|January 21, 1999|
History of The USS Jerome County (LST-848)
LST-848 was built by the American Bridge Company, Ambridge, PA. in December 1944 and was placed in commission 20 January 1945. Upon commission Jerome County sailed for the Western Pacific and assignment as as a troop and cargo transport.
For her World War II service Jerome County earned the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal and for her support of the occupation forces in Japan, the Navy Occupational Medal.
She was placed out of commission in reserve in the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet on 10 August 1946. On 1 July 1954, she received a name as did all other active and reserve LSTs, Jerome Cty is named after a county in the state of Idaho.
She was reactivated in the last week of August 1959 at Long Beach, CA. and recommissioned 7 December 1959. She was home ported in San Diego, CA. and operated in and out of the San Diego area, the Mid-Pac Hawaiian waters, and the Western Pacific as a unit of the seventh fleet.
In 1965 and 1966 Jerome County made two deployments to Vietnam. Wherever action was and vital supplies needed, Jerome County would be ready to answer the call; Danang, Chu Lai, Cam Ranh Bay, and Saigon. Much of the time she shuttled supplies from Danang to Chu Lai and back, but she would often go as far as Subic Bay for vital material for the war zone. Finally in October of 1966 she returned to San Diego for a well earned rest and maintenance period.
In November 1967 Jerome County again departed for the Western Pacific for a eight month deployment. During the five months spent in Vietnam in direct support of U.S. Forces her main assignments included MDRAF (Mekong River Riverine Assault Force) resupply LST and operations in the Northern I Corps in and around Danang and the Perfume and Cua Viet rivers just south of the DMZ. Surviving her share of the enemy fire she returned to San Diego in June 1968.
Jerome County operated in and out of San Diego all through 1969. On 5 January 1970 Jerome County entered the shipyard at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, for regular overhaul and repair and also modification in preparation for turnover to the Vietnamese Navy.
Decommissioning of the Jerome County and turnover to the Vietnamese Navy as HQ Nha Trang took place about April 1970.
Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, 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 (5) Battle Stars.
This History was furnished by MRFA Member Patrick Marshall
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