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  USS LST-711
USN
LST-542 Class
Tank Landing Ship

3,640 Tons
328' x 50' 14' 1"
1 × 3" gun
8 x 40mm guns
12 × 20mm guns
2 × .50 cal MG
2 × .30 cal MG
2 x LCVP

Ship History
Built by Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Company in Jeffersonville, IN. Laid down May 28, 1944 as LST-542 Class Tank Landing Ship. Launched July 3, 1944. Commissioned July 28, 1944 as USS LST-711 under the command of captain LT. Francis C. Huntley and proceeded to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
On September 15, 1944 participated in the landing at Morotai. During December 12-18, 1944 participated in the landing at San Jose on Mindoro. During January 9-18, 1945 participated in the landings at Lingayen Gulf. On April 17-23, 1945 participated in the landings at Illana Bay on Mindanao. For her World War II service, the ship earned three battle stars.

Postwar
On September 23, 1945 assigned to the Occupation Service in the Far East (OSFE) and continued to served for three operational periods. The first period was between September 23, 1945 until October 25, 1945. The second period was between November 17, 1945 to April 15, 1946. The third period was July 5, 1946 to July 17, 1946. For her postwar service, the crew earned the Navy Occupation Service Medal.

On August 11, 1946 decommissioned and transfered to the U. S. Army. Officially, struck from the Navy register on September 29, 1947. In U. S. Army service, used as a transport ship for American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel conducting remains recovery operations in the Pacific.

During February 1948, AGRS Search and Recovery Expedition Number 2 was based aboard LST-711 for a mission around Rabaul and locations on East New Britain.

During January 1949, AGRS Search and Recovery Expedition Number 2 departed aboard LST-711 for a recovery mission in the Northern Solomons and Bougainville.

On January 21, 1949 a team led by Sgt Bizub with Cpl Nesmith, Cpl Neal and Pfc Kolasa departed LST-711 to search the upper Laruma River on Bougainville visiting the Piaterapaia where they located 13 villagers and a Police Boy to aid in their search for Missing In Action (MIAs) roughly three miles away including case 7-1167 related to the loss of three soldiers from U. S. Army 23rd Infantry Division "Americal Division", 182nd Infantry, Company B: Pfc Tommy Garrett, 38220894, Pfc Henry L. Kemp, 37620697, Pvt Vest C. Martin, 37646956 and Pvt Gordon L. Rose, 34658205 ambushed September 24, 1944 were listed as Missing In Action (MIA). The patrol leader was the sole survivor. Possibly, one of the missing individuals was captured by the Japanese.

On January 30, 1949 aboard LST-711 anchored off Aumba Island [sic Aumbaamba Island] and interviewed Mr. T. Russell, District Officer for New Georgia who had no information as he had only arrived at his post a short time ago and did not know the area. Next, the team led by Lt. Judd with SFC Sotan, Cpl Iasko and Pfc Schmitt traveled to Munda. At Munda Airfield interviewed a native named Willie Paya but he had no recollection of this particular crash, although he claimed to have assisted other U. S. pilots to safety during the war. Afterwards, the team searched the Munda beach area without results. They believed the aircraft crashed into deep water off New Georgia and recommended the case be declared non-recoverable.

Ultimate fate unknown, likely sold or scrapped sometime afterwards.

References
NavSource - USS LST-711
Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) Tommy Garrett page 23, 25, 28 (map)
Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) - Thomas Arthur Ruth pages 19, 21

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Last Updated
June 28, 2020

 

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