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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Luzerne County (LST-902)
USS LST-902 (1945 - 1955)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (Vietnam; 18Feb1968, 22Feb1968, 4Mar1968, 3Mar1969) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)- Korean Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Dominican Republic) - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (7)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

542-Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 5 November 1944, at Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Launched, 16 December 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-902, 15 January 1945 at Algiers, LA., LT. Everett J. Bondesen USNR in command
  • During World War II USS LST-902 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Thirty -Two, CAPT. D.J. Sweeny;
    LST Group Ninety-Four, CDR. E. Roughton USN;
    LST Division One Hundred Eighty-Seven
  • Following World War II USS LST-902 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 3 October to 1 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 2 August 1946, at Portland, OR.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Astoria, OR.
  • Recommissioned, 18 January 1952, at Astoria, OR., LT. William J. Martin USN in command
  • During the Korean War USS LST-902 participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    17 October 1952
    13 to 14 December 1952
    Third Korean Winter
    11 to 14 February 1953

  • Named USS Luzerne County (LST-902), 1 July 1955
  • Decommissioned, 30 November 1955, at Astoria, OR.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Recommissioned, 15 April 1963, LCDR. David W. Moore in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Luzerne County (LST-902) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase II
    14 July to 5 August 1966
    21 to 25 August 1966
    15 to 18 September 1966
    27 October to 5 November 1966
    17 to 28 November 1966
    12 to 26 January 1967
    3 February to 20 April 1967
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 November 1968 to 4 January 1969
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase III
    3 June to 9 October 1967
    14 November 1967 to 29 January 1968
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    16 May to 8 June 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 17 March 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    9 June to 3 August 1969
    19 September to 31 October 1969
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    6 April to 18 May 1968
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    1 November to 31 December 1969
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase V
    11 September to 1 November 1968
    Consolidation II
    15 February 1972

  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1970
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 12 August 1970
  • USS Luzerne County (LST-902) earned ten campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Sold to CEMEX, Ensenada BC as a NSP Cement Barge
  • 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
    USS LST-902
    195k Launching of LST-902, 16 December 1944, at Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, PA. Andrew Grier
    277k USS LST-902 Commissioning Day crew photo, 15 January 1945 at Algiers, LA. Andrew Grier
    LST-902 382k USS LST-902, USS 901 an unidentified LST moored between them and a fleet tug (ATF) moored together off Wolmi Do [island] near Inchon South Korea, circa 1952-53. Note the self-propelled oil or water barge (YO/YW) alongside USS 901 and the Marine LVT approaching the nest of ships.
    BUMED photo # 16-0002-042 courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine taken from USS Haven (not shown) probably by Zelma "Suzie" Coyle, Colyle Collection.
    Michael Rhode BUMED
    USN 668291
    261k USS LST-902 underway, 16 May 1955, location unknown.
    US National Archives photo # USN 668291, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Smolinski
    USS Luzerne County (LST-902)
    LST-902 55k USS Luzerne County (LST-902) beach in South Vietnam, circa early 1968. Photo by Clarence Berard
    LST-902 74k USS Luzerne County (LST-902)'s main deck looking forward while underway off the coast of South Vietnam, circa early 1968. Photo by Clarence Berard
    LST-902 52k USS Luzerne County (LST-902)'s bow mounted 40mm AA gun mount. Photo by Clarence Berard
    LST-902 86k USS Luzerne County (LST-902)'s conning tower. Photos by Clarence Berard
    LST-902 69k
    LST-902 130k USS Luzerne County (LST-902) underway on the Mekong River, Vietnam, 1968 Photo by CDR.Tom Sparkman USNR Ret.
    LST-902 71k USS Luzerne County (LST-902) beached at Vung Tau, Vietnam, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine October 1969
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    LSM-547 127k USS Luzerne County (LST-902) and an unidentified Korean manned LST and Clive Steele (AV-1356) beached probably at the ramp at Vung Tau, South Vietnam, circa 3 March 1969. The time is before 0700 as the Clive Steele's log indicates she retracted off the beach at 0700 bound for Cam Ranh Bay. The Korean LST loaded with ammunition and avgas retracted at 0730. At 0800 while her crew was at breakfast Luzerne County was hit by two Kyushu 122mm rockets and suffered a number of casualties. Photo Dave Perham, Caption Dennis Wynne
    LST-902 644k USS Luzerne County (LST-902) beached at Vung Tau, Vietnam, summer 1969. Photo by Steven Eldred SN USN
    USS Hickman County (LST-825)

    USS Luzerne County (LST-902)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Vietnam War History
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Bondesen, Everett J. (Jay), USNR15 January 1945 - 17 November 1945
    02LT. Schwarz, Otto Ernst, USNR17 November 1945 - March 1946
    03LTjg. Rawls Jr., Elbert Sorsby, USN (USNA 1945)March 1946 - June 1946
    04ENS. Kerwin Jr., William G., USNRJune 1946 - July 1946
    05LTjg. Hause, Norman Laurance, USNRJuly 1946 - 2 August 1946
     Decommissioned2 August 1946 - 18 January 1952
    06LT. Martin, William John, USN18 January 1952 - July 1952
    07LCDR. Rogerson, Reuben Goodwin, USN :RADMJuly 1952 - October 1953
    08LCDR. Smith, Robert Studebaker, USN (USNA 1947) :RADMOctober 1953 - 30 November 1955
     Decommissioned30 November 1955 - 29 March 1963
    09LT. Moore, David Winston, USN29 March 1963 - 1964
    10LT. O'Keefe, Frank Preston, USN1964 - 1966
    11LT. Byrne, Barry James, USN (USNA 1960)August 1966 - July 1968
    12LT. Howell, Robert Lawrence, USNJuly 1968 - 28 July 1969
    13LT. Jardine, David Andrew, USN28 July 1969 - April 1970
    14LT. Kelly, Dennis Pearce, USNApril 1970 - 30 June 1970
    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
    Mobile Riverine Force Association
    Brownwater Navy in Vietnam Web Book

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 26 August 2022