USS DeKalb County LST-715
The LST-715 was laid down in Jeffersonville, Indiana by the Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Co. and was launched in July of that year. On the 15th of August in 1944, the LST-715 was commissioned.
Action in World War II
During World War II, the LST-715 participated in operations in the Asiatic-Pacific, including the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima through February and March of 1945 and Okinawa Gunto during May and June of the same year. She was transferred in June of 1946 to the U.S. Army Transportation Corp. Commissioned the very next day, she remained on duty until she was removed from the Naval Vessel Register on the 29th of September in 1947.
Action in the Korean War
During the Korean War, in August of 1950, the LST-715 was reinstated. Later re-commissioned on the 30th of August, she offered support in the following campaigns of the Korean War: the North Korean Aggression (1950), the Inchon Landing (1950), the Communist China Aggression (1951), the UN Counter Offensive (1951), the Second Korean Winter (1952), and the Korean Defense Summer-Fall (1952). On July, 1 1955 the LST-715 was re-designated as the USS DeKalb County.
During December of 1965, the USS DeKalb County was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service. On the 1st of November of 1973, she was once again struck from the Naval Register and was transferred to the United States Maritime Administration for continued service in the Nation Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. At Suisun Bay, the ship was disposed of by MARAD on the 30th of April in 1984.
The LST-715 was awarded two battle stars for her service during World War II.
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.