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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Thomaston (LSD-28)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Papa - Xray
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Expeditionary Medal (Iran/Indian Ocean)
Second Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Vietnam, Op. Eagle Pull, Op. Frequent Wind) - *Vietnam Service Medal (11 or 12)
Third Row - Humanitarian Service Medal (Eagle Pull, Frequent Wind, Eniwetok Cleanup, Boat People) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - Vietnam Campaign Medal

Thomaston Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Launched, 9 February 1954, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, MS.
  • Commissioned USS Thomaston (LSD-28), 17 September 1954, CAPT. Marion F. Ramirez de Arellano in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Thomaston participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    24 April to 3 May 1963
    28 August to 12 September 1963
    27 December 1964 to 31 January 1965
    9 to 28 February 1965
    9 to 14 March 1965
    16 to 23 April 1965
    1 to 10 May 1965
    18 to 21 May 1965
    25 to 26 May 1965
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    25 to 28 August 1969
    11 September to 25 October 1969
    Vietnam Defense
    23 to 26 August 1965
    14 to 17 September 1965
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    15 to 25 November 1969
    7 to 15 and 29 December 1969
    1 to 9 January 1970
    9 to 11 February 1970
    9 to 11 March 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    4 to 7 and 22 to 28 February 1966
    13 to 16 March 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VII
    30 April to 4 May 1971
    12 to 14 and 20 to 23 May 1971
    12 to 18, 20 to 22 and 25 to 26 June 1971
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase II
    13 to 31 August 1966
    13 to 28 September 1966
    6 October to 11 November 1966
    1 to 13 January 1967
    13 February to 4 March 1967
    Consolidation I
    15 to 17 and 21 to 22 July 1971
    13 to 15 August 1971
    5 to 7 September 1971
    10 September to 13 October 1971
    Tet Counteroffensive
    12 March to 1 April 1968
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    29 to 30 June 1972
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    2 to 16-April 1968
    27 April to 17 June 1968
    *Vietnam Evacuation (Operation Frequent Wind)
    29 to 30 April 1975
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    6 July to 21 August 1968

  • Decommissioned, 5 September 1984
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 2 February 1992
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, under temporary custody of the Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • Final Disposition, sold, 29 September 1995 by MARAD to Pegasus Inc.
  • Repossessed by the Navy, 1 July 1997
  • Permanent custody reassigned to MARAD, 18 November 1998 for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Benecia, CA. and placed on sale list
  • USS Thomaston earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with eleven campaign stars for Vietnam War service and an additional Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Operation Frequent Wind or twelve campaign stars for Vietnam War service if the Armed Forces Medal is exchanged for the 18th Vietnam campaign, Operation Frequent Wind
  • Final Disposition, sold 28 July 2011 to All Star Metals, Brownsville TX. Departed National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, 18 Aug 2011. Sale Price $894,708
    Displacement 8,899 t.(lt), 11,525 t(fl)
    Length 510'
    Beam 84'
    Draft 19'
    Speed 20 kts.
    Officers 18
    Enlisted 330
    Troop Accommodations 325
    Armament (as built)
    four twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm gun mounts
    six twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Boat Capacity (Well Deck)
    three LCUs or nine LCM-8's or fifty AAV's/LVTP-7's amphibious tractors
    Aircraft Capacity helicopter landing area
    two D-type boilers, 600psi.
    two steam turbines
    two propellers, 24,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    209k Thomaston (LSD-28) immediately after launching, 9 February 1954, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, MS.
    Ingalls Shipbuilding photo
    Dale Hargrave
    Thomaston 114k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) circa 1955-56. During this period Thomaston took part in the Arctic Resupply Project of provisioning stations on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line and cold weather amphibious landing exercises in the Aleutians in November 1955 and in January and February 1956.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine December 1956 issue
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Thomaston 245k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) under way, circa 1955, location unknown
    US Navy photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1956-57".
    Robert Hurst
    Thomaston 404k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 2 December 1956.
    File name: LSD 28 32405-12-56, Navy Photo, 12/2/56
    Darryl Baker
    176k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) out bound to sea passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, Tiburon, Marin County in the background, date unknown. Nicholas Tiberio
    Thomaston 62k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) departing San Diego, June 1957 for amphibious landing exercises at Camp Pendelton, CA. Photo by Dale Haskin
    Thomaston 66k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) and USS Stone County (LST-1141 at anchor in Subic Bay, P.I. with other fleet units, circa 1957. Photo by Donald J. Wagner SM3, USN USS Gunston Hall
    Thomaston 63k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) departing San Diego Harbor
    US Navy photo
    Cris Wren
    218k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) underway off San Diego, CA. date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Ashtabula 40k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) being refueled by USS Ashtabula (AO-51), circa January-February 1963, Pacific Ocean Ron Reeves
    Princeton 94k U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Amphibious Ready Group underway in March 1965. The ships are (l-r): USS Bexar (APA-237), USS Princeton (LPH-5), USS Thomaston (LSD-28), and USS O'Bannon (DD-450). Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopters of Medium Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-365) fly above the ships while Princetonīs crew spells out the groups' designations "TG 76.5/79.5" on the flight deck.
    US Navy photo from "US Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup 1965 Part 6, p. 195."
    Robert Hurst
    Iwo Jima 320k During Operation Deckhouse V the three ships of a 20-knot "amphibious ready group" steam toward the objective site, 4 January 1967. Ships from front to back are;
    USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2), USS Thomaston (LSD-28), and USS Vancouver (LPD-2).
    US National Archives Catalog #: USN 1119682, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Tommy Trampp
    68k A U.S. Navy Amphibious Ready Group underway in the Pacific Ocean in 1968. The leading ship on the right is USS Thomaston (LSD-28), the amphibious assault ship USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) is steaming in the center. The transport, far left and the LSD bringing up the rear are both unidentifed.
    U.S. Navy photo from the USS Thomaston (LSD-28) 1968 cruise book.
    Robert Hurst
    Valley Forge 89k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) at anchor in the background at right with USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) in the foreground. Valley Forge has Marine Corps CH-46 helicopters embarked, probably during operations off South Vietnam, circa 1968. Photo was received by "All Hands" magazine on 30 July 1968.
    US Navy photo # NH 96947 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Thomaston 55k Overhead view of USS Thomaston (LSD-28) underway in 1968, location unknown.
    US Navy photo by PH2 Henry Greer.
    Robert Hurst
    Vega 87k USS Vega (AF-59) replenishes USS Tripoli (LPH-10) and USS Thomaston (LSD-28) off the coast of Vietnam, circa 1969.
    US Navy photo.
    Yu Chu
    LCU-1476 152k LCU-1476 back loading Third Battalion/Third Marines to USS Vancouver (LPD-2) from USS Thomaston (LSD-28) at Subic Bay, date unknown. Jerry Patterson ENCS USN Ret LCU-1624
    Thomaston 330k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) approaching USS Vega (AF-59) for refueling/replenishment while underway in the Gulf of Siam during Operation Eagle Pull in March 1975. Thomaston was operating with TG 76.4. CTG was USS Okinawa (LPH-3), the ship in the background. Photo by Richard Spring, CMDCM(SW/AW) USN Ret.
    Thomaston 79k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) off San Diego in 1982
    US Navy photo
    Robert G Jarshaw QM2 USN USS Thomaston 1982-1984
    Thomaston 138k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) under way, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Thomaston 678k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) at anchor in 1983, location unknown. Wolfgang Hechler
    Thomaston 618k
    Thomaston 725k
    206k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) underway off San Diego, CA. date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    178k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) underway off San Diego, CA. date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    253k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) outbound to sea passing Point Loma while exiting San Diego Bay, date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Thomaston 414k USS Thomaston (LSD-28) Ship's plaque. Tommy Trampp
    Thomaston 279k Ex-USS Thomaston (LSD-28) laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., in 2006. Ron Reeves
    Thomaston 276k

