|April 18, 1999|
History of The USS Iredell County (LST-839)
LST-839 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 25
September 1944; launched 12 November 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Lehner; and
commissioned at New Orleans, La., 6 December 1944, Lt. Waldo F. McNeir in command.
Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, 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 (9) Battle Stars.
John R. Swofford's recollections of his time on the Iredell County:
I served on the Iredell County (LST-839)
as an EM2. In November 1969 the USS Caddo Parrish (LST-515) was
scheduled to be turned over to the Philippine Navy. She was in pretty poor
condition. On the other hand, the 839 was well maintained and in good
operating condition. A decision was made to swap crews; the Caddo
Parish crew would take over the Iredell County
and the 839 crew
was honored to sail the 515 back to the Philippines. However, a couple of
the Iredell County crew opted to stay on board the 839 and remain in
Vietnam. The remainder were of us were anxious to get back to Subic
Bay. We successfully brought the 515 into to Subic, turned the ship over to
the Philippine Navy and were placed in transit awaiting new orders. I
remained in Subic pending the arrival of my new ship, the USS Current
(ARS-22), out of Pearl Harbor. Once she arrived I went right back to
Vietnam. After arriving back on station we received a distress call from the
Iredell County around 0100 hours. She had gone aground in the
Delta. The USS Current arrived the next day to find the
County sitting high and dry on a sand bar. I never thought I would see
that ship again. I had a great XO on the USS Current. He was
aware that the Iredell County was my old ship and permitted me to go
with the launch and visit some of my old ship mates that remained with her.
We eventually pulled the 839 off the sand and she went on her way.
Back to MRFA Home Page Back to MRF U.S. Navy Index