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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

LST-895


HISTORY OF LST 895
By Al Lopinot, PhM1/c

LST 895 was laid down October 1, 1944 at Pittsburgh, Pa. by the Dravo Corporation. It was launched into the Ohio River on November 11, 1944.

During the months of September to November, 1944 the future crew of LST 895 was selected from the hundreds of naval personnel in amphibious training at Camp Bradford, Little Creek, Virginia. This crew trained on a mockup LST as well as actually taking an LST into Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean for additional training which included fire fighting, chemical warfare, gunnery school, drills, practicing beach landings, etc. On November 21, 1944 the crew left Camp Bradford by train to Pittsburgh, Pa. where they were housed at Carnegie Tech University.

On December 5, 1944 the crew boarded the ship for the first time and sailed the ship down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, Louisiana arriving December 16. On this date the ship was commissioned with a complement of 11 officers and 110 enlisted men. At New Orleans the ship was refitted and went through shakedown and training cruises in the Gulf of Mexico. On January 13, 1945 the ship was loaded with creosoted poles and earth movers. It departed the Pendleton shipyards on January 21 and arrived at Coco Solo Naval Base, Panama Canal Zone on January 29. The ship passed through the Panama Canal January 31.

LST 895 arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 19 days later for a voyage of 4,865 miles.

The cargo was transferred to LST 866. Pontoons. LSVPís and boxed engines were then taken aboard along with 100 navy personnel as passengers. On March 12, in a convoy of 8 LSTís departed for the Marshall Islands. March 24 anchored inside Eniwetok Harbor. Two days later the ship left for the Marianas Islands and arrived at Guam Harbor on March 30 where personnel, pontoons and LCVPís were unloaded. Several trips were made between Guam and Saipan as they were only 120 miles apart. On April 16, 125 SeaBees boarded the ship and in a convoy of 9 LSTís and escorts headed for Okinawa on April 27.

The battle for Okinawa started April 1 and was in full swing when the ship arrived April 27. Considerable time was spent at General Quarters (GQ) manning guns and other stations because of suicide boats and kamikaze planes in the area. The SeaBees and cargo were unloaded on May 1. On May 7 the ship left Okinawa in a convoy of 16 LSTís for Saipan . On May 23 and 24, 320 Marines, 39 Army soldiers and 11 Amtraks came aboard and the ship left immediately for Okinawa in a convoy of 26 LSTís arriving 6 days later.

On June 3 LST 895 at 2 a.m. was part of a convoy headed for the invasion of Ihea Shima located 40 miles north of Okinawa. The first wave of Marines went ashore at 10:45 a.m. The ship then shuttled back and forth to Okinawa for the next couple of days. The Island was made secure by June 6. There were 17 U.S. casualties and 2 killed in the invasion. The ship returned to Okinawa on June 6 and four days later left for the Philippines in a convoy of 35 LSTís. The battle for Okinawa ended June 22, 1945 lasting 82 days. The Tenth Army and Fifth Fleet lost 12,250 military personnel, 36 ships and 28 LSTís. The Japanese lost 110,071 military personnel and 140,000 civilians.

June 24 the ship took aboard 120 Army personnel and equipment at Mindano, Philippines and transported them to Okinawa and the Island of Ie Shima where the personnel and equipment were unloaded. July 7 the ship took aboard Army trucks and 250 soldiers and left the following day for Leyte, Philippines. The equipment and personnel were unloaded at Cebu City. July 24 the ship took aboard 149 Fifth Air Force Troops and in a convoy head for Okinawa were personnel and equipment were unloaded. On August 15 the ship returned to the Philippines and received word that Japan had surrendered. Beginning in September, 1945 crew members started departing the ship for return to the United States and discharge. September 6 the ship left the Philippines with 70 Army personnel in a convoy of 59 LSTís arriving in Tokyo Bay at Yokohama nine days later to unload. During this trip a typhoon occurred and very rough seas were experienced for most of the trip. Five days later the ship returned to the Philippines. October 9 another load of troops and equipment were transported to Yokohama. October 28 the ship left Yokohama for Saipan. While in Saipan members of the crew painted the sides of the ship. November 16 the ship left for Guam and on November 24 for Leyte in the Philippines. Most of December and January, 1946was spent in the Philippine area transporting equipment and personnel from place to place in the islands including Cebu City, Batangas and Moratai. By the end of January, 75 of the original crew members had left LST 895 for return to the United States. During February the ship was placed in dry dock so members of the crew could scrap off barnacles, chip paint and repaint the bottom of the ship. The ship remained in the Philippine Island area for the next several months and then returned to the United States and was decommissioned August 17, 1946. The ship was struck from the Navy list on March 12, 1948 and on January 10, 1952 was sold to Babbidge and Holt Company, Inc. located in Portland, Oregon.

LST 895 earned the following medals:
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal with one battle star
Philippine Liberation medal
American Campaign medal
WW II Occupation medal
Victory medal

The only reunion of LST 895 crew members was held at Owensboro, Kentucky, August 2 to 5, 1970 with eight members and their families in attendance.


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