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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive
International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Alpha - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
LST-491 Class Tank Landing Ship:
Laid down, 8 September 1943, at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville, IN.
Launched, 10 November 1943
Commissioned USS LST-500, 13 January 1944, LT. Plynn J. Pulliam USN, in command
During World War II USS LST-500 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the following campaign;
Decommissioned, 18 July 1947
Struck from the Naval Register, 1 August 1947
USS LST-500 earned one battle star for World War II service
Acquired in 1948/1949 by the Philadelphia and Norfolk Steamship Co. of Wilmington, DE, named Southern Districts and converted to a cargo carrier
Final Disposition, Disappeared at sea 5 December 1954 while on a voyage from Port Sulphur, LA. to Bucksport, ME. carrying a cargo of sulphur. No survivors were
ever found of the crew of 23.
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
|Campaign and Dates
|Invasion of Normandy 6 to 25 June 1944
(U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation on the disappearance of the MV Southern Districts, ex-LST-500)
4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
2,366 t. (beaching displacement)
Length 328' o.a.
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
Boats 2 LCVP
Cargo Capacity (varied with mission - payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
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
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
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
||Mrs. Ben Moreell christens LST-500 as part of the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, Evansville, IN.
launching #55 ceremony, 10 November 1943.
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, Evansville, Indiana. Evansville Shipyard Collection. ID 1948_151.-04515b.
||LST-500, main deck forward while underway in the Great Lakes during builder's trials, 26 December 1943.
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, Evansville, Indiana. Evansville Shipyard Collection.
ID 1948_151.-4893 and 1948_151.-4892
||USS LST-500 commissioning ceremony, 13 January 1944, at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, Evansville, IN.
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, Evansville, Indiana. Evansville Shipyard Collection. ID 1948_151.-04963.
||USS LST-500 at anchor, date and location unknown.
||Donald S. Nilson for his Grandfather William O. Ellsoos RdM3/c USS LST-500
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||LT. Pulliam, Plynn James, USN||13 January 1944 - May 1946|
|02||LT. Bratton III, Theodore D., USNR||May 1946 - 18 July 1947|
|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
The USS LST Ship Memorial
LST Home Port
State LST Chapters
United States LST Association
Last Updated 30 April 2021
This page is created by David W. Almond and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|