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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Lafayette County (LST-859)
USS LST-859 (1944 - 1955)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - November - Yankee
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (6) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

USS Lafayette County (LST-859) was transferred to the Republic of China and renamed ROCS Chung Cheng (LST-224)
542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 26 September 1944, at Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
  • Launched, 15 December 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-859, 6 January 1945, LT. Daniel D. Kipnis USNR in command
  • During World War II USS LST-859 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Thirty-One, CAPT. H. S. Covington USN (23);
    LST Group Ninety-Three CDR. E. R. Sperry USN (23);
    LST Division One Hundred Eighty-Six and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 to 30 June 1945

  • Following World War II USS LST-859 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    23 September to 25 October 1945
    15 November to 3 December 1945

  • During the Korean War USS LST-859 participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    12 and 18 to 19 September 1950
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    1 to 7 May 1952
    10 to 20 August 1952
    3 to 9 September 1952
    11 to 14 October 1952
    12 to 18 November 1952
    30 November 1952
    Inchon Landing
    13 to 17 September 1950
    Third Korean Winter
    1 to 6 December and 13 to 20 December 1952
    31 December 1952 to 8 January 1953
    18 to 23 January 1953
    13 to 23 February 1953
    3 to 5 March 1953 and 14 to 16 March 1953
    6 to16 April 1953
    Second Korean Winter
    7 to 19 February 1952
    13 to 20 March 1952
    31 March to 30 April 1952
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    25 to 28 May 1953
    13 to 17 June and 25 to 29 June 1953
    16 to 19 July 1953

  • Named Lafayette County (LST-859), 1 July 1955
  • Decommissioned, struck from the Naval Register, and transferred to the Republic of China, 15 August 1958
  • USS LST-859 earned one battle star for World War II service and six battle stars for Korean War service
  • Commissioned into the Republic of China Navy as ROCS Chung Cheng (LST-224)
  • 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 Contributed
    LST-859 201k USS LST-859 among other LSTs anchored off Saipan, circa August 1945.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 74695, a U.S.A.A.C. 7th maintenance unit flotation (OLIVER FURSON) photo, courtesy Major H.G. Toomey, Jr.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    423k USS LST-859 moored in her berth at Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, HI., circa late 1940s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # L45-161.01.01.
    Mike Smolinski

    USS LST-859 / USS Lafayette County (LST-859)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Kipnis, Daniel D., USNR6 January 1945 - 14 January 1946
    02LT. Paul, George J., USNR14 January 1946 - 22 February 1946
    03LTjg. Darin, Dennis A., USNR22 February 1946 - June 1946
    04LT. Rapelyea, Oscar Fisher, USNJune 1946 - September 1947
    05LTjg. William Birch, USN (USNA 1945)September 1947 - ?
    06LT. Tinsley, Leeland1950
    07LCDR. Smith, W. E.1957
    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
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 21 February 2020