The USS Floyd County, originally called the LST-762, was constructed by the American Bridge Company in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and laid down on June 24, 1944. This LST-543-class tank landing ship was sponsored by Mrs. Margaret M Ewing and launched on August 11. She was named after counties in Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa and Virginia. The only ship bearing this name in the Navy, she was put into commission on September 5th with Lieutenant Franklin J. Ewers chosen to captain.
Service in World War II and Korea
The Floyd County was deployed to Pacific and Asiatic waters in April of 1945 to take part in the assault on Okinawa. When the war was over, she helped out with occupation efforts in the Far East, which ended in the middle of November. In March of 1946, she was put out of commission until the Korean War, when she was recommissioned on November 3, 1950. She officially became the USS Floyd County LST-762 on July 1st, 1955.
She joined the Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force after the Korean War was over, taking on many duties near Vietnam between the years 1965 and 1968. On September 3, 1969, she was again put out of commission. Put into reserve in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, on April 1, 1975, she was struck from the Navy’s lists. The Floyd County was awarded a battle star for service during WWII and another for service during the Korean War. She also was awarded three battle stars and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam services.
In December of 1975, the Floyd County was sold for scrap, and then converted for commercial use by the Lake Union Dry Dock Co. out of Seattle, Washington, who sold her once again. She served the Landing System Technology Pte. Ltd. out of Singapore as the LST-1, and then the Maritime and Commercial Company Argonaftis S.A. in Panama as the Petrola 141. She was eventually scrapped in 1998.
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.