The USS Cayuga County LST-529 was constructed by the Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Company in Jeffersonville, Indiana and laid down on November 8th, 1943. This LST-491-class tank landing ship was sponsored by Mrs. Margaret S. Carey, launched on January 17th, 1944, and named after Cayuga County, California. She is still the only Naval ship with this name. She was put into commission on February 29th, 1944, with Lieutenant G. L. Moore, USNR chosen to captain.
Service in World War II
The LST-529 was first assigned to help with the Invasion of Normandy in European waters in June of 1944. She did not see any more action during World War II, and was put out of commission on June 7th, 1946.
Service in the Korean Conflict
The LST-529 was put back into commission on September 22nd, 1950. She was very active during the Korean War and took part in many campaigns. Her duties included involvement in the United Nations Summer through Fall offensive from July through August of 1951, the 2nd Korean Winter from December of 1951 until March of 1952, and Korean Summer from June until July of 1953. When the war was over, she remained in Korea to help out until July of 1954. She was then sent home to the U.S. and underwent an overhaul while there.
After the War
Following her overhaul, on July 1st, 1955 she was renamed the USS Cayuga County LST-529. In the late 1950s, she was sent to the Bonin and Marianas Islands to be a logistic support ship for operations being carried out there. She stayed there for some continued logistical duties, but was soon put out of commission.
On December 17th, 1963 she was put back into commission and loaned to the Republic of Vietnam. They gave her the name Thi Nai HQ-502. On April 29th, 1975, after Saigon fell, she escaped to the waters of the Philippines. After this, the Philippine Navy claimed her and renamed her the BPR Cotabato Del Sur LT-87 on November 17th, 1975. She was finally sold for scrap in 2003.
She was awarded on battle star for service during World War II and three for Korean War service.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.