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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Russ Padden

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS White River (LFR-536)
USS White River (LSMR-536) (1955 - 1969)
USS LSM(R)-536 (1945 - 1955)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (3-17FEB67, 3NOV67, 5MAY69) - Navy Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American 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 - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (8)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

LSM(R)-501 Class Landing Ship Medium, (Rocket):
  • Laid down, 9 June 1945, at Brown Ship Building Co., Houston, TX.
  • Launched, 14 July 1945
  • Commissioned USS LSM(R)-536, 28 November 1945, LT. John M. Cates, USNR in command
  • Decommissioned, 31 July 1946, at Green Cove Springs, FL.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Florida Group, Green Cove Springs
  • Recommissioned, 16 September 1950, LT. Henry O. Bergkamp, USNR, in command
  • During the Korean War USS LSM(R)-536 participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    15 July to 17 August 1952
    12 to 16 October 1952
    27 to 30 November 1952
    Third Korean Winter
    1 December 1952 to 9 February 1953

  • USS LSM(R)-536 was assigned to Occupation Service in the Far East from 8 to 14 April 1954
  • Named USS White River LSMR-536), 1 October 1955
  • Decommissioned, 7 September 1956, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Recommissioned, 2 October 1965, at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, LT. William C. Carlson in command
  • Redesignated Inshore Fire Support Ship (LFR-536), 1 January 1969
  • During the Vietnam War USS White River (LSMR-536 / LFR-536) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    25 May to 5 June 1966
    14 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase V
    1 to 18 July 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase II
    1 July 1966
    13 to 28 July 1966
    1 to 20 October 1966
    13 November to 2 December 1966
    8 February 1967
    2 March 1967
    13 March 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VI
    28 November to 31 December 1968
    1 to 9 January 1969
    25 January to 21 February 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase III
    11 June to 21 July 1967
    3 to 24 August 1967
    31 October to 27 December 1967
    15 to 29 January 1968
    Tet 69/Counteroffensive
    28 April to 1 June 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 4 February 1968
    21 March to 1 April 1968
    Vietnamese Summer-Fall 1969
    12 to 20 June 1969
    20 to 31 October 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase IV
    2 to 30 April 1968
    11 to 30 June 1968
    Vietnamese Winter-Spring 1970
    1 to 14 November 1969
    27 January to 16 March 1970

