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Maricopa County LST-938

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Maricopa County

A county in Arizona named after the Maricopa, Indians who Inhabited the Gila River valley of Arizona.

(LST-938: dp. 1,625; 1. 328'; b. 50'1"; dr. 11'2"; S. 11.6 k. ; cpl. 119; a. 8 40mm., 12 20 mm. , cl. LST-511)

LST-938 was laid down 14 July 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Hingham, Mass.; launched 15 August 1944; and commissioned 9 September 1944, Ens. H. W. Limes in command.

Completion of shakedown In Chesapeake Bay brought assignment to the 7th Fleet. With LOP-1210 aboard, she departed New York 18 October 1944 and rendezvoused with a convoy near Guantanamo en route the South Pacific. Pausing briefly in the New Hebrides, LST-988 sailed on to Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, and commenced unloading 16 December.

Having taken on supplies for a PT base, 7 January 1945, she joined a convoy for the partially liberated Philippines, where she operated for next 4 months. On 10 March elements of the 41st Army Division were put ashore at Zamboanga on the southwest tip of Mindanao. Further south an invasion was pending and 28 April LST-938 departed Leyte and steamed to Cairns, Australia. Illustrating the cooperative nature of the war effort, LST-938 transported elements of the 7th Australian Infantry Division to the assault beaches at Balikpapan, Borneo, Dutch East Indies. Unscathed after the landing operations of I July and the followup resupply missions, she returned to the Philippines 27 July.

As World War 11 ended, the ship embarked occupation troops and discharged them at Tokyo 15 September. LST988 continued to serve in the Japanese occupation until 30 November. Her next assignment placed her on duty along the China coast until 13 May 1946. The ship then departed Tsingtao and returned to the United States.

From her arrival on the east coast 12 July 1946 until December 1949, LST-938 served as Naval Reserve training ship first at Bayonne, N.J., and later at Gulfport, Miss. Deactivation followed at Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Police action in Korea brought reactivation and she recommissioned 14 December 1951, Lt. H. W. Childress in command. Truce negotiations were already underway as LST-938 based at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va., and began her duties as a Marine Corps training ship. During the next 41A years she carried out operations from Greenland to the Caribbean area. On 1 July 1955 she was named Maricopa County (LST-938). Following an inactivation overhaul at New York she reached Green Cove Springs 2 December 1955 and decommissioned 29 February 1956. Late in October 1961 Maricopa County was towed to Philadelphia Navy Yard and prepared for a new career. Stricken from the Navy list I June 1962 she transferred to Vietnam and commissioned as Da Nang (HQ-501) 12 July 1962. She has thus returned to the Par East to continue the struggle for freedom and serves the Vietnamese Navy into 1969.

Maricopa County received five battle stars for World War 11 service.