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Harris County LST-822

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Harris County

Counties in Georgia and Texas.

(LST-822: dp. 1,625, 1. 328', b. 50, dr. 14'1", s. 11.6 k.
cpl. 266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20m, m.; cl. LST~5l l ~

LST~822 was laid down by Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co., Evansville, Inc., 20 September 1944- launched 1 November 1944, and commissioned at New Orleans, La. 23 November 1944, Lt. R. N. McIntyre in command.

After shakedown off the Florida coast, LST -822 departed New Orleans for the Pacific 27 December. Steaming via San Diego and San Francisco, she reached Pearl Harbor February 1945. After a month of training in Hawaiian waters, she sailed 15 March with Army troops and equipment embarked. She touched Eniwetok 27 March, then arrived Ulithi 7 April to prepare for participation in the conquest of Okinawa, begun a week earlier. Departing 12 April she approached the shore of Okinawa 18 April, and, during bitter fighting ashore and frequent Japanese air attacks, she operated between Okinawa and islands to the west. On 22 April she discharged men and equipment at Le Shima while protected by smoke cover. During her 3 weeks at Okinawa she survived 18 enemy air raids and carried vitally needed supplies for ground forces.

LST - 822 departed Okinawa 11 May, reached Saipan the 18th, and sailed for the Philippines 6 June. Arriving Leyte 11 June, she proceeded to Biak where she arrived the 18th and embarked troops for transfer to Okinawa. Steaming via Leyte, she reached Naha, Okinawa, 4 July. There she embarked victorious troops of the 108th Armored Tank Battalion and sailed 6 July for Cebu, Philippines. She arrived 17 July, embarked troop replacements at Subic Bay, then returned to the Ryukyus, arriving Le Shima 7 August.

Following the Japanese surrender, she returned to the Philippines to transport occupation troops and equipment to Japan. As part of a 12~ship convoy, she departed Lingayen Gulf 17 September and arrived off Wakayama Japan, the 25th. After unloading equipment and debarking Army engineers, she sailed 1 October for Manila. Between 19 and 27 October, she carried additional occupation troops from Lingayen Gulf to Wakayama, and during the next 4 months, she supported occupation landings and Allied operations along the coast of Japan.

Departing Sasebo 3 March 1946, LST-822 sailed for the United States where she arrived San Diego 30 March. After operating along the West Coast from Southern California to Washington, she entered drydock at Portland, Oregon, 28 May. She decommissioned 27 July and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet 10 August.

LST~822 recommisioned at Bremerton, Wash., 23 November 1950, Lt. Kent D. Myers in command. In responce to the Communist aggression in South Korea, she departed Long Beach, Calif., 10 February 1951 for the Far East. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she arrived Yokosuka, Japan, 23 March. During the next 4 months she operated between Japan and the western coast of Korea supporting amphibious operations and bolstering the American effort to repel the Communist threat. She departed Yokosuka 20 July, arrived San Diego 9 August and spent the next 9 months participating in amphibious trolling along the West Coast.

LST - 822 departed San Diego 9 April 1952 and again deployed to the Far East, arriving Yokosuka via Pearl Harbor 18 May. Operating out of Yokosuka and Sasebo, she steamed to ports along the coast of' Korea from Inchon and Koje Do to Pusan and Pohang. She transferred men and supplies between Japan and South Korea and later in the year and into 1963 shuttled North Korean prisoners of war during prisoner exchanges. Departing Inchon 22 January 1953, she sailed via Sasebo to Yokosuka, then departed for the West Coast 5 February. She arrived San Diego 5 March and resumed amphibious training which continued during the remainder of the year.

LST - 882 departed San Diego 25 January 1954 for the Western Pacific. Arriving Yokosuka 25 February, she resumed supply duty in support of the force~ of freedom in the Far East, and during the next 5 months steamed to Korea, Okinawa, and along the coast of Japan. On 11 August she departed Yokosuka for Haiphong, North Vietnam, where she arrived 26 August. There she joined Operation "Passage to Freedom," which provided citizens of North Vietnam an opportunity to escape the Communist takeover and to find a life of freedom in South Vietnam. As part of the mighty sea power of the United States stationed in the Far East, she took part in the evacuation of almost 300,000 Vietnamese from North to South Between 29 August and 2 October she carried refugees, cargo, and military equipment from Haiphong to Nha Trang, South Vietnam, thus strengthening South Vietnam as a bastion of democracy in the tense and troubled Southeast Asia. After returning to Japan 28 October, LST-822 departed Yokosuka 17 November touched Pearl Harbor 5 December, and reached San Diego 20 December.

LST-822 operated along the West Coast until 27 June 1955 when she sailed for operations in the Arctic Ocean and Alaska. Named Harris County 1 July, she steamed via Seattle, Wash., and reached Point Hope, Alaska, 27 July. For almost 2 months she conducted supply and survey operations in the ice filed Arctic Ocean north of Alaska. Departing Point Hope 19 September, she sailed to San Diego and arrived 8 October. She returned to Seattle late in October and from 1 December to 20

January she underwent extensive overhaul. Departing Seattle 27 January, she carried cargo to San Francisco 31 January. Harris County was placed in service in reserve 21 February at Mare Island, Calif., and she entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In March she transferred to MSTS.

Manned by a civilian crew, Harris County continued operating along the coast of Alaska and in,to the southern reaches of the Arctic Ocean. She operated out of ports in California and Washington as a supply and replenishment ship between 1956 and 1962. On 14 January 1962 she departed Seattle for the mid Pacific. Steaming via Seward, Alaska, she arrived Pearl Harbor 12 February to begin duty as a survey support ship. Since then Harris county has operated throughout the Pacific from Hawaii to New Guinea while carrying supplies and supporting ocean survey proJects. Her duties have carried her to eastern New Guinea, the Marshalls, the Marianas, and the Line Islands of Polynesia. At present in 1967 Harris County continues operating in the South West Pacific under MSTS.

Harris County received one battle star for World War II and four battle stars for Korean service.