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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS LST-973

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Kilo - Papa
NKKP
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (4) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)



USS LST-973 was transferred to France and named RFS Golo (LST-973)
RFS Golo International Radio Call Sign:
Foxtrot - Alpha - Delta - Charlie
FADC
LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 25 November 1944, at Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, MA.
  • Launched, 27 December 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-973, 27 January 1945, LT. George I. Purdy, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS LST-973 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS LST-973 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 6 to 23 September 1945
  • Decommissioned, 24 May 1946 and transferred to US Army custody
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 29 September 1947
  • Reinstated in the Naval Register, 6 September 1950
  • Recommissioned, 6 September 1950, LT. Robert I. Trapp USN in command
  • During the Korean War USS LST-973 participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression 12 to 14 September 1950 Inchon Landing 15 September 1950
    Communist China Aggression 3 November to 28 December 1950 First UN Counter Offensive 30 January to 3 April 1951

  • Decommissioned, 7 November 1951
  • Transferred to France, 7 November 1951, named RFS Golo (LST-973) "Navy Times" 10 and 24 November 1951
  • Struck from the US Naval Register, 20 November 1951
  • Struck from the French Navy in 1960
  • USS LST-973 earned four battle stars and one award of the Navy Unit Commendation for Korean service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in 1959
    Specifications:
    Displacement
    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'
    Draft
    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
    Complement
    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
    Propulsion
    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

