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LST 339 In Action

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Military and Wartime7129 of 72831890 Michigan Grand Army of the Republic Assistant Inspector Document with Seal Ol Cut Unioncut Knife Hatchet
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    Posted 12 years ago

    (373 items)

    I recently started researching the LST 339 from WWII. My grandfather was aboard her from 1943 to 1945. He was involved in the consolidation of the Southern Solomon Islands in June '43, the New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation June-July '43, the Vella Lavella occupation in August '43, the occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, November '43, the Hollandia operation April '44, Biak Island Operation June-July '44 and the Morotai landings September '44.

    He was mainly a signalman but found himself at the gun one night and had to defend the ship against a Japanese fighter plane. He shot her down and was awarded a confirmed kill during the Vella Lavella occupation.

    The pictures above were not taken by him, I found them online. It is crazy to me to think that somwhere in these pics, could be my grandfather, a 18-19 year old kid, who voluntarily threw himself in the middle of the war.

    The first photo is the LST 339 beached at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville Island, 6 November 1943. The second and third photos are from the same day and location, from a different angle. The fourth photo is the LST-339 beached at the mainland staging point on Wakde Island, Dutch New Guinea, circa June 1944, prior to the Allied landing on Noemfoor Island, 2 July 1944. The last photo was when she came home after the war in 1946 and was decomissioned. By the time this last photo was taken, my grandfather had returned home and married his bride.

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    1. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 12 years ago
      VickingFan82, I see where LST 339 earned 4 battle stars during ww2.
    2. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 12 years ago
      and a Navy Unit Commendation for the ship
    3. VikingFan82 VikingFan82, 12 years ago
      Yup, I saw that too!
    4. VikingFan82 VikingFan82, 12 years ago
      He said it should have been awarded 5 or 6 battle stars but the commanding officer didn't push for it.
    5. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 12 years ago
      I saw another site that said the ship earned 5 battle stars.
    6. Mike H, 12 years ago
      My brother was one of the young sailors on LST 339 in the South Pacific. He passed away in 1959 so I too would like to learn more about the ship from other crew members. Is your grandfather still living? Do you have any of his photos that include the crew? After seeing your post yesterday I called a member of the crew who lives in California. There aren't many left. I'm unfamiliar with postings like this. How can I contact you directly to share information and photos?
    7. Mike Hickey, 12 years ago
      My father also served on the LST 339. I am interested in finding out more about the ship and its crew. My father Herbert Hickey passed away in 1980.
    8. beachbomb beachbomb, 11 years ago
      Here's some information you may or may not already have, hope it helps.

      LST-1 Class Tank Landing Ship:
      Laid down, 17 July 1942, at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
      Launched, 8 November 1942
      Commissioned USS LST-339, 23 December 1942, Lt. John H. Fulweiler, USNR, in command
      Succeeded by Lt. L.M. Cathles USNR
      During World War II LST-339 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, LST Flotilla Eight (Capt E. Watts, USN), Group 23 (Cdr. T.C. Linthicum, USN), Division 45 and participated in the:
      Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
      Consolidation of the Solomon Islands
      (a) Consolidation of Southern Solomons, June 1943 Hollandia operation
      April 1944
      New Georgia Group operations
      New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation, June and July 1943
      Vella Lavella occupation, August 1943 Western New Guinea operations;
      Biak Island operation, May and June 1944
      Noemfoor Island operation, June and July 1944
      Morotai landings, September 1944
      Treasury-Bougainville operation;
      Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, November 1943 .

      Following World War II LST-339 performed occupation duty in the Far East until mid-November 1945
      Decommissioned, 13 May 1946
      Struck from the Naval Register, 23 June 1947
      Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 16 October 1947, to New Orleans Shipwrecking Corp., Chicago, IL.
      LST-339 earned five battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for World War II service
      Specifications: (as reported by Office of Naval Intelligence-1945)
      Displacement 1,625 t.(lt), 4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
      Length 328' o.a.
      Beam 50'
      (light) - 2' 4" fwd, 7' 6" aft
      (sea-going) 8' 3" fwd, 14' 1" aft
      (landing) 3' 11" fwd, 9' 10" aft (landing w/500 ton load)
      Speed 12 kts. (maximum)
      Endurance 24,000 miles @ 9kts. while displacing 3960 tons
      7 officers, 104 enlisted
      Troop Accommodations
      16 officers, 147 enlisted
      Boats 2 LCVP
      Cargo Capacity (varied with mission - payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
      Typical loads
      One Landing Craft Tank (LCT), tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment and military supplies. A ramp or elevator forward allowed vehicles access to tank deck from main deck
      Additional capacity included sectional pontoons carried on each side of vessel amidships, to either build Rhino Barges or use as causeways. Married to the bow ramp, the causeways would enabled payloads to be delivered ashore from deeper water or where a beachhead would not allow the vessel to be grounded forward after ballasting
      Armament (varied with availability when each vessel was outfitted. Retro-fitting was accomplished throughout WWII. The ultimate armament design for United States vessels was
      2 - Twin 40MM gun mounts w/Mk. 51 directors
      4 - Single 40MM gun mounts
      12 single 20MM gun mounts
      Propulsion two General Motors 12-567, 900hp diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
    9. VikingFan82 VikingFan82, 11 years ago
      Sorry gentlemen, I didn't see these comments until now. My grandfather passed away last summer. Robert Neal Carlton Broberg. my email is I don't have a lot of information past what is posted. I may have a photo or two of the crew later on.
    10. Harold_Merricks, 3 months ago
      I just ran across this site and was greatly surprised. My father, Burton Merricks GM1 was stationed on LST339 from 1942-1945. I have a newspaper article that my mother clipped from our local paper at the time showing the ship beached at Augusta bay. I remember my Dad telling me the story. He talked very little about his experiences. His shipmates called him the"Man" because he was 27 years of age when he went in. He was from Danville, Virginia. My e-mail is
    11. Harold_Merricks, 3 months ago
      I just remembered that I have somewhere a photo or two taken from one of the ships reunions, one of which was here in Danville, Va.

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