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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


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Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia clasp)

Personnel Awards

Six Purple Hearts 10 November 1943, Bougainville
LST-1 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 28 September 1942, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 23 November 1942
  • Commissioned USS LST-398, 2 January 1943, LT. Boyd E. Blanchard, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS LST-398 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    LST Flotilla Five, CAPT. J.R. Clark;
    LST Group Thirteen, CDR. R.W. Lejeuneesse, USN
    LST Division Twenty-Eight and participated in the following campaigns

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Consolidation of Solomon Islands
    Consolidation of southern Solomons, 16 June 1943
    Treasury-Bougainville operation
    Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, 11 November and 3 to 4 and 14 December 1943
    New Georgia Group operations
    New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation, 2 and 4 July 1943
    Vella Lavella occupation, 21 and 31 August 1943
    Mariana operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 11 to 15 August 1944

  • Following World War II USS LST-398 was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    19 September to 22 October 1945
    18 November 1945 to 20 January 1946

  • Decommissioned, 27 February 1946
  • Transferred to Commander Naval Forces Far East (COMNAVFE) Shipping Control Authority for Japan (SCAJAP), redesignated Q029
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 August 1947
  • USS LST-398 earned four battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for World War II service
  • Sold, 28 March 1948, to Consolidated Builders, Inc., Seattle, WA.
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    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'
    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
    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
    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

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    341k USS LST-340 on fire after beaching on Tenaru Beach, Guadalcanal the afternoon of 16 June 1943, after being dive bombed off the north coast of Guadalcanal. LST-340 beached here and with the assistance of USS LST-398, on LST-340's starboard quarter, and USS LST-353, on LST-340's port quarter, fought a massive fire, saving the ship.
    Photo from the LST-340-Action Report 6/16/43, page 5; National Archives ID 134284080, roll A435.
    David Upton
    280k USS LST-340 on fire with USS LST-398 and LCT(5)-58 fighting the fire on the starboard side.
    Frames from a short film called "LST NO 340 Bombed By Japanese Off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, SW Pacific" Dept. of the Army. National Archives ID 15648. Local ID 111-ADC-1842
    David Upton
    LST-398 205k USS LST-398 unloading supplies, equipment and mail on a Bougainville beach, 10 November 1943. Original USMC caption states: "Japanese artillery hit the ship on the same day the photo was taken, killing an officer and five crew members." Note LVT coming ashore in center.
    USMC catalog # USMC 67383. Photo by PVT. A.N. James, 3rd Marine Division
    US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    LST-398 205k USS LST-398, probably at Kukum Point, Guadalcanal, 1 December 1943. Following a successful barrage balloon experiment aboard USS LST-207 a few weeks earlier, LST Flotilla Five established a barrage balloon farm on Guadalcanal to service the convoys using that island as a staging area. LST-398 embarked a dedicated officer and a handful of specialized men to operate the balloon pictured here. On 2 December 1943, LST-398 got underway from Kukum, Guadalcanal for Torokina, Bougainville as part of the ninth echelon, officially known as CTF 31.6, to resupply the forces there. At one point, the balloon was raised to 2000 ft. as the convoy found itself under near constant air attack on the way to its destination. The convoy arrived on 4 December to a reportedly disorganized offload before returning to Kukum, Guadalcanal to drop off the balloon and associated detachment. Flotilla Five continued to use barrage balloons until May of 1944. Brian Miller
    LST-398 168k 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion Seabees unloading vehicles, equipment and supplies including gasoline drums from USS LST-398 across the beach at Bougainville, British Solomon Islands, 4 December 1943.
    US Navy photos from the US Navy Seabee Museum, Port Hueneme, CA.
    John Ratomski for his father John Joseph Ratomski S1c 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion
    LST-398 157k
    LST-398 187k
    209k USS LST-398 loading equipment to leave Bougainville, January 1944.
    U.S. Naval Construction Battalion No 0053 World War II Cruise Book pg 35.
    David Upton
    LST-398 511k USS LST-398 with LCT-1375 loaded on her main deck while at anchor in Japanese waters in November 1945 just prior to the launch of LCT-1375. The LCT-1375 and pontoons had been loaded at Pearl Harbor in June of 1945. The pontoons had been unloaded a little earlier at Leyte. R.J. Osborne

    USS LST-398
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Blanchard, Boyd E., USNR2 January 1943 - 3 November 1943
    02LT. Williams, Danforth D., USNR3 November 1943 - 22 April 1944
    03LT. Kammer, Robert J., USNR22 April 1944 - March 1945
    04LT. Wilson, Richard B., USNRMarch 1945 - 26 April 1945
    05LT. Hockswender, John B.., USNR26 April 1945 - December 1945
    06LT. Cotterman, Frederick A., USNRDecember 1945 - 27 February 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    LST Flotilla Five War Diary May 1944
    LST Flotilla Five War Diary July 1944
    The USS LST Ship Memorial
    LST Home Port
    State LST Chapters
    United States LST Association
    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 by David W. Almond and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 9 June 2023