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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Patch at right contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Belle Grove (LSD-2)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Whiskey - Oscar - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7)
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Vietnam) - Vietnam Service Medal (7) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation
Fourth Row - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (6) - Philippines Liberation Medal (2) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Ashland Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Originally authorized as (APM-2), a Mechanized Artillery Transport
  • Reclassified Landing Ship Dock (LSD-2), 1 July1941
  • Laid down, 27 October 1942, at Moore Drydock Co. Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 17 February 1943
  • Commissioned USS Belle Grove (LSD-2), 9 August 1943, LCDR. Morris Seavey, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Belle Grove was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    World War II Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Makin Island, 20 November to 2 December 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte Gulf landings, 20 October, 31 October to 9 November and 13 to 21 November 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings - Abuyo and San Pedro Bay, 9 to 16 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 28 July 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and capture of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 16 March 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation, 21 to 28 July 1944  

  • Following World War II USS Belle Grove was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    30 September to 23 November 194524 to 28 November 1945
    24 January to 8 May 1952 

  • Decommissioned, 30 August 1946
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet San Diego Group
  • Recommissioned, 27 December 1950, CDR. W. R. Smith, III, USN in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Belle Grove participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    30 May to 1 June 1965
    6 to 12 June 1965
    25 June to 3 July 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    7 September to 26 October 1967
    8 to 21 November 1967
    26 November to 1 December 1967
    21 to 25 December 1967
    1 to 5 January 1968
    Vietnam Defense
    4 July to 27 August 1965
    4 to 10 September 1965
    17 to 18 September 1965
    28 to 29 September 1965
    23 to 24 October 1965
    Tet Counteroffensive
    3 to 6 February 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    9 to 12 February 1966
    5 March to 23 April 1966
    Tet69/ Counteroffensive
    4 March to 7 March 1969
    16 to 20 March 1969
    26 to 31 March 1969
    3 to 10 April 1969
    20 to 23 May 1969
    30 May to 2 June 1969
    5 to 8 June 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    20 October to 4 November 1966
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    11 to 17 June 1969
    21 to 30 June 1969
    14 to 17 July 1969
    27 July to 1 August 1969
    3 to 15 August 1969

  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 12 November 1969
  • USS Belle Grove earned seven battle stars for World War II service, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 24 July 1970, to N. W. Kennedy Ltd, Vancouver, B.C.
    Specifications: (as reported by Office of Naval Intelligence, 7 April 1944)
    Displacement 4,032 (light draft), 7,930 (seagoing - loaded)
    Length 457' 9" o.a.
    Beam 72"
    8' 2 ½" fwd, 10' ½" aft (light draft)
    15' 5 ½" fwd, 16' 2" aft (seagoing loaded)
    Speed 17 kts (design speed)
    Endurance 8,000 miles @ 15 knots
    Officers 17
    Enlisted 237
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 218
    Well Deck Capacity (varies with mission)
    three LCT (Mk V or VI) each w/ 5 medium tanks or
    two LCT (Mk III or IV) each w/ 12 medium tanks or
    fourteen LCM (Mk III) each w/ 1 medium tank or 1, 500 long tons cargo or
    forty-seven DUKW or
    forty-one LVT or
    Any combination of landing vehicles and landing craft up to capacity
    Aircraft (still in commission in late 40's or early 50's) were fitted/retro-fitted with a prefabricated steel grated "Portable Deck" suspended between the wing walls and supported by removable I-beam girders. The aft end of the portable deck contained a wooden helicopter platform, enabling the ship to land and launch 1 helicopter at a time. Stowage of helicopters was limited to capacity of the portable deck installed for the mission. Aircraft servicing was limited to re-fueling. With portable deck and aircraft platform installed, the Landing ship, dock was still capable of transporting, launching and repairing smaller amphibious craft and vehicles up to the size of a Landing craft, utility (LCU) in their well decks.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount in open tub (w/director)
    two quad 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    sixteen single 20mm AA gun mounts (local control)
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 11,720 Bbls
    Diesel 160 Bbls
    Gasoline 5,085 Gals
    two Skinner Uniflow 5-cylinder reciprocating steam engines
    two Babcock and Wilcox oil fired D-type boilers, two drum, single furnace, single uptake, 250psi
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 150Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    twin propellers, 7,400shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Belle Grove 111k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) undergoing sea trials in San Francisco Bay, 16 August 1943.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Belle Grove 196k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) undergoing sea trials in San Francisco Bay, 16 August 1943.
    US Navy photo from "Allied Landing Craft of World War Two", published by Arms and Armour Press.
    Robert Hurst
    Belle Grove 152k
    Belle Grove 195k
    Belle Grove 282k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) at anchor, probably at Leyte, circa 20 to 22 October 1944.
    Photo by J.L. Brown.
    William Brown for his father J.L. Brown EM3/c USS Rushmore
    Ashland 320k Two landing ship docks and other amphibious shipping off Iwo Jima, circa late February 1945. USS Ashland (LSD-1) is at left, with Mount Suribachi beyond. USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) is in the right center foreground.
    US Navy photo # NH 104370-KN by LT. Howard W. Whalen, USNR, Boat Group Commander, USS Sanborn (APA-193)
    Robert Hurst
    Belle Grove 104k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Belle Grove 29k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Belle Grove 113k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) outbound to sea from San Diego date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Belle Grove 76k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) under way, date and location unknown. .
    Belle Grove 98k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam during the Vietnamese Counteroffensive campaign in the spring of 1966 as a trial helicopter landing platform. The photo is from the Seawolf web site where the full story is available at Seawolf. Ed Pietzuch
    Belle Grove 55k USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) under way, circa 1960s, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    USS Belle Grove (LSD-2)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Seavey, Morris9 August 1943 - 1 May 1945
    02LCDR. Ford, Thomas W.1 May 1945 - 15 July 1946
    03LT. Dominguez, Milton Peter15 July 1946 - 30 August 1946
      Decommissioned30 August 1946 - 27 December 1950
    04CDR. Smith, William Robinson, III :RADM27 December 1950 - July 1952
    05CDR. Cockey, Richard K.July 1952 - April 1954
    06CDR. Lowe, Claude OlenApril 1954 - 29 June 1955
    07CDR. Westbrook Jr., Edwin Monroe29 June 1955 - 18 July 1956
    08CDR. Kiser, Loren Hall18 July 1956 - 10 March 1958
    09CDR. Nugent, Frederick Creswell, USN10 March 1958 - 2 July 1959
    10CDR. Johnson, Juel David2 July 1959 - 30 December 1960
    11CDR. Gilliland, Sam J.30 December 1960 - 10 April 1963
    12CDR. Bain Jr., Edwin Curry, USN (USNA 1945)10 April 1963 - 29 October 1964
    13CDR. Volk Jr., Ralph Leonard, USN (USNA 1945)29 October 1964 - 23 June 1966
    14CDR. Pray, Robert E.23 June 1966 - 30 August 1968
    15CDR. Lasley, William Ward, USN (USNA 1950)30 August 1968 - 12 November 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 20 May 2016