 February to 7 May 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 June to 12 July 1967
    17 August 1967 to 29 January 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    4 August to 31 October 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 27 February 1968
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    1 November 1969 to 22 January 1970
    17 February to 30 April 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    9 April to 30 June 1968
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    1 May to 30 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 July to 1 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    1 to 21 July 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 to 4 November 1968
    8 December 1968 to 22 February 1969

  • Redesignated a Patrol Craft Tender, (AGP-821) in the spring of 1970
  • Decommissioned, 12 October 1970, at Guam
  • Transferred to South Vietnam under the Security Assistance Program, 12 October 1970, renamed RVNS My Tho (HQ-800)
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Harnett County earned one battle star for World War II service and eleven campaign stars, two Presidential Unit Citations, and three Navy Unit Commendations for Vietnam War service
  • Transferred to the Philippines, 5 April 1976 after the fall of the South Vietnamese government, renamed BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57)
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    1,625 t.(lt)
    4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
    2,366 t.
    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
    USS Harnett County (LST-821 / AGP-821)
    Munsee 222k USS Harnett County (LST-821) moored outboard of YD-33 and aft of USS Munsee (ATF-107) and USS Achomawi (ATF 148) at Navy Yard Mare Island, 28 March 1946.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 1248-46
    Darryl Baker
    Achomawi 183k USS Harnett County (LST 821) and YD-33 are aft of USS Achomawi (ATF 148) alongside USS Munsee (ATF-107 at Navy Yard Mare Island, 28 March 1946.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 1249-46
    Darryl Baker
    Harnett County 30k A photo taken after the recommissioning ceremony for USS Harnett County (LST-821), 20 August 1966, from the Mare Island Naval Shipyard newspaper. Darryl Baker
    Harnett County 331k USS Harnett County (LST-821) off the coast of San Diego, CA., 18 October 1966.
    US National Archives Photo # USN 1119226, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Smolinski
    Harnett County 62k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor in the Bassac River South Vietnam, circa 1966-70. View of Harnett County's main deck from a UH-1B helicopter of Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three HA(L)-3 Seawolf. Pete Harlem
    Harnett County 54k USS Harnett County (LST-821) was home to the Navy Seawolf UH-1B gunships of Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three HA(L)-3. Two alert birds are spotted on her foredeck ready to launch.
    Photo from
    Tommy Trampp
    Harnett County 69k An Army CH-47A “Chinook” heavy-lift helicopter in the process of hooking up a damaged UH-1B Seawolf helicopter from the deck of USS Harnett County (LST-821) for transportation to NAS Binh Thuy for repairs.
    Photo from
    Tommy Trampp
    Harnett County 164k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor in the Bassac River South Vietnam, date unknown LST Home Port web site
    Harnett County 178k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor, date unknown, in the Bassac River South Vietnam while serving as a base for U.S. Navy river patrol boats and UH-1B "Seawolf" helicopters.
    US Navy photo by JOSN J. W. Fletcher.
    Robert Hurst
    Harnett County
    259k A Bell UH-1E Huey helicopter of Navy light helicopter attack squadron HAL-3 Seawolves landing on the deck USS Harnett County (LST-821) between combat operations in the Mekong Delta, Co Chien river, South Vietnam, in October 1967. A US Army UH-1B is parked in the background.
    A US Navy photo from Dana Bell "Air War over Vietnam, Volume IV", Arms and Armour Press, London, Harrisburg (PA), 1984, ISBN 0853686351, p. 36.
    Tommy Trampp
    Harnett County 83k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor in the Bassac River, South Vietnam, circa 1967-70. Photo courtesy Ed Pietzuch HAL-3 Seawolf
    Harnett County 141k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor in the Bassac River, South Vietnam, 1968.

