USS Iron County

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Iron County LST-840

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Iron County

(LST-840: dp. 1,625; 1. 32S'; b. .50'; dr. 11'; s. 12 k.; cpl.
266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mlll.; cl. LsT-542)

LST-840 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 28 September 1944; launched 16 November; sponsored by Mrs. C. W. Doerr; and commissioned 11 December, Lt. David McC. Bon in command.

Following shakedown off Florida, LST-840 loaded cargo at Gulfport, Miss., then sailed 14 January 1945 for the Pacific. Additional cargo stops were made at San Francisco and Seattle before departing for the Marshall Islands. She arrived Eniwetok 24 March.

After preparations in theM arshall and Caroline Islands, the landing ship departed Ulithi 12 April for Okinawa. The battle for this strategic island, which lay at the gateway to the Japanese homeland was well underway when LST-840 arrived on the 18tl;. She unloaded combat engineers and equipment, then returned Ulithi 5 May.

For the remainder of World War II, she shuttled troops and cargo throughout the American staging areas in the Pacific. After V-J Day, LST-840 operated with U.S. occupation forces in Japan and Okinawa for the next 3 ~nonths. Embarking 500 marines at Guam, she departed 11 November en route to Pearl Harbor and the United States. Arriving San Diego 15 December, she remained on the West Coast until she decomlllissioned at Vancouver, Wash., 1 June 1946, joining the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet.

In the effort to stop Communist aggression In South Korea, veteran ships were called out of reserve to provide support for the U.N. forces in Asia. LST-840 recommissioned 3 November 1950, Lt. JIerle A. Coe in comlllalld. Following training off the West Coust and Hawaii she loaded trucks and equipment, then departeti Honolulu 1 May 1951 for the Pacific staging areas. From June to November, the loading ship operated between Korea and Japan, shuttling cargo and prisoners of war along the war-torn peninsula.

She returned to the United States 27 November and, following overhaul, she departed Oakland, Calif,. 16 May 1952 for duty in Alaska. LST-840 performed cargo operations there for 6 months before returning to San Diego. On 13 March 1953, she sailed on her second Korean tour, arriving Yokosuka 1 May. For the duration of the conflict, she rem,ained in the Inchon vicinity and after the July truce continued peacekeeping operations in the Far East until late November.

After a stay in the United States, LST-840 was back in the Far East, arriving Henrietta Pass, French Indochina, 28 October 1954. In the aftermath of the Indochinese NVar, she loaded French troops and equipment and shuttled them along the coast of southeast Asia. Arriving Subic Bay 22 November, she operated in the Far East until April 1955, then steamed for San Diego.

LST-840 was named Iron County 1 July 1955 and on 10 January 1956 she was en route to Pearl Harbor her new home port. From January 1956 to November i957 she performed amphibious exercises out of Hawaii, returning to the West Coast 23 November. Iron County remained at San Francisco until 1 July 1958 when she was transferred to the Republic of Chinn under the Military Assistance Program. She now serves the Chinese Nationalist Navy as Churg Fu.