  • Decommissioned and Struck from the Naval Register, 22 May 1970, at Yokosuka, Japan
  • USS White River LSM(R)-536 earned two battle stars for Korean War service and ten campaign stars for the Vietnam War
  • Final Disposition, sold in November 1970 to Nissho-Iwai American Corp, New York City, N.Y. for scrapping
    light 758 t.
    attack 993 t.
    fully loaded 1,175 t.
    Length 203' 6" o.a.
    Beam 34' 6"
    light 5'4" (mean)
    attack 6'9" (mean)
    fully loaded 7'9" (mean)
    Speed 13 kts.
    Officers 6
    Enlisted 137
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm gun mounts
    four twin 20mm gun mounts
    ten twin tube continuous loading 5" (SS) spin stabilizer rocket launchers
    four 4.2" mortars
    Armor 10-lb. STS on conning station, pilot-house, radio room, radar plot, and rocket control, 10-lb. ASPP around 40 and 20mm gun mounts and directors
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 1,225 Bbls
    two General Motors 16-278A (non-reversing with airflex clutch) Diesel engines, direct drive with 1,440 BHP each @ 720rpm
    Ship's Service Generators
    four Diesel-drive 100Kw 450V A.C.
    two Diesel-drive 20Kw 120V D.C.
    twin screws 2,800 shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS LSM(R)-536
    White River 55k USS LSM(R)-536 firing her rockets, 29 June 1946, location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    White River 114k USS LSM(R)-536 under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the 1967-68 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships"
    Robert Hurst
    White River 61k USS LSM(R)-536 under way in 1949, location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    White River 68k USS LSM(R)-536 moored to a buoy, date and location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Pit River 58k Seventeen LSM(R)s at Green Cove Springs, FL. during Operation "Zipper", the process of decommissioning the fleet, commonly called "mothballing", March 1946.
    From front to back:
    USS LSM(R)-519
    USS LSM(R)-526,
    USS LSM(R)-527,
    USS LSM(R)-525,
    USS LSM(R)-524, (See Deck Log entry below)
    USS LSM(R)-529,
    USS LSM(R)-521,
    USS LSM(R)-528,
    USS LSM(R)-522,
    USS LSM(R)-531,
    USS LSM(R)-536,
    USS LSM(R)-535,
    USS LSM(R)-534,
    USS LSM(R)-520,
    USS LSM(R)-533,
    USS LSM(R)-530,
    USS LSM(R)-523,
    The USS LSMR-524 Deck Log states during the month of March 1946
    Moored in Birth Oak 31, St. Johns River Green Cove Springs. Fla. Anchorage in 14 feet of water, mud bottom with 65 fathoms of chain to bow anchor and 495 feet of cable to the stern anchor. Nested with LSM (R) type ships: 523, 530, 533, 520, 534, 535, 536, 531, 522, 528, 521, and 529, moored to our starboard numbering from inboard to outboard. LSM(R) type ships: 525, 527, 526, and 519, moored to our port numbering from inboard to outboard , on the following bearing: bridge opening 180 .5 (T), signal tower 235 (T), pt. of land 336 (T). The following machinery in operation: #1 generator, #1 evaporator, #2 fire & flushing pumps, #2 fresh water pumps, #2 refrigeration unit.
    Robert Hanle to the USS LSM / LSMR Association
    Log Entry submitted by Mark McDonald for his father John A. McDonald S1/c USS LSM(R)-524
    USS White River (LSMR-536)
    White River 75k USS White River (LSMR-536) under way, date and location unknown. USS LSM / LSMR Association
    White River 69k USS White Rover (LSMR-536) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Ron Reeves
    White River 51k USS White River (LSMR-536) firing rockets at a Viet Cong infiltrated village in South Vietnam, June 1966.
    US Navy photo # USN 1117202
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    White River 69k USS White River (LSMR-536) firing rockets at a Viet Cong infiltrated village in South Vietnam, June 1966.
    US Navy photo # USN 1137966
    USS LSM / LSMR Association
    White River 195k Trailing a streak of flame, a 5" spin stabilized rocket leaves its Mk-102 launcher on board USS White River (LSMR-536), in July 1966 bound for Viet Cong troop concentrations in the I Corps area near Da Nang.
    US National Archives, Photo # USN 1117387 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Green
    Clarion River 45k USS White River (LSM(R)-536), Clarion River (LSM(R)-409), St. Francis River (LSM(R)-525) and Carronade (IFS-1) off Danang, South Vietnam in 1967 Mobile Riverine Force Association
    285k USS Carronade (IFS-1) and USS White River (LSMR-536) underway off Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1967.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # L45-43.08.02.
    Robert Hurst
    Clarion River 168k Port bow view (right to left) of USS Clarion River (LSMR-409), USS White River (LSMR-536) and USS St. Francis River (LSMR-525) moored at Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan, in 1968. Bob Blair Engineering Officer, USS LSMR-409 1967-68
    White River 95k USS White River (LSMR-536) and USS Banner (AGER-1) moored at Pier 3 Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan, date unknown. Note USS KEARSARGE (CV-33) in the background. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    USS White River (LFR-536)
    White River 62k USS White River (LFR-536 ) firing rockets in the Rung Sat Special Zone (RSSZ), South Vietnam in 1969.
    Photo courtesy
    Ron Reeves

    1/144th scale model of USS White River (LFR-536)
    by John MacKay

    John MacKay built this model of White River for a friend, Howard Neal, who served aboard her as a Yeoman in the late 1960s in Vietnam. The model is approximately 17 inches long and in 1/144th scale. Like the original ships, the model started out with an LSM hull, which came from a Revell plastic model kit. From there, it is pretty much a scratch-built with the majority of the model made out of homemade resin castings. Essentially, everything from the deck up is scratch-built, with the few exceptions being the 5/38 gun and the Mk 51 gun directors that are 3D resin printed, lifelines and equipment baskets of brass photoetch, and the 40mm guns and a few fittings from the Revell LSM kit. Because the White Rivers 501-class bow had a different profile from the LSM and 401 class ships, I built a totally new bow for the model.
    White River White River White River White River White River
    White River White River White River White River White River

    USS White River (LSM(R) / LFR-536)
    Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Cates, John M., USNR28 November 1945 - 1 July 1946
    02LTjg. Sailors, Benjamin Guy, USN1 July 1946 - 31 July 1946
     Decommissioned31 July 1946 - 16 September 1950
    03LT. Bergkamp, Henry O.16 September 1950 - ?
     Decommissioned7 September 1956 - 2 October 1965
    04LT. Carlson, William Cliffford, :RADM2 October 1965 - February 1968
    05LT. Jordan, James Francis, USN (USNA 1962)1968 - 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Mobile Riverine Force Association
    USS White River LSMR 536

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    Last Updated 1 April 2022