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LST 793

The preliminary plans initially called for an LST 280 feet in length; but in January 1942, the Bureau of Ships discarded these drawings in favor of specifications for a ship 290 feet long. Within a month, final working plans were developed which further stretched the overall length to 328 feet and called for 50-foot beam and minimum draft to 3 feet 9 inches. The LST could carry a 2,100–ton load of tanks and vehicles. The larger dimensions also permitted the designers to increase the width of the bow door opening and ramp from 12 to 14 feet thus accommodating most Allied vehicles. The keel of the first LST was down on 10 June 1942 at Newport News, Va. The need for LST’s was urgent and the program enjoyed a high priority throughout the war. In some instances, heavy industry plants such as a steel fabrication yard were converted for LST construction. This posed the problem of getting the completed ships from the inland building yards to the deep water. The chief obstacles were bridges. The Navy successfully undertook the modification of bridges and, through a "Ferry Command" of Navy crews, transported the newly constructed ships to coastal ports for fitting out. Of the 1,051 LST’s built during World War II, 670 were constructed by five major inland builders. By1943, the construction time for an LST had been reduced to four months. From their combat debut in the Solomons, throughout the war, LST’s demonstrated a remarkable capacity to absorb punishment and survive despite the losses in proportion to their number and the scope of their operation. Although the LST was considered a valuable target by the enemy, only 26 were lost due to enemy action.

LST 793 was laid down on 23 July 1944 at Pittsburgh, Pa., by the Dravo Corp.; launched on 2 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. E. R. Gorman; and commissioned 5 October 1944, Lt. George A. Miller, USCG, in command.

During World War II, LST 793 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto in March and April 1945. Following the war, LST 793 performed occupation duty in the Far East until mid-September 1945.

She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 29 April 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 3 July that same year. On 16 December 1947, the ship was sold to Tex-O-Kan Flour Mills Co., of Dallas, Texas for operations.

LST 793 earned two battle stars for World War II service.



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