History of The USS Page County (LST-1076)

April 18, 1999


LST-1076 was laid down 16 March 1945 by Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass., launched 14 April 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Lillian J. Ostler, and commissioned 1 May 1945, Lt. Grover L. Rawlings, USNR, in command.

After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, LST-1076 embarked troops in New York and sailed, 14 June 1945, for Pearl Harbor. She arrived Pearl Harbor on 19 July and began several weeks of rigorous training in the Hawaiian operating areas.

LST-1076 stood out from Pearl Harbor on 29 August loaded with occupation troops bound for Sasebo, Japan. She disembarked her passengers on 22 September and by 17 October, she was returning to the United States with war veterans.

She arrived at San Diego 11 December and shortly thereafter went into overhaul. LST-1076 was sent to Vancouver, Wash., in April of 1946 for inactivation, and decommissioned 13 June to be assigned to the Columbia Group of the U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Named USS Page County on 1 July 1955, the LST remained at Astoria, Oregon on the Columbia River until July 1960, when she was towed to San Diego for modernization and reactivation.

Page County was recommissioned 28 November 1960, and following shakedown carried out local operations off the coast of Southern California through 1961. On 3 January 1962, Page County sailed for Pearl Harbor to provide logistic support for the U.S. Army.

Page County operated within the Hawaiian Islands in support of the Army through January and shifted to operational control of Commander Hawaiian Sea Frontier on 1 February, for operations in the southern Mid-Pacific. On 1 April she was assigned to Joint Task Force 8 in support of nuclear tests being conducted by the U.S. Government. She transported civilian construction crews and their equipment to islands such as Palmyra, Malden, Penrhyn, Washington, Fanning, and Christmas. She completed these assignments 8 August and returned to San Diego on the 20th.

On 27 October Page County was called on to participate in the Cuban Crisis quarantine. She transited the Panama Canal on 8 November and reached Vieques, Puerto Rico on the 16th. After shuttling troops between Roosevelt Roads and Vieques, she was detached on 1 December to return to San Diego.

On 16 March 1963 Page County put into San Francisco to undergo an extensive MK II Frame overhaul which was completed in July. She returned to San Diego on 5 August and was assigned to coastal operations. Between 18 January and 16 February 1965, she participated in operation “Silver Lance”, one of the largest Navy-Marine Corps training exercises ever held in peacetime. Deteriorating conditions in Vietnam caused her immediate departure 17 February, for Pearl Harbor, to transport elements of Marine Air Group 13 to Okinawa. She returned to San Diego on 7 May.

Page County deployed to Adak, Alaska from 6 July to 21 October, returning to San Diego for coastal operations until 19 July 1966, when she prepared for deployment to Vietnam. Operating principally between Chu Lai and Da Nang, she supported the struggle against Communist aggression in South Vietnam until returning to the United States in December.

Resuming local operations, Page County provided services to MinPac in evaluating the capabilities of LST’s for mine sweeping and to Pacific Fleet Command for training exercises and administrative lifts for Hawaiian based Army and Marine Corps personnel.

Early 1968 found Page County participating in EastPac exercises, training Camp Pendleton Marines and Seabees from Port Hueneme. During the spring she again joined the 7th Fleet for operations in Southeast Asia. From 11 September through 6 November, she operated out of Da Nang and returned to San Diego on 24 December, via Hong Kong, Yokosuka, and Pearl Harbor.

After operations on the West Coast, Page County returned to the Western Pacific in the autumn and served in the 7th Fleet into 1970.

Awards earned during the Vietnam War: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, (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 (6) Battle Stars.