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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Mike - Zulu
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation(2)
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Medal (1-Iran/Indian Ocean)- National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Op. Frequent Wind)
Third Row - *Vietnam Service Medal (4 or 5) - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Frequent Wind)

LST-1179 Newport Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid down, 23 November 1968, at National Steel and Shipbuilding Corp, San Diego, CA.
  • Launched, 6 September 1969
  • Commissioned USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187), 24 October 1970, CDR. Harry W. Kinsley, Jr., in command
    Tuscaloosa is the ninth ship of the twenty ship Newport tank landing ship class, which replaced the traditional bow door design LST. Two derrick arms support a thirty-ton, 112-foot bow ramp for the unloading of tanks and other vehicles ashore, additionally, amphibious vehicles can be launched from the tank deck via the ship's stern gate and the ship's flight deck can accommodate most Navy helicopter types.
  • During the Vietnam War USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) served continuously in country and in contiguous waters, with the exception of overhaul periods, from mid 1971 to mid 1972 participating in the following campaigns. (Dates listed do not include underway transit times within the contiguous waters along the Vietnam coast as defined by the US Navy and so specified by the Vietnam Service Medal.)

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    5 to 9 June 1971
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    9 April to 3 May 1972
    18 to 27 May 1972
    2 to 10 June 1972
    Consolidation I
    25 to 27 October 1971
    *Vietnam Evacuation (Operation Frequent Wind)
    29 to 30 April 1975
    Consolidation II
    6 to 19 February 1972

  • Decommissioned, 18 February 1994
  • Laid at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) Pearl Harbor, HI., in maintenance category "B" status
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 2008
  • USS Tuscaloosa earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation and four campaign stars for Vietnam War service and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Operation Frequent Wind or 5 campaign stars for the Vietnam Service Medal if the Armed Forces Medal is exchanged for the 18th Vietnam campaign, Operation Frequent Wind
  • Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 23 July 2014, off Hawaii during exercise RIMPAC 2014
    Displacement 5,190 t.(lt), 8,550 t.(fl)
    Length 522' 3" (ovl)
    Beam 69' 9 1/2" (max)
    Draft max forward (fl) 13' 6", max aft (fl) 16' 3" 15'
    Speed 27 kts. max.
    14 Officers
    15 CPO
    226 Other Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    18 Officers
    21 SNCO
    268 Other Enlisted
    three 36' LCVPs
    one 36' LCPL
    flight deck one spot
    As Built
    two twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    two 25mm chain guns
    six .50 cal machine guns
    one 20mm Phalanx (CIWS)
    six 16 cylinder ALCO 16-251E main propulsion diesel engines
    two shafts, three engines per shaft, shaft horsepower 15,000
    two controllable reversible pitch propellers, twin rudders
    three ALCO 251-C, 8 cylinder generator sets, 750KW
    one 800 hp variable thrust bowthruster

