|March 21, 2001|
|History of The USS Hampshire County (LST-819)|
Dong Tam 1969 or 1970
LST-819 came to life as yard number 138 in the Evansville, Indiana Shipyard (Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Works). She was launched October 21, 1944 and sponsored by Mrs. W. M. Gilmore. The Broom was raised November 4, 44 by H. E. Padgett and Commissioned by M. C. Carlson on November 7, 1944. From Indiana, she went to New Orleans for fitting out and then on to the Pacific theater where she served until returning to the States and Decommissioning 11-15-1946. Assigned to the Pacific reserve fleet until recommissioned 9-8-1950 for extensive service in the Korean war. According to crew members from that era, she hauled Chinese POW's to Wolmi Do, South Korea. Also hauled Marines and Army from Okinawa to Korea and took part in the Inchon Landing. On June 24, 1955 again decommissioned and on July 1, 1955 designated USS Hampshire County (LST-819).
Hampshire County was back out of mothballs and recommissioned July 9, 1966 to support efforts in Viet Nam. From 1966-1970 served in Asian waters almost exclusively. Decommissioned December 19, 1970 at Bremerton, Washington. . Her final Commanding Officer was LT David P Richardson. Capt. Richardson reported onboard October 1968 and during the next 23 Months
Hampshire County was deployed 21 months. Between 68 and 70 there were 2 RefTra's in Yokosuka, Japan. Most of the time was spent in the Mekong and Bassac Rivers in IV Corps, around Danang and Cua Viet in I Corps and transferring Marines to Okinawa. While transporting Marines to Okinawa She encountered 4 typhoons in 4 weeks and as a result had to be dry docked in Guam to get her hull and main deck welded shut.
In 1969, as a result of President Nixon's phase one pullout, Hampshire County made (3) excursions into Cambodia in support of the Riverine Force. Once within 15 miles of Phnom Penh transferring ammunition to USS Hunterdon County.
The last remnants of the USS Hampshire County (LST-819) appears to be her Bell, which in 1992 was located on the Quarterdeck of the Marine Corps Support Battalion, Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Parris Island S.C.
On April 7, 1975, she was struck from the Naval register and sold to Singapore (renamed LST-2). In 1979 she was renamed Petrola 142, and owned by Maritime & Commercial Co. Argonaftis, S.A., Greece. Laid up 1983 at Piraeus, Greece, and on December 22, 1995, arrived Aliaga for scrapping
Contact Bill with additions to the history.
The following history is from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. III (1977), pp. 229
Counties in Massachusetts and West Virginia.
Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy 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 (10) Battle Stars.
Click HERE to read a personal
historical report from Harold "Butch" Heckel who was aboard
from May 8, 1968 to April 15, 1970.
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