    "An action packed year. Joined her on the Co Chien. Steamed all night xxx 67 to the Ham Luong to replaced the mined YRBM-(16 I think). We were on the Ham Luong when TET 68 hit all over Viet Nam. We steamed up the river to support the Army post at Ben Tre which was in deep trouble. Seawolves made many runs, and all available PBR’s ran fire support missions up the Ben Tri canal. Army begged for fire support, and as we could not see the compound around a curve in the canal, fired our 40MM’s blind. We took fire from some brick kilns just upriver from the police station. Destroyed it. We were mined a few weeks later. Three tin boxes stuffed with explosives (American made) placed by swimmers at night and command detonated from the shore. One had a low order detonation, other two did not explode. LUCKLY US. After a voyage to Sasebo for overhaul, we took station on the Bassac River. There we lost one of our H-1B Seawolves during an evening strike. Shot down by a VC 50cal MG. All four lost. A busy 12 month tour." Jim Swank

    Photo by Jim Swank USS Harnett County Gunnery Officer and 1st Lieutenant, 1967-68
    Harnett County 142k USS Harnett County (LST-821) at anchor in the Co Chien River of South Vietnam's Mekong Delta while serving as a base for Navy river patrol boats and UH-1B "Seawolf" helicopters, circa 1967-70.
    US Navy photos
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret and
    Robert Hurst
    Harnett County 149k
    Harnett County 105k
    Harnett County 273k
    Harnett County 146k An UH-1B Iroquois Helicopter from Detachment One, Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three HA(L)-3 Seawolf -- based aboard USS Harnett County (LST-821) takes off on a strike mission against the Viet Cong in September 1969.
    US US National Archives Photo # K-58279, a US Navy photo by JOSN John W. Fletcher.
    Mike Smolinski
    RVNS My Tho (HQ-800)
    Harnett County 68k Ex-USS Harnett County (LST-821) underway while in South Vietnamese service as RVNS My Tho (HQ-800)  
    Harnett County 61k RVNS My Tho (HQ-800) under way, circa 1971, location unknown.
    Official South Vietnamese Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Harnett County 70k RVNS My Tho (HQ-800) at anchor at Nha Be RVN, 1971 © Richard Leonhardt
    BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57)
    Harnett County 57k Ex-USS Harnett County (LST-821) in Philippines service as BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) at A.G.& P. Shipyard at Batangas. Vessel was grounded on Ayungin Island (Second Thomas Shoal) in the disputed Spratleys group of islands sometime in 1999. It is reportedly being used as an outpost by the Philippine Navy up to the present. Edison Sy
    Harnett County 89k BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) grounded on Ayungin Island (Second Thomas Shoal) Spratley Island Group, date unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Harnett County 70k
    Harnett County
    47k BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) was intentionally grounded at the Second Thomas shoal in 1999 to reinforce Manila's sovereignty claims in the Spratly archipelago. Tommy Trampp
    Harnett County
    104k The dilapidated BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal with Filipino soldiers onboard to secure perimeter in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Monday, 11 May 2015.
    Military Times - (Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP)
    Tommy Trampp

    Additional Ships Patches
    Harnett County
    Contributed by Joe Radigan
    Harnett County
    Contributed by Joe Radigan

    USS Harnett County (LST-821/ AGP-821)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    History of The USS Harnett County (LST-821 / AGP-821) - Mobile Riverine Force Association
    Commanding Officers
    01LT/LCDR. Rudine, Carl John, USNR22 November 1944 - 1 November 1945LST-821
    02LTjg/LT. Sheppard, William T., USNR1 November 1945 - 17 April 1946LST-821
    03LTjg. Borovich, Pete V., USNR17 April 1946 - 25 May 1946LST-821
    04ENS. Matthews, Jesse T., USNR25 May 1946 - 8 July 1946LST-821
     Decommissioned8 July 1946 - 20 August 1966 
    05LT. Decker, Joel Porter Wallace, USN (USNA 1961)20 August 1966 - 11 December 1967AGP-821
    06LT. Brown, Floyd Wayne, USN11 December 1967 - 23 November 1968AGP-821
    07LCDR. Warden, Kenneth John, USN23 November 1968 - 17 November 1969AGP-821
    07LCDR. Kirk Jr., Francis Marion, USN (USNA 1961)17 November 1969 - 12 October 1970AGP-821
    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
    Mobile Riverine Force Association
    Brownwater Navy in Vietnam Web Book
    LST Home Port
    State LST Chapters
    United States LST Association
    Patrol Gunboat Reunion Association

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 22 March 2024