USS Payette County

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Payette County LST-1079

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Payette County


(LST-1079: dp. 4,080; 1. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'1"; s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 119; a. 8 40mm.; cl. LST-511)

LST-1079 was laid down 30 March 1945 by Bethlehem Hingham Shipyards, Hingham, Mass.; launched 27 April 1945, and commissioned 22 May 1945, Lt. William A. Putnam Jr., USNR, in command.

After shakedown, LST-1079 loaded pontoons and cargo at Davisville, R.I., embarked Marines and took aboard ammunition at New York, and sailed 7 July 1945 for the Canal Zone. Shc arrived Coco Solo 16 July and then ptoceeded to Pearl Harbor where she was Iying at anchor in West Loch when the war ended.

On 21 August she sailed for Guam via Eniwetok and off loaded cargo and passengers on arrival, sailing again 22 September for Leyte. From Leyte she went to Subic Bay and then returned to Guam 6 November to embark troops for "magiccarpet" passage to San Francisco.

She arrived San Francisco 28 December, was assigned to the 19th Fleet and subsequently made preparations for inactivation. LST-1079 decommissioned in March 1946 and was placed in reserve, berthed with the Colombia River Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound.

Because of fleet requirements brought about by the Korean Conflict. LST-1079 was recalled for active service and moved to the East Coast. She recommissioned in October 1950 and joined the Atlantic Fleet. Her first assignment took her to Goose Bay, Labrador in conjunction with services for the U.S. Army. During this voyage she had a close brush uith an iceberg which tore a hole in her bow. She was saved from sure disaster by the intentness to duty of her forward lookout during conditions of extremely heavy fog. Sighting the iceberg dead ahead he quickly gave the alarm, and enabled his ship to avoid a head-on-collision.

She later moved to a more hospitable climate, operating off in Florida in shuttling general stores between Green Cove Springs and Norfolk, Va. During 1954-55, in addition to her normal operations, she was involved in innovative exercises such as LST-helicopter operations and the use of an LST as a rocket launching platform. On i July 1955 she was named Payette County (LST-1079) and operated with a civil service crew until 1 November 1959 when she was placed out of service and struck from the Naval Vessel Register. She was sold 18 May 1961 to Zidell Explorations, Inc., Astoria, Oregon.