LST-1167 was laid down on 11 January 1952 by the
Christy Corp., Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; launched on 18 April 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Robert E.
Wood; and commissioned on 10 March 1954, Lt. Comdr. Leamond F. Lacy in command.
The tank landing ship departed New Orleans on 8 April 1954 and reached the Naval
Amphibious Base at Little Creek, Va., on 14 April. The remainder of the year was spent in
amphibious warfare exercises in the Chesapeake Bay.
On 14 February 1955, LST-1167 sailed from Little Creek to embark 205 marines and equipment
for exercises in the Caribbean. These exercises were repeated in April, and the ship
returned to Little Creek on 6 May 1955. On 1 July, LST-1167 was named
County (LST-1167). Westchester County spent the remaining months of 1955 engaged in
operations along the east coast with the majority of the time being spent in local
After loading marines and equipment at Morehead City, N.C., the tank landing ship sailed
for exercises in the Caribbean on 11 January 1956. She returned to Norfolk on 6 February
and made another training cruise to the Caribbean from 20 February to 24 March. Upon
returning to Little Creek, Va., the ship conducted local operations until the Fourth of
July which she spent at Yonkers, N.Y. She visited Trenton, N.J., and Washington, D.C.,
then went into overhaul on 21 September at the Brewer Dry Dock Company of Staten Island,
N.Y. After a two-month yard period, the ship conducted local operations to finish out the
On 28 February 1957, Westchester County
embarked personnel and equipment at
Morehead City, N.C., and sailed to the Caribbean for amphibious training exercises,
returning to Norfolk on 13 May. She conducted local operations until 28 August when she
sailed for a Mediterranean deployment, joining the 6th Fleet at Messina, Sicily, on 16
September. The ship conducted exercises off Turkey, Greece, and Spain. On 4 November, the
ship departed Alicante, Spain, for Little Creek, Va., where she spent the remainder of the
year in local operations.
Westchester County began the year 1958 departing Norfolk for San Francisco via
the Panama Canal. She arrived at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard on 31 January for
overhaul which was completed on 2 April. The ship put to sea from San Diego on 7 June for
her first tour of duty in the Far East. She reached Sasebo, Japan, on 6 July for
amphibious warfare maneuvers and assault landing practice in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Subic
Bay, Philippines, and Tsoying, Taiwan, where she engaged in joint operations with Chinese
Underwater Demolition Teams embarked. She returned to San Diego on 10 December 1958 and
there finished the year.
The first eight months of 1959 were spent in amphibious training along the California
coast. On 24 August, Westchester County embarked marines and vehicles for
Kaneohe, Hawaii, and amphibious landings. On 6 October, she returned to California,
off-loaded the marines and returned to San Francisco. On 30 November,
County entered the Todd Shipyard, Alameda, Calif., for overhaul until 12 February
She resumed her training schedule out of San Diego until 1 August 1960 when she shifted to
Port Hueneme to load cargo and take on fuel. The next day, she set course for her new home
port of Yokosuka, Japan, via the Hawaiian Islands and Okinawa. The ship beached at Numazu,
Japan, on 6 September 1960 to commence a series of large scale amphibious exercises with
SEATO forces. From 1 to 31 December, Westchester County underwent overhaul at the
Yokosuka Naval Base.
The year 1961 was spent making logistic runs between Subic Bay, Philippines, Okinawa, and
North Borneo. Westchester County spent November and December 1961 in upkeep at
her home port.
Westchester County got underway on 18 January 1962 for sea trials and refresher
training. On 10 March, she rendezvoused with other units of the Pacific Fleet and departed
for Mindoro, Philippines, for amphibious warfare maneuvers. The ship returned to Yokosuka,
Japan, on 20 April and resumed a normal training schedule. The communist threat in Vietnam
interrupted this training period, and, on 13 May, Westchester County was underway
for Subic Bay, Philippines, with a combat load of marines.
On 16 June 1962, the tank landing ship returned to Yokosuka, Japan, for upkeep and in-port
training. She then conducted operations at Keelung, Taiwan, Subic Bay, Philippines,
Bangkok, Thailand, and Naha, Okinawa. During October, the ship participated in amphibious
Exercise "Lone Eagle." This exercise was delayed in Okinawa due to the Cuban
crisis, which put United States ships on a world-wide alert. On 12 November,
County returned to her home port of Yokosuka, Japan, where she spent Christmas. On 28
December 1962, she departed for a New Year's visit to Tokyo, Japan.
The year 1963 began with a cold weather operation in Korea which commenced on 16 January.
