USS Dukes County (LST-735)

Summary

LST-735
LST-735 off Wonsan, Korea c. 1953
History
United States
NameUSS LST-735
BuilderDravo Corporation, Neville Island, Pittsburgh
Laid down30 January 1944
Launched11 March 1944
Commissioned26 April 1944
DecommissionedMarch 1946
Recommissioned3 November 1950
RenamedUSS Dukes County (LST-735), 1 July 1955
Decommissioned1957
Stricken1 November 1974
Honours and
awards
FateLeased to the Republic of China, May 1957
Stricken1 November 1974
FateSold to the Republic of China, 1974
History
Republic of China
NameROCS Chung Hai (LST-219)
AcquiredMay 1957
NamesakeKaohsiung City
RenamedROCS Kao Hsiung (AGC-1, later LCC-1), 1968[1]
General characteristics
Class and type LST-542-class tank landing ship
Displacement
  • 1,780 long tons (1,809 t) light
  • 3,640 long tons (3,698 t) full
Length328 ft (100 m)
Beam50 ft (15 m)
Draft
  • 8 ft (2.4 m) forward
  • 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m) aft
Propulsion2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts
Speed12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
TroopsApproximately 140 officers and enlisted men
Complement8-10 officers, 100-115 enlisted men
Armament

USS Dukes County (LST-735) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Dukes County, Massachusetts, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. In 1957 she was decommissioned and leased to the Republic of China. In 1962 she was commissioned into Republic of China Navy service.

Service history

United States Navy

LST-735 was laid down on 30 January 1944 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the Dravo Corporation of Neville Island; launched on 11 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. G. W. Fearnside; and commissioned on 26 April 1944 at New Orleans, Louisiana with Lieutenant Theodore F. Aldous in command.

During World War II, LST-735 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the following operations: capture and occupation of Saipan (August 1944); Lingayen Gulf landing (January 1945); Zambales-Subic Bay (January 1945); and the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto (March through June 1945).

LST-735 was decommissioned in March 1946 and reactivated on 3 November 1950 when she performed service during the Korean War and after with Commander Mine Forces, Pacific. Assigned as a minesweeper support ship in July 1951, she made a Korean War deployment in 1952-53 and had additional Western Pacific tours in 1953-54 and 1955–56. Renamed USS Dukes County (LST-735) 1 July 1955.

LST-735 earned four battle stars for World War II service and three for Korean service.

Republic of China Navy

The ship was subsequently decommissioned (date unknown) and leased to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in May 1957 and again renamed Chung Hai (LST-219). She was outfitted in January 1962 as an amphibious command ship and renamed Kao Hsiung (AGC-1, later LCC-1). Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 November 1974, she was sold to Taiwan.

Kao Hsiung later underwent refurbishment along with the rest of the ROCN's fleet of tank landing ships and is still serving with the ROC Navy and was visited in March 2012 by Fleet Master Chief John Minyard of Pacific Fleet Command. He reported that she is in outstanding condition and is battle ready. In 2016 she was selected to host as Mark 41 Vertical Launching System test bed for Taiwan. In November 2019 it was reported that she had been decommissioned and was being used as a test ship for the Hsun Lien naval combat system project and had been fitted with a large phased array radar system and the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System.[2] In 2021 the vessel was fitted with the Sea Oryx missile system.[3]

Notes

  1. ^ Blackman, Raymond V. B., ed. Jane's Fighting Ships 1972–1973. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973. p. 313.
  2. ^ Everington, Keoni. "Mysterious radar ship spotted off coast of S. Taiwan". www.taiwannews.com.tw. Taiwan News. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  3. ^ Chen, Kelvin. "Taiwan Navy conducts new air defense missile, radar system trials". www.taiwannews.com.tw. Taiwan News. Retrieved 9 June 2021.

References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

  • "LST-735". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  • "LST-735 Dukes County". Amphibious Photo Archive. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
LST-735 off Wonsan, Korea c. 1953. A Sikorsky H-19 "Chickasaw" helicopter (left) and a Sikorsky H-5 model (right) sit atop her deck.