USS Ortolan II  

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Ortolan II LCI-976

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Ortolan II
(LCI(L)-976: dp. 387 (f.); 1. 159', b. 23'8"; dr. 5'8"; s. 14.4 k. cpl. 40; a. 5 20mm.; cl. LCI(L)-S61.)

The second Ortolan was laid down as LCI(L)-976, 15 March 1944, by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 10 April 1944; and commissioned 5 May 1944; Lt. (j.g.) William C. Lawton in command.

Following fitting out at Galveston, LCI(L)-976 sailed, 2 June 1944, for the southwest Pacific and duty with the 7th Fleet. Arriving at Milne Bay, New Guinea, 20 July, she transported troops and supplies and conducted tr<9`

She departed Leyte Gulf again 27 January 1945, and steamed back to Mindoro with reinforcements, then headed for Luzon with elements of the 11th Airborne Division embarked. On 5 February, as the battle to free Manila was beginning, she landed them at Nasugbu, south of the entrance to Manila I3ay. From Luzon, the LCI(L) returned to Mindoro thence to Leyte where she embarked troops of the Americai Division. Landing them at Talisay Point, Cebu, 26 March, she remained in the area until sailing to land forces on Negros a month later. She then returned to Cebu whence she sailed to Leyte with Japanese POWs.

On 7 May, LCI (L)-976 got underway for a run to Mindanao arriving at Zamboanga on the 10th and returning to Leyte on the 18th. Through June, she provided services in the Leyte area and during July and early August she transported troops to Panay and Cebu for mopping-up missions.

Following the Japanese surrender in mid-August, occupation duties replaced combat operatione. On 5 September, the landing craft got underway for Okinawa and Shanghai. Arriving at the latter 29 September, she transported Chinese troops and supplies to Taiwan. Then, on 16 December, she sailed for the United States.

She arrived at San Pedro 31 Januarv 1946. She reached New Orleans 3 June, decommissioned 19 August 1946 and was Reclassified AMCU-34 on 7 March 1952. She was converted at the Charleston Naval Shipyard and recommissioned, 21 November 1953. On 18 December, she reported for duty in the 5th Naval District where she was occupied with minehunting training exercises into 1954. On 3 March, she departed for Key West to eommenee an extensive schedule of training and development exercises in which she was employed for the remainder of her active service.

Redesignated MHC-34, 7 February 1955, Ortolan decommissioned, at Charleston, 23 June 1955. Then assigned to the Florida Groun, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, she was berthed at Green Cove Springs until struck from the Navy List, 1 January 1960, and sold, for scrapping, 8 July, to the Marlene Blouse Company.

LCI(L)-976 earned four battle stars during World War II.