County spent the time until 24 May shuttling marine personnel and equipment to Naha,
Okinawa; Tsoying, Taiwan, and Numazu, Japan, with interspersed upkeep periods at Yokosuka,
Japan. On 24 May, she sailed from Naha, Okinawa, to transport Korean soldiers from Pusan
to Pohang, Korea. After a brief upkeep at Sasebo, Japan,
Westchester County took
part in Operation "Flagpole", a joint amphibious exercise with the Republic of
Korea Navy and Marines which concluded on 29 June. July and
August were spent in upkeep at Yokosuka, followed by Exercise "Bayonet Beach" on
5 September at Tong Po Pi, Korea.
Westchester County returned to Yokosuka on 19 September for inspections and
amphibious training. On 7 October, the ship sailed for Okinawa where she sustained damage
to her bow ramp which required repairs at Sasebo, Japan, until 29 October. After a brief
Marine lift to Okinawa, Westchester County returned to Yokosuka on 9 November for
regular overhaul. The ship went into dry-dock on 27 December 1963 and thus ended the year.
Westchester County remained in dry-dock until 31 January 1964 and underwent sea
trials, refresher training, and amphibious refresher training at Yokosuka, Japan, until 8
May. She departed Yokosuka on 19 May for Naha, Okinawa, and the first of many Marine lifts
between Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines which occupied the ship until 9 August.
At that time, due to the Tonkin Gulf crisis, Westchester County departed Naha,
Okinawa, for extended operations off Vietnam in the South China Sea. She returned to Subic
Bay, Philippines, on 2 October and began a series of Marine lifts between Naha and Buckner
Bay, Okinawa; Tsoying, Taiwan; and Yokosuka, Japan. On 19 November, the ship returned to
Yokosuka, Japan, and underwent upkeep and underway training until 24 December when she
visited Tokyo, Japan. Westchester County departed Tokyo on 28 December 1964 and
returned to Yokosuka.
Westchester County started 1966 with two marine lifts between Okinawa and Japan.
February was spent at Okinawa; and, on 3 March, the ship transported marines and vehicles
to Subic Bay, Philippines. Between 17 March and 16 April, the tank landing ship completed
two Marine lifts to Danang, South Vietnam. On 29 April, she departed Buckner Bay, Okinawa,
for the first amphibious landing at Chu Lai, South Vietnam. This operation was the largest
in the Pacific since the Korean War. From 11 May to 24 May, the ship made two turnaround
trips between Naha, Okinawa, and Chu Lai.
Following upkeep at Yokosuka, Japan, Westchester County spent the period from 22
June to 16 August making marine lifts to Danang and Chu Lai, South Vietnam. She returned
to Yokosuka for upkeep until 30 September when she transported marines from Naha, Okinawa,
to Numazu, Japan, for cold weather operations.
After reloading at Yokosuka,
Westchester County transported
Korean troops from Pusan, Korea, to Qui Nhan South Vietnam. From 7 to 21 November she
joined in Operation "Blue Marlin", making two landings at Tam Ky, South
Vietnam. These landings were followed by stops at Cam Ranh Bay, Phan Rang, and
Danang, South Vietnam. She arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, on 16 December and spent
Christmas at her home port. On 26 December, she put to sea to load cargo at Iwakuni,
Japan, arriving on the 28th and departing for Naha, Okinawa, the next day. On 31 December
1966, she arrived at Naha and there celebrated the New Year.
During 1966, Westchester County served extensively in carrying cargo to the
Republic of Vietnam in support of American forces ashore. On 24 January, the ship joined
in Operation "Double Eagle", an amphibious assault at Cap Mai, Vietnam. From
February through out August, Westchester County transported troops and equipment
to Qui Nhon, Chu Lai, and Danang, Vietnam. This duty was interspersed with port visits to
Hong Kong and repairs at Subic Bay and Yokosuka.
On 1 September 1966, Westchester County anchored at Vung Tau, Vietnam, to begin
operations as the support ship for Operation "Market Time". Until 4 October, the
ship steamed continuously on station off the Ca Mau Peninsula; refueling, replenishing,
and serving as a base for the boats and crews who patrolled the coast of Vietnam to
prevent infiltration by sea. After returning to Yokosuka, the ship spent the period from
16 October through 31 December undergoing upkeep interspersed with a short training visit
to Okinawa and port visits to Keelung, Taiwan, and Hiroshima, Japan.
From 3 January to 16 March 1967,
Westchester County transported troops and supplies between Okinawa and Vietnam. The tank landing ship
went into overhaul on 16 March at Yokosuka, Japan, followed by refresher training which lasted through 6 August.
County spent the remaining months of 1967 carrying marines and equipment between Yokosuka, Okinawa,
and Vietnam. The LST served as a Mobile Riverine Force support ship in the Mekong Delta
from 24 October through 31 December 1967.
Westchester County spent the early weeks of 1968 continuing service as a Mobile
Riverine support ship. On 26 January, the tank landing ship began a series of lifts from
Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines to Vietnam. She underwent repair availability and
training exercises from 16 July through 22 September.
