LST-353 unloading in the Solomons, June 1943
|Builder:||Charleston Navy Yard|
|Laid down:||15 July 1942|
|Launched:||12 October 1942|
|Commissioned:||27 November 1942|
|Struck:||18 July 1944|
|3 battle stars and Navy Unit Commendation (WWII)|
|Fate:||Sunk, 21 May 1944|
|Class and type:||LST-1-class tank landing ship|
|Length:||328 ft (100 m)|
|Beam:||50 ft (15 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders|
|Speed:||12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Boats & landing |
|Two or six LCVPs|
|Troops:||approx. 140 officers and enlisted|
|Complement:||8-10 officers, 100-115 enlisted|
USS LST-353 was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. It was destroyed on 21 May 1944 when an explosion on its deck sparked the West Loch Disaster in Pearl Harbor naval base.
Construction and service
LST-353 was laid down on 15 July 1942 at the Charleston Navy Yard; launched on 12 October 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Estelle Lynette Cushman; and commissioned on 27 November 1942 with Lieutenant L. E. Reynolds, Jr., USNR, in command. During World War II, LST-353 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the following operations: the consolidation of the southern Solomons (June, 1943); the New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation (July, 1943); the Vella Lavella occupation (August, 1943); and the occupation and defense of Cape Torokina (November, 1943).
Five other LSTs were so damaged from the fire caused by the explosion that they too sank, including LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, and LST-480. Two others were severely damaged. In all 163 sailors were killed; 396 wounded.
- "West Loch Disaster".
- "LST-353". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
- "LST-353". Amphibious Photo Archive. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
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