View Full Version : Landing Ship, Tank

04-15-2010, 07:45 PM
An interesting Wiki article on these ships. Pop served aboard LST 639. I'd never known much about the complex development that went into the ships and all their variations, or that the British had played such a big role in their conception and development. I believe the 639 was a type 2.

I'll have to send a copy of this to my friend Naoma who is the widow of shipmate of Pops, and informal historian of the 639.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Ship,_Tank

Hal Forsen
04-15-2010, 08:31 PM
Large Slow Target. :cool:

04-15-2010, 09:51 PM

That is what the sailors who served aboard often disparagingly refered to them as, yet in that article I posted they showed themselves remarkably resilient. I was amazed that the total lost out of over a thousand built was a few handfuls. A part of that may have been due to the compartmentalization involved in their mission. The latter ones were designed to stay afloat quite happily with the tank deck flooded!

A paraphrase of Churchill's, the actual quote given at the end of the article, but I'm too lazy to look it up at this late hour.

"We're winning this with some damn thing called a LST?"

John E Hardiman
04-15-2010, 10:21 PM
Early in the war, 1942, LSTs traveled alone or in convoy with other LSTs and LCI's. The TORCH landing convoy was intercepted by a wolfpack, but not attacked. They could not identify them and thought they were Q-ships...

04-15-2010, 10:37 PM
I ride one all the time--LST 510: Its now in service as a ferryboat 'tween Orient Point, NY and New London. Ironically, my grandfather shipped on this very boat during WWII.https://www.longislandferry.com/images/cape_h.jpg

Hal Forsen
04-16-2010, 11:44 AM
Served almost 4 years aboard LST 1187 USS Tuscaloosa.
With fair winds and a following sea she would do all of 17 Knots pushed hard.
We spent lots of time in "Typhoon Alley" and if you ever want to see a ship take HEAVY ROLLS ride a flat bottomed LST through a typhoon.


04-16-2010, 03:52 PM
My cousin was the CO of the LSM 163. LSM's did not have names. He and his crew took it from Norfolk VA as a new ship to the Pacific and took part in a number of landings. It was the smallest landing ship that could cross an ocean because it had water making capability.

It had a pair of Allison diesels that his crew learned to hate. At one point in a combat zone they were left behind by their convoy for two days with no power. They finally got so expert at changing cylinder liners that they could do it 20 minutes.

It also had an open vehicle deck, unlike an LST, yet they survived a typhoon. It was an ugly looking thing.

04-16-2010, 04:04 PM
That's pretty cool, Breakaway. Still in service, and you can kinda see its roots.

And yes, Hal, Pop didn't say much about his service, but he did remark that that LST rolled like a bastard in heavy weather.

After Nagasaki he was transferred to a destroyer. While not exactly renowned for being comfortable in a heavy seaway themselves, compared to an LST...

04-16-2010, 05:48 PM
The ferry can get good roll going in a beam sea and its route isn't open ocean either--semi-protected waters I guess it'd be called.

04-23-2010, 06:32 PM
AHP, the LSM had either EMD or F-M engines. LST's only EMD 567 engines and the smallest oceangoing landing vessels were the LCM. Just google LST325, she is the only authentic fully restored LST left from the 1050 built in a 3 year period. Kaiser corp shipyard built 15 in 30 days.