    For more photos and information about USS Thomaston, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • USS Thomaston (LSD-28)
  • Port Visit Open House, 3 to 6 July 1958, Santa Monica, CA., pamphlet
  • Decommissioning Program

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Ramirez De Arellano, Marion Fredrick17 September 1954 - 16 June 1955
    02CAPT. Houston, Robert Cecil16 June 1955 - 27 April 1956
    03CAPT. Winne, George Morris27 April 1956 - 22 February 1958
    04CAPT. Callahan Jr., Cornelius Patrick22 February 1958 - 24 July 1959
    05CAPT. Jarvis, Benjamin Campbell24 July 1959 - 18 June 1960
    06CAPT. Nichols, Keith Griffen18 June 1960 - 22 July 1961
    07CAPT. Forrest, Blake Samuel22 July 1961 - 14 August 1962
    08CAPT. Anderson, Clyde Bertram14 August 1962 - 8 September 1963
    09CAPT. Koenigsberger Jr., Charles8 September 1963 - April 1964
    10CDR. Wilson, Phillip Anthony, USN (temporary)April 1964 - 19 October 1964
    11CAPT. Dye, Philip G.19 October 1964 - 18 October 1965
    12CAPT. Stephens Jr., Franklin Taylor, USN18 October 1965 - 2 November 1966
    13CAPT. O'Neill, John W.02 November 1966 - 29 March 1968
    14CAPT. Tierney, John Mark :RADM29 March 1968 - 17 May 1969
    15CAPT. Thomson Jr., Robert Gemmel17 May 1969 - 18 June 1970
    16CAPT. Tissot Jr., Ernest Eugene (Gene) :RADM18 June 1970 - 23 April 1971
    17CAPT. Hodge, Alan G.23 April 1971 - 5 January 1973
    18CAPT. Shinn, Robert Allen5 January 1973 - 17 August 1974
    19CAPT. Carson, William Grant 17 August 1974 - 24 July 1976
    20CDR. Bonham, Charles Leonard24 July 1976 - 20 May 1978
    21CDR. LaPlante, John Baptiste :VADM20 May 1978 - 6 June 1980
    22CAPT. Wallis, Walter James6 June 1980 - 04 October 1982
    23CDR. Chrisman, Willard George04 October 1982 - 21 June 1984
    24CAPT. Kelly, John Patrick, USN (USNA 1962)21 June 1984 - 28 September 1984
    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 15 March 2024