The tank landing ship resumed duty with the Mobile Riverine Force on 22 September. Tragedy struck on 1 November while
County lay anchored in the vicinity of My Tho, Vietnam. Two giant underwater explosions ripped
killing 26 men. The enemy mines had been attached to the hull about amidships on the starboard side
causing ruptured berthing compartments and fuel and storage tanks. The day following the
explosion, the entire Mobile Riverine Force moved from My Tho to Dong Tam. After beaching
at Dong Tam for temporary repairs, she returned to Yokosuka, Japan, via
Subic Bay, Philippines, on 26 November. Westchester County went into dry-dock at
the United States Naval Ship Repair Facility where it remained until 5 February 1969.
Upon completion of refresher training and upkeep, the ship got underway on 10 March 1969
for Operation "Market Time" off the Vietnam coast. From 5 July through 23
August, Westchester County joined in the first phase of Vietnam troop withdrawal.
The remainder of 1969 was spent carrying personnel and equipment from Korea, Japan, and
Okinawa to Vietnam with intermittent periods of repair and liberty.
The beginning of the 1970's found Westchester County operating off the northern
coast of Vietnam. During February, she conducted troop and equipment withdrawal from South
Vietnam, then underwent restricted availability at Yokosuka beginning on 4 March.
April through July were spent transporting personnel and cargo from Japan and Okinawa to
Vietnam. On 2 August, she relieved Washoe County (LST-1165) off the Ca Mau peninsula for
Operation "Solid Anchor", which consisted of fueling boats and helicopters. Nine
of Westchester County's sailors received the Combat Action Ribbon when they
withstood enemy small arms and rocket fire while transiting the Bo De River.
Following a restricted availability at Yokosuka which commenced on 30 October,
County made stops at Cam Ranh Bay, Danang, Hong Kong, Okinawa, and Iwakuni, Japan,
before departing on 17 November for a vehicle lift from Chinhae, South Korea, to Okinawa.
County spent the first half of December involved in landing rehearsals and gunnery
exercises. She then transited to Singapore to enjoy a Christmas visit. The ship closed out
the year en route to Subic Bay, Philippines.
During January 1971, Westchester County sailed between Hong Kong and Subic Bay,
Philippines. On 2 February, she departed Subic Bay en route to the Gulf of Tonkin in
support of "Lam Son III," the Cambodian operation which lasted until 7 March.
After restricted availability and training at Okinawa and Yokosuka, the ship returned to
Vietnam on 21 June and continued operations.
From 6 August through 1 September, Westchester County assumed the administrative
duties as SOPA (senior officer present afloat) in Hong Kong. Following restricted
availability at Yokosuka, the ship lifted personnel and equipment of an Army security
agency for transit to Pusan, Korea, and returned them to Okinawa on 6 December. During
this period, she transported marines from Japan to Okinawa, departing Okinawa on 24
November to spend Thanksgiving at Yokosuka. Following the off-load of Army personnel on 6
December, Westchester County returned to Yokosuka for the holiday season,
arriving on 10 December.
Westchester County completed a restricted availability on 17 January 1972 and set
out for a lift to Subic Bay, Philippines. The tank landing ship spent February at Subic
Bay undergoing repairs and local operations. After SOPA duties at Hong Kong from 15 to 31
March, the ship resumed personnel and cargo transits to the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, until
30 August 1972. During this period, the tank landing ship underwent a seven week
restricted availability followed by refresher training at Yokosuka, Japan.
From 7 September through 1 October 1972, Westchester County operated in logistic
support of Mine Flotilla 1. She returned to Yokosuka on 16 October for availability and
inspection. The ship made a brief transit to Okinawa, departing on 30 November. She
returned to Yokosuka on 5 December 1972 and enjoyed the Christmas holidays while in upkeep
On 27 January 1973, with the signing of the Vietnam Cease Fire in Paris, the ship was
underway for Subic Bay, Philippines, to transport mine counter-measures equipment and
Commander, Mine Flotilla One to the Gulf of Tonkin. Due to a breakdown in the cease-fire
negotiations, the tank landing ship was ordered to a rendezvous point near Danang.
Departing the vicinity on 3 March, she continued to work in support of Operation "End
After availability and shore bombardment exercises at Subic Bay which commenced on 14
March, Westchester County returned to Vietnam in support of Operation "End
Sweep" which was completed on 18 July. The ship made stops at Subic Bay, Philippines,
and Okinawa before finally arriving at Yokosuka, Japan, on 30 July.
Westchester County was decommissioned on 30 August 1973 and arrived at the
Inactive Ship Facility, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., on 30 November of
that year. On 27 August 1974, she was turned over to the Turkish Navy and commissioned as
Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat
Action Ribbon, (4)
Navy Unit Commendations, (2) Meritorious Unit Commendations,
RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm, RVN Civil
Action Medal, First Class, with Palm, RVN
Campaign Medal with 60's device and the Vietnam
Service Medal with (16)