The USS Crook County was an LST 542-class tank landing ship that was built during World War II. She was commissioned from 1944 until 1956. She was the only naval vessel to bear the name USS Crook County.
She was built on December 17, 1943 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company out of Seneca, Illinois. Her launch was on April 28, 1944 and her sponsor was Mrs. Ray Hines. Her official commission was on May 15, 1944. Her commander was Lieutenant Roy E Burton Jr. of the United States Naval Reserve.
During her career, the USS Crook County earned two battle stars for her service in World War II, and earned three battle stars for her service in the Korean War. Her displacement was 1,780 tons when light, and 3,640 tons when full. Her length was 328 feet and her beam was 50 feet. When unloaded her draft was 2’4″ forward and 7’6″ aft. Her propulsion was two General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, and twin rudders. Her top speed was 12 knots.
The Crook County was equipped with 2 LCVP’s. These are Landing, Craft, Vehicle, and Personnel boats. They are also referred to as Higgins boats. These boats can hold up to 36 men and go up to 9 knots at their top speed. The Crook County had 140 officers and enlisted troops, and a complement of up to 10 officers and up to 115 enlisted men.
The armament that the USS Crook County was equipped with was 1 single 3″/50 caliber gun mount. She also had eight 40mm guns, and twelve 20mm guns.
Action in World War II
The Crook County’s first assignment had her deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations. While in that region, she took part in the landings at Leyte in October of 1944.
The USS Crook County also took part in the landings at Midoro in December of 1944. She was part of the Pacific Fleet in their amphibious force after the conclusion of World War II.
Action in the Korean War
While with the Pacific Fleet, the Crook County took part in the Inchon landings in September 1950. She was officially renamed the USS Crook County on July 1. 1955.
On October 26, 1956, after many years of loyal service, the USS Crook County was decommissioned and placed in reserve.
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.