History of The USS Outagamie County (LST-1073)

November 28, 1999


LST-1073 was laid down 20 February 1945 by Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard, Hingham Mass.; launched 22 March 1945; and commissioned 17 April 1945.

At New York she loaded cargo consisting of three LCMs on the main deck and mortar shells and smoke pots in the tank deck, and, on 4 June 1945, departed for islands in the Pacific by way of the Panama Canal, arriving Pearl Harbor 7 July. From Pearl Harbor she went to Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, back to Saipan and then on to Nagasaki, Japan, arriving 24 September.

From September 1945 to January 1946, LST-1073 operated between various ports in Japan and the Philippines. She departed Manila 17 January for San Francisco, stopping enroute at Guam and Pearl Harbor, and arriving San Francisco 27 February. On 5 August she decommissioned and was put into the Reserve Fleet at Astoria, Oregon.

After Communist forces invaded South Korea, LST-1073 was towed from Astoria, Oregon, to Bremerton, Wash., on 10 October 1950 for reactivation and recommissioned 3 November 1950, Lt. Comdr. B. F. Poduska in command.

On 11 February LST-1073 departed Long Beach, Calif. on her second tour of duty in the western Pacific, arriving Yokosuka, Japan, 23 March 1951. On this tour she visited various ports including Kobe and Sasebo, Japan, and Pusan, Kojo Do, and Inehon, Korea. On 4 April 1951 she transported Army Signal Corps units from Camp MeGill, Jnpan, to Inchon, Korea. During May and June LST-1073 helped to carry 17,366 prisoners of war from Pusan to Koje Do. On 29 October LST-1073 departed from Yokosuka, Japan, for San Diego, Calif.

LST-1073’s third tour of duty in the western Pacific began 3 January 1953 when she departed San Diego enroute Japan. After brief stops in Yokosuka, Kobe, and Sasebo, she proceeded on to Inchon for west coast island resupply work. She took part in the Marine landing exercises at Inchon from April to June and spent June and July redeploying the 187th Regimental Airborne Combat Team and the 24th Infantry Division from Japan to Korea. In August the ship assisted in the evacuation of Cho Do Island, Korea, and in operation “Big Switch” transporting North Korean POW’s between various Korean ports. On 23 October the ship departed Yokosuka, Japan, for a return voyage to San Diego.

During the next decade, the landing ship operated on the West Coast and made four West PAC deployments. She was named USS Outagamie County on 1 July 1955.

In early 1963 she conducted oceanographic survey operations in mid-Pacific. In March 1964 Outagamie County transported troops between Oahu and training areas on Hawaii itself. During a four month tour to Adak, Alaska, in mid-1965, the ship aided a large freighter, Liberian ship Hadjitsakas, which had run aground on a small island in the Aleutians.

In late January 1966 Outagamie County arrived at Da Nang, South Viet Nam to begin nine weeks of intra-coastal logistic operations. After an upkeep period at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, the ship returned to her coastal shuttle runs. The ship returned to San Diego 9 September. The rest of 1966 and the first half of 1967 was spent operating off the West Coast of the United States.

Outagamie County departed San Diego 9 June 1967 and steamed via Subic Bay to Viet Nam arriving Saigon 26 July. For the next four months she shuttled troops and supplies between Japan, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, and returned to San Diego 21 December. Operating on the West Coast until departing San Diego 1 November 1968, the veteran landing ship returned to the war zone late in the year and supported allied operations until arriving Guam 18 April 1969.

Awards earned during the Vietnam War: 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 (7) Battle Stars.