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Tuscaloosa 211k Officials and their wives attend the launching ceremony of Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) at National Steel and Shipbuilding Corp., San Diego, California, 6 September 1969. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # K-112487
    NH 72981
    278k 100% completed Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) moored at National Steel and Shipbuilding Corp., San Diego, California, 11 September 1970. the merchant vessel in the background is the M. E. Lombardi.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #'s NH 72981, NH 72982, NH 72983, NH 72984, and NH 72985
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    NH 72982
    NH 72983
    NH 72984
    NH 72985
    Tuscaloosa 137k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) underway off Coronado, CA., 15 December 1975. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # K-112487
    Tuscaloosa 267k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) anchored off the Silver Strand, San Diego, CA., 15 December 1976.
    US Navy photo by PH3 H.J. Burgess, USN, now in the collections of U.S. DefenseImagery photo # VIRIN: DN-SC-85-06048
    Robert Hurst
    Tuscaloosa 19k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) undergoing shock tests of San Diego, CA. in January 1978. Gerald Peterson
    Tuscaloosa 23k
    Tuscaloosa 18k
    Tuscaloosa 280k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) underway riding high, exposing her bow thruster.
    Photo taken by Dave Siegar from USS Schenectady (LST-1185) in Philippine waters during their 1977 WestPac Cruise.
    Derick S. Hartshorn
    Tuscaloosa 89k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) docked in the well of medium auxiliary floating drydock USS Competent (AFDM-6) at Naval Base Subic Bay, Luzon Island, Philippine Islands, date unknown. Ron Reeves
    Tuscaloosa 113k
    Tuscaloosa 150k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) conducting amphibious operations, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, August 1981./font>
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Tuscaloosa 88k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the PAO Package, Naval Station Treasure Island, CA. for the towing of the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) from US Naval Shipyard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA. to the Naval Sub Base at Groton, CT in 1985. Tuscaloosa was the Pacific escort ship for the tow.
    Darryl L. Baker
    Tuscaloosa 97k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
    Tuscaloosa 102k USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) passing the Southwest Marine Inc shipyard on San Diego Bay, escorted by the commercial tugboat Mister Randy, 19 December 1986. In the background is the Spruance Class Destroyer USS John Young (DD 973) in dry dock at the Southwest Marine Inc shipyard at San Diego, California (CA). To the left of the John Young are USS Fife (DD-991) and USS Brooke (FFG-1). In the background are the Coronado Bridge and the city of San Diego.
    DVIC photo # DN-SC-05-10451 by PHC Kristofferson, USN, from the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center
    Bill Gonyo
    DOD photo # DNSC9001938
    504k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) in the medium auxiliary floating dry dock Steadfast (AFDM-14), at National Steel and Shipbuilding Co, San Diego, CA., 1 April 1986. Note the other ships, drydocks and yard craft. including USS Fort Fisher (LSD-40), USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39), USS Schenectady (LST-1185) and Arco (ARDM-5)
    Department of Defense photo # DNSC9001938
    Department of Defense photo # DNSC9001937
    Department of Defense photo # DNSC9001936
    Department of Defense photo # DNSC9001935 by PH1 O'Connor.
    Joe Radigan
    DOD photo # DNSC9001937
    DOD photo # DNSC9001936
    DOD photo # DNSC9001935
    Tuscaloosa 21k USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) at sea, date unknown Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Tuscaloosa 75k USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) departing San Diego Bay while outbound to sea, date unknown.
    Varamar Arts Canvas print.
    Tommy Trampp
    195k USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) underway off San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Tuscaloosa 68k USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    Tuscaloosa 104k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) crew members board the ship for the last time prior to her decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station San Diego, CA., 18 February 1994. On the opposite side of the pier is the guided missile cruiser USS FOX (CG-33).
    DVIC photo # DN-ST-94-02354 by PH1 Robert S. Shanks, USN, from the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center
    Bill Gonyo
    Peoria/Tuscaloosa 29k USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187) and USS Peoria (LST 1183) moored at the Naval Inactive Ship's Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, HI. June 1999. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Salvor 119k The decommissioned USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187) is towed out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 12 July 2014, by USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) in preparation for a sinking exercise (SINKEX) as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.
    US Navy photo # 140712-N-GO855-085 by by MC1 Charles E. White.
    Robert Hurst

    For more photos and information about USS Tuscaloosa, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • The USS LST Ship Memorial
  • Mobile Riverine Force Association
  • Mobile Riverine Force Association, USS Tuscaloosa History
  • LST Home Port
  • State LST Chapters
  • United States LST Association

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

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Kinsley Jr. Harry W.24 October 1970 - 3 May 1972
    02CDR. Mott, Louis Dale3 May 1972 - 19 September 1973
    03CDR. MacKay, George William19 September 1973 - 7 August 1975
    04CDR. Black, Rudolph Richard7 August 1975 - 24 September 1977
    05CDR. Sands, Robert John.24 September 1977 - 27 October 1979
    06CDR. Mitchell, William Justin, USN (USNA 1960)27 October 1979 - 25 September 1981
    07CDR. White II, John Dwyer, USN (USNA 1962)25 September 1981 - 22 October 1983
    08CDR. Montgomery, David James, USN22 October 1983 - 13 January 1986
    09CDR. Barker, Michael Don13 January 1986 - 16 May 1986
    10CDR. Schlichting Jr., Helmuth Carl16 May 1986 - 19 August 1988
    11CDR. Gannon Jr., Harvey John19 August 1988 - 21 August 1990
    12CDR. Silvers, Richard Allan21 August 1990 - 13 August 1992
    13CDR. Hirsch, Thomas John, USN (USNA 1975)13 August 1992 - 6 January 1994
    14LCDR. Fischer, Mark George6 January 1994 - 18 February 1994
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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    Last Updated 14 July 2023