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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Landing Craft Utility - LCU-638
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Landing Ship Utility - LSU-638 (1949 - 1956)
Landing Craft Tank - LCT(6)-638 (1944 - 1949)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East 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)


Landing Craft Tank (Mark 6):
  • Laid down, 18 December 1943, at Bison Shipbuilding Corp, North Tonawanda, N.Y. 18 December 1943
  • Launched, 20 January 1944
  • Delivered, 21 January 1944, ENS. Graham, USNR Officer in Charge
  • During World War II LCT(6)-638 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater, LCT Flotilla 19, and participated in the following campaign:
    Campaigns and Dates
    Invasion of Normandy, June 1944
  • Dismantled in March 1945 for shipment back to US aboard a Liberty ship. Mid-section broke loose during fowl weather and was jettisoned and sunk by 5" gun fire for the Liberty ship
  • LCT(6)-638 was reconstructed with a replacement mid-section upon return to US
  • Redesignated Landing Ship Utility, LSU-638 in 1949
  • During the Korean War LSU-638 participated in the following campaigns:
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    18 September to 2 November 1950
    First UN Counter Offensive
    25 January to 16 March 1951
    Inchon Landing
    13 to 17 September 1950
    Second Korean Winter
    5 December 1951 to 1 February 1952
    Communist China Aggression
    3 November 1950 to 24 January 1951
    Korean Defensive Summer
    12 August to 9 September 1952
  • Following service in Korea LSU-638 was reassigned to Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, circa mid-1950s
  • Redesignated Landing Craft Utility LCU-638, 15 April 1956
  • Placed out of service (date unknown)
  • Struck from the Naval Register in 1958
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
  • LCT(6)-638 earned one battle star for World War II service and as LSU-638 earned six battle starts for Korean War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 143 to 160 t.(lt), 309 to 320 t.(fl)
    Length 119' 1" (ovl.)
    Beam 32' 8"
    Draft
    limiting 3' 9"
    maximum navigation 5'
    Speed 10 kts.
    Range 700 nautical miles at 7 kts.
    Complement
    1 officer
    12 enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 150 short tons
    Armament
    two single 20mm AA gun mounts
    four .50 cal. machine guns
    Armor
    wheelhouse 20lbs
    gun shields 10lbs
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 80 Bbls
    Propulsion
    three Grey Marine 6-71 Diesel engines
    two Diesel-drive 10Kw 120V. D.C. Ships' Service Generators
    three propellers, 675shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    LCT-638 142k Washing down LCT(6)-638 while preparing to load for the Invasion of Normandy, date unknown and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 113k Washing down LCT(6)-638 while preparing to load for the Invasion of Normandy, date and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 179k LCT(6)-638 loading ammunition for the Invasion of Normandy, date and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-555 116k Scene on "Omaha" Beach soon after the "D-Day" landings, showing stranded landing craft, piles of supplies, wounded soldiers awaiting evacuation and dead soldiers awaiting burial . LCT(5)-199 is offshore in left center. LCT(A)(5)-2421, LCT(6)-555 and LCT(6)-638 are on the beach in the center (listed from the middle distance to further away). An LCVP from USS Thurston (AP-77) is in the left foreground. The photograph was received by the Naval Photo Science Laboratory, 14 June 1944, but was probably taken on or about 6 June.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-252557, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    LCT-647 181k LCT(6)-638 off the Normandy beachhead, date unknown. Photo was taken from LCT(6)-647. Jack N, Wolslegel
    LCT-638 185k LCT(6)-638 on the beach at Normandy while loading German Prisoner of War for transportation to England for internment, date unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 115k Laundry day aboard LCT(6)-638 date and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 167k LCTs in convoy. Photo taken from LCT(6)-638, date and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 235k LCT(6)-638 partial crew photo; Steck, Melvin Downing, ENS Graham (Skipper), ENS Swartz, Butkiewicz, date and location unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 39k LCT(6)-647 unloading Army staff cars in Normandy, date unknown. Note LCT(6)-638 in background. Jack N, Wolslegel
    LCT-638 135k LCT(6)-638 being re-floated after sinking during storm at Normandy. Also in the photo is LCT(5)-147. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 51k A stern view of LCT(6)-638 probably after being hauled out of the water at Dartmouth, date unknown.. Thomas J. Fowler for Francis A. LaPointe, signalman LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 140k Steck and Miller repairing the bow door of LCT(6)-638 while in drydock at Dartmouth, date unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-638 117k LCT(6)-638 after coming out of drydock at Dartmouth, date unknown. Jeff Card for his grandfather Melvin Downing MoMM 3c LCT(6)-638
    LCT-520/638/742/783 84k Amphibious shipping beached on the Hungnam waterfront during the evacuation in December 1950. Ships present are (from left to right): Amphibious shipping beached on the Hungnam waterfront during the evacuation in December 1950. Ships present are (from left to right): LSU-520; LSU-638; LSU-742, two unidentified LSUs, LSU-783; and two Japanese-manned LSTs. Note the trucks and jeeps in the foreground.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-425954, a US Navy photo now in the collects of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    LCT-638 120k LSU-638 entering the well-deck of USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5) circa 1950-1952, in Korea or Japan.
    Photo by Warren G. Gilbert USN Ret. USS Gunston Hall
    Susan Neese
    LCT-638 133k LSU-638 moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    Photo by Warren G. Gilbert USN Ret.USS Gunston Hall
    Susan Neese
    LCT-638/1159 58k LSU-638 beached at the ramp on Grande Island, Naval Station Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, , circa 1954-56. Harvey Kimbro LCU-638
    LCT-638/1159 74k LSU-638 looking forward into the tank deck from the conning tower. LSU-638, LSU-1159 and an unidentified YTL are all moored at the "inner basin" Naval Station Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, circa 1954-56. Harvey Kimbro LCU-638

    There is no DANFS history for LCT(6)-638 / LSU-638 / LCU-638 at NavSource
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    LCU-638 at Subic Bay. Philippine Islands
    The Saga of LCT 638
    World War II LCT Flotillas

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 20 February 2009