LST Landing Ship Tank

LST-325 passing Neville Island, PA in early September 2010 (C. Reed)
LST-325 passing Neville Island, PA in early September 2010 (C. Reed)

Commissioned in February 1943, LST-325 took part in the invasions of Sicily, Italy, and Normandy, sufferred a near miss by a glide bomb launched from a Dornier 217, and was badly damaged by a storm in May 1945. Brought out of mothballs in the 1950s, she helped construct radar installations in the northern reaches of Canada, before being transferred to Greece in 1964. The Syros remained in Greek service for the next 35 years, and was brought back to the US to serve as a museum ship and memorial to LST sailors in early 2001.

Known as "Large, Slow Targets" the Landing Ship Tank (LST) was created in response to a British need for a ship that could both ferry tanks across the atlantic from factories in America as well as offload them and other vehicles directly onto beacheads. Keys to the LST's capabilities were its shallow draft, bow loading/offloading doors, and a large vehicle deck well over 250 feet in length and thirty feet wide, sufficient to hold twenty tanks or a variety of other vehicles and cargo.

LSTs could also launch LCVPs over the side, and were even capable of carrying and launching a single LCT from the weather deck. The LST design was quite versatile, with some becoming AGP torpedo boat tenders, while others were fitted out as landing craft repair ships.

Scale Models:

A 1/250th scale LST kit is made by Lindberg, while a 1/613 scale version was available from Testors.

LSTs cam equipped with stern anchors, which were deployed as the ships prepared to beach. A winch was then used to help drag the vessel back into deeper water after unloading.
LSTs cam equipped with stern anchors, which were deployed as the ships prepared to beach. A winch was then used to help drag the vessel back into deeper water after unloading. | Source
LST-325 has a davit on either side of the deckhouse to faciliate the launch and retrieval of LCVP landing craft.
LST-325 has a davit on either side of the deckhouse to faciliate the launch and retrieval of LCVP landing craft. | Source

Amphibious Ship & Craft Resources & Bibliography

LSTs

Photo: LST-1041 landing Marines on Argentia All Hands January 1949 p.8

"Larger, Speedier, Tougher" All Hands, November 1949

Photo: USS Mercer APB-39 (LST barracks ship conversion) All Hands April 1954 p.26

Photo: LST-914 evacuating Korean refugees. All Hands May 1955

Photo: USS San Bernadino County (LST-1110) in heavy seas off Point Barrow, Alaska. All Hands June 1956 p.28

Photo: USS St. Clair County (LST-1096) and LCU-1273 All Hands August 1956 inside cover.

Photo: USS Westchester County (LST-1167) at San Diego All Hands August 1958 p.26

Photo: USS Graham County (LST-1176) All Hands October 1958 p.36

Photo: Sea Sparrow surface to air missile being launched from the USS Tioga County (LST-1158) during testing. All Hands september 1965 p.40

Photo: USNS Harris County (T-LST-822) in service with MSTS. All Hands November 1965 p.38

Photo: USS Holmes County (LST-836) transporting an F-8 Crusader. All Hands February 1967 p.59

LSDs

Photo: USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) All Hands April 1957 p.26

Photo: USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) All Hands November 1958 p.41

LPDs

Photo: USS Ogden (LPD-5) prior to commissioning. All Hands September 1965 p.59

LSIs

Photo: Preparing to sink LSI(L)-978 in shallow water for salvage training. All Hands January 1953 p.11

LSMs

"Little-known LSMRs equal punch to five destroyers" All Hands January 1945 p.34 1 photo

Photo: LSM-48 during maneuverability tests with cycloidial propellers Naval Aviation News November 1946.

LCMs

Rod Redman "Landing Craft Mechanized" Scale Modeler March 1982 Scratchbuilding an LCM-6 in 1/32 scale; includes side and top view drawings (not to scale).

LCVPs

"Workbench Reviews: Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel in 1/35 scale from Italeri" FineScale Modeler January 2006 p.69

LCUs

"LCU - a craft that does a ship-sized job" All Hands December 1955. Four photos, including interior shots.

As originally designed, LSTs had an anti-aircraft armament of six 20mm guns, but this was soon increased as 40mm, 3-inch, and .50cal weapons were added to counter the air threat to these slow ships.
As originally designed, LSTs had an anti-aircraft armament of six 20mm guns, but this was soon increased as 40mm, 3-inch, and .50cal weapons were added to counter the air threat to these slow ships. | Source

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