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    USS LST-973
    LST-973 89k USS LST-973 being turned over to France, 7 November 1951, at San Diego, CA. After training in the San Diego area the ship departed for loading out at San Francisco thence proceeding to Haiphong, Vietnam, via San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Guam and Manila arriving 28 January 1952 to support French military operations during the French-Indochina War. RFS Golo crew list André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo.
    RFS Golo (LST-973)
    LST-973 57k French crew of RFS Golo (LST-973) waits to take part in the transfer ceremony of USS LST-973 to the French Navy at San Diego, CA., in the afternoon of 7 November 1951. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Jacques Raymond Quartermaster (manoeuvre) RFS Golo
    LST-973 85k RFS Golo (LST-973) underway fully loaded with combat equipment enroute to French Indochina, via Honolulu (for Christmas 1951), Guam, and Manila, circa 12 December 1951 to 28 January 1952. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy : Magali Lermaire, granddaughter of Quartermaster (gunner) Emile Edrich (deceased) RFS Golo
    LST-973 86k RFS Golo (LST-973) arriving at Haiphong Vietnam from San Francisco, 28 January 1952. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy EV denis Martin RFS Chélif
    LST-973 44k Three of RFS Golo (LST-973)'s Quartermasters (signalmen) in 1953, left to right, QM1 Colling, QM2 Le Hegarat, and QM2 Olivro. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 90k RFS Golo (LST-973) moving to Qui nhon during French Indochina War. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 113k Vietnamese artist's painting of RFS Golo (LST-973) underway in heavy seas off the Annam coast in Indochina waters, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Théophile Troadec.
    LST-973 133k RFS Golo (LST-973) moored pierside on the Saigon river at Saigon, Indochina. She is preparing for operation with elements of the French First Foreign Cavalry Regiment. Note the six LVT Alligators and several small vessels the French called "crabs", date unknown. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 68k RFS Golo (LST-973) moored the Saigon river at Saigon, Indo-china, circa 1953-54 André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 103k RFS Golo (LST-973) at anchor off the coast of Indo-China, circa 1953. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Théophile Troadec, quartermaster electrician RFS Golo
    LST-973 169k RFS Golo (LST-973) in dry dock at Saigon, circa 1953. The stern of RFS Rance (LST-223) is visitable beyond Golo. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy jacques Raymond, quartermaster (manoeuvre) RFS Golo
    LST-973 99k RFS Golo (LST-973) disembarking one LVT alligator somewhere in the Vietnamese delta, circa 1953. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy jacques Raymond, quartermaster (manoeuvre) RFS Golo
    LST-973 73k The crew of RFS Golo (LST-973) at work in 1953, during the French-Indochina War. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Jacques Raymond Quartermaster (manoeuvre) RFS Golo
    LST-973 77k RFS Golo (LST-973) beached at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, during the French-Indochina War, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo
    LST-973 156k One of RFS Golo (LST-973) LCVPs at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, taking a swim party ashore for R&R, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo
    LST-973 25k RFS Golo (LST-973) at anchor in Along Bay, Vietnam, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 25k RFS Golo (LST-973) at anchor in Along Bay, Vietnam, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 80k Two photos of RFS Golo (LST-973) disembarking French troops into an LCM, at Tourane (now Danang), Vietnam, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 32k RFS Golo (LST-973) anchored off Tourane (now Danang), Vietnam in 1953 Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 41k RFS Golo (LST-973) crew members left to right : matelot mécanicien Gras, matelot gunner Paul, Q/M signalman Pilon, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 41k One of RFS Golo (LST-973)'s LCVPs underway alongside the ship, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 23k RFS Golo (LST-973) beached in Vietnam while unloading vehicles, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 42k RFS Golo (LST-973) partial crew photo, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 41k RFS Golo (LST-973) partial crew photo, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 23k French LVT assigned to RFS Golo (LST-973) for amphibious operations, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Bernard Gouhier.
    LST-973 68k RFS Golo (LST-973) transporting troop to RFS Pasteur at Along Bay Indochina in 1954 for return to France. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 99k One of RFS Golo (LST-973)'s LCVPs embarking personnel somewhere along the Annam coast, Indochina in 1954. Note the officer in the US Navy jacket. The ships were turned over the French Navy completely equipped, including clothing. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 96k RFS Golo (LST-973) disembarking alligators belonging to the Foreign Légion for operation along the Annam Coast, Indochina. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 47k RFS Golo (LST-973) at anchor in French Indo China, date and location unknown.
    Photo Marine National.
    Robert Hurst
    LST-973 103k Preparing one of RFS Golo (LST-973)'s LCFPs for launching, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 70k KP duty aboard RFS Golo (LST-973), date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 89k Chipping paint on one of RFS Golo (LST-973)'s boat davits, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 57k RFS Golo (LST-973) forward twin 20mm AA gun mount, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 42k RFS Golo (LST-973) aft twin 20mm AA gun mount, date and location unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy André Lagardère Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 68k RFS Golo (LST-973) beached at Nha-trang, Indochina in 1956, during the French-Indochina War. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo and Robert Hurst
    LST-973 75k RFS Golo (LST-973) beached, probably in Indochina in 1956, during the French-Indochina War. Robert Hurst
    LST-973 65k RFS Golo (LST-973) underway enroute from Saigon, Vietnam to Nouméa, New Caledonia during the French evacuation from Vietnam in 1956 with a deck load of equipment including several Grumann Goose seaplanes. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo
    LST-973 79k RFS Golo (LST-973) underway enroute from Saigon, Vietnam to Nouméa, New Caledonia during the French evacuation from Vietnam in 1956 with a deck load of equipment including several Grumann Goose seaplanes. This photo was taken just before the start of the crossing the line "equator" ceremony aboard ship. The neophyte crew members "pollywogs" have been assembled on deck in front of the conning tower waiting for the ceremonies to begin. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo
    LST-973 64k RFS Golo (LST-973) drydocked at Diego Suarez, Madagascar, date unknown. Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Paul Gripon Quartermaster (electrician) RFS Golo
    LST-973 332k 1 - RFS Golo (LST-973) anchored with flags (possibly during a French national holiday) at Naval Yard Diego Suarez, Madagascar in 1957. Note the LCT alongside.
    2 - Group photo of crew members of "transmission service"
    3 - Partial group photo of crew members of "transmission service"
    Submitted by André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo Courtesy Patrice Calvez QM fourrier RFS Golo
    LST-973 338k
    LST-973 336k
    LST-973 616k RFS Golo (LST-973) crew photo while at Diego Suarez, Madagascar in 1957. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo, courtesy Patrice Calvez, QM fourrier RFS Golo
    LST-973 50k RFS Golo (LST-973) underway in the roads at Toulon, France in 1958. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 78k RFS Golo (LST-973) and RFS Foudre (L646) underway off the coast of Oran-Mers el Kebir, Algéria, 14 June 1959. Official French Navy photo. André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo
    LST-973 115k Souvenir silk flag commemorating French Naval campaign in the Far East, 1951-1953. Belonging to Stephan Raymond RFS Golo (LST-973). André Pilon Quartermaster (signalman) RFS Golo. Courtesy Stephan Raymond Quartermaster (bossman) RFS Golo


    RFS Golo (LST-973)
    Scale 1/100 Model Built by Guy Vagnat seaman signalman RFS Golo, 1953

    Golo Golo Golo Golo Golo

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Purdy, George Irwin, USNR27 January 1945 - December 1945
    02LTjg. Weidemeyer, Dick, USNDecember 1945 - 24 May 1946
     Decommissioned24 May 1946 - 6 September 1950
    03LT. Trapp, Robert Irving, USN6 September 1950 - 7 November 1951
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves


    For more photos and information about USS LST-973/ RFS Golo see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • The USS LST Ship Memorial
  • LST Home Port
  • State LST Chapters
  • United States LST Association
  • RFS Golo Crew Training Orders to the United States
  • Handover Ceremony by André Pilon
  • 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 27 May 2016