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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Foxtrot - Xray
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 - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 6 December 1943 at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville IN.
  • Launched, 1 February 1944
  • Commissioned USS LST-543, 6 March 1944 at US Navy Yard Algiers, LA., LT. Robert F. Blake II USNR in command
  • During World War II USS LST-543 was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater participating in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Invasion of Normandy, 6 to 25 June 1944 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 30 May to 30 June 1945

  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS LST-543, came under the command of:
    LST Flotilla Thirty-Seven, CAPT. CAPT. Riley;
    LST Group One Hundred Nine, CDR. E. W. Wilson USNR;
    LST Division Two Hundred-Eighteen
  • Following World War II USS LST-543 was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    12 September 1945 to 12 May 194612 September 1945 to 12 May 1946

  • Decommissioned, 31 May 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 July 1947
  • USS LST-543earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 5 December 1947 to Bosey, Philippines
    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 Contributed
    LST-543 232k USS LST-543 is nudged alongside Loebnitz pier, one of Mulberry A's floating piers by the United States Army tug ST-260.
    Photo from the NARA/TS Collection, scanned from "Operation Neptune 1944: D-Day's Seaborne Armada" by Ken Ford, published by Osprey Books.
    Robert Hurst
    366k USS LST 543 is the first landing ship to unload at Loebnitz pier off Normandy, France in June 1944. The pier is a unit of the U.S. Mulberry, a man-made harbor.
    US National Archives photo #'s 80-G-285167 and 80-G-285176, US Navy photos now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    LST-543 41k USS LST-543 with an LCT loaded on her main deck, probably headed toward the European Theater of Operations, circa early 1944 Norris D Shane
    LST-326 185k USS LST-326, USS LST-292 and USS LST-543 on Omaha Beach, Normandy, circa 1944.
    Photo by Ceylon Dearborn EM1/c USS LST-982
    Reg Dearborn for his father Ceylon Dearborn EM1/c USS LST-982
    LCI(L)-92 99k The stern of the wrecked LCT-2337 is in the right well as a section of floating dock; at left, is the USS LCI-92 and LCT-199. In the background USS LST-543 is being battered by the surf on Omaha Beach, 21 June 1944.
    US Signal Corps photo # SC 193919
    James Mateyack
    338k USS LCI(L)-92 and USS LST-543 on Omaha Beach, between 19 June and 16 July 1944. At approximately 0800 on 6 June 1944, D-Day, USS LCI(L)-92 was making a straight-in approach onto "Dog White" beach, using smoke as cover and down wind of beached and burning USS LCI(L)-91 (caused by mines). Just before making the shore, the port and starboard bow experienced two large explosions in quick succession causing a fuel fire forward. Several of the troops were killed, none of the crew. The fire was fought by the crew until about 1400 when the order to abandon ship was given. As of July 10, 1944 no inspection or survey of the hulk was started. During the storm of 19 June 1944 USS LST-543 broached on Omaha Beach.
    Ref.s LST-543 War Diary and LCI-92 (and LCI-91) Rep. of Ops during D-Day, National Archives. Photographer David Scherman. TimeLife. Life Magazine. TimeLife_Image_116703494. For personal and non-commercial use only.
    David Upton
    234k After the storm of 19 June 1944 USS LST-543 is seen her lying broached on Omaha Beach. She remained there until the following spring tides when with the assistance of several tugs she was able to retract from the beach on 16 July 1944.
    Photo by David Scherman, Time-Life Magazine. TimeLife_Image_116703497 For personal and non-commercial use only.
    David Upton

    USS LST-543
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Blake II, Robert F., USNR6 March 1944 - 27 August 1945
    02LT. Field, Arthur G., USNR27 August 1945 - March 1946
    03LTjg. Burnquist, Boyd Benjamin, USN (USNA 1945)March 1946 - 31 May 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
    The USS LST Ship Memorial
    LST Homeport
    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 and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 29 September 2023