Orange County LST-1068 - History

Orange County
(LST-1068: dp. 4,080; 1. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'1", s. 11.6 k. a. 8 40mm, 12 20mm; cpl. 119, trp. 147; cl. LST-511)

Orange County (LST-1068) was laid down 31 January 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Hingham, Mass., Iaunched 3 March 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Alice R. Wilbur, and commissioned 27 March 1945, Lt. Clinton E. Voyles in command.

After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, Orange County loaded pontoon causways and LCT Sections at Davisville, Rhode Island and embarked men at New York prior to getting underway, on 11 May, for the Pacific via the Panama Canal. On 27 June she departed Pearl Harbor for Guam via Eniwetok.

Orange County cleared Apra Harbor, Guam with a group of LST's on 11 August enroute to Saipan. From Saipan she returned to Okinawa, arriving on the 28th. She was forced out to sea from her anchorage on the 16th of September to ride out a violent storm which lasted for three days and nights. On 22 September she loaded elements of the 5th Air Corps for transport to Yokohama, Japan.

After discharging the Air Corps personnel on the 27th Orange County sailed on 1 October from Tokyo Bay for the little port of Ominato, where she was to drop off a Port Director Unit. On the 12th she was underway again bound for Manila via Yokohama.

Arriving in Manila Bay on 26 October, Orange County remained for five days and then moved to Batangas and loaded occupation troops to return to Tokyo. She arrived in Tokyo on 14 November.

On 28 November at Saipan, Orange County exchanged lowpoint crew members for high-point personnel of other LST's and on 14 December she sailed for Pearl Harbor.

From Pearl Harbor she was ordered to San Francisco for pre-deactivation overhaul and then to Bremerton, Wash. for decommissioning.

Orange County decommissioned on 9 August 1946 and was placed in reserve at Astoria, Oregon.

Recommissioned on 8 September 1950, Orange County went through her second shakedown cruise and then sailed to the Far East via San Diego. Her actual departure was delayed however, while she underwent repairs for a hole torn in her bottom by striking a submerged LCI.

Repaired and loaded, she sailed in January 1951 with a scheduled stop at Pearl.

In February, Orange County arrived in Yokosuka, and the

following month she made her first entrance into Korean waters. Through May she was engaged in operations at Inchon, and in June, was on her way back to the U. S. Following overhaul, training and upkeep, which lasted for several months, she returned to the Far East in January 1952.

Orange County carried out a rigorous schedule which kept her busy until October, landing troops and supplies and shipping prisoners. She participated in operations at Sokchori Koje-do and Wonsan, with brief but frequent trips to Pusan, Cho-do, and Yokosuka, Japan.

Orange County returned to the U. again in October, arriving in San Diego around Thanksgiving.

The Korean Truce was declared on 27 July 1953, at the time that Orange County was preparing for her third deployment. She departed on 1 August with Satyr (APL-23) and LST-819. Arriving in Japan on 21 September and following a three week stay at Yokosuka, she proceeded to Kobe, and then to Sasebo. During November, she participated in a series of training exercises at Tokchok to, Korea an island near Inchon. ~

In January 1954 Orange County conducted training at Okinawa, and in March, at Iwo Jima, she was involved in the largest training operation she had ever experienced. On 17 June she joined with five LST's of LST Division 13, for a return passage to San Diego.

Upon arrival she was assigrled primarily local operations and periods of upkeep. December 1954 and January 1955 were spent in overhaul at San Pedro, Calif.

Orange County continued to provide a vital service to the U. Navy until she decommissioned 15 October 1957.

Orange County was struck from the U. Naval Register on 27 September 1957 and subsequently sunk as a target vessel on 18 June 1958.

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