The USS La Moure County, originally known as the LST-883, was a 1,625 ton LST-511 class tank landing ship, built at Evansville, Indiana and commissioned January 23, 1945. She was named after La Moure County, North Dakota.
Service in the Far East
Following shakedown off Florida, the LST-833 headed for the Pacific, arriving at Hawaii on May 1, 1945. Three weeks later she departed for Okinawa with a detachment of Seabees. From Okinawa she carried members of the 6th Marine Division back to Pearl Harbor, staying there until September 3. She then transported occupation forces to Japan, delivering them to Sasebo on September 25. Next, on November 4, the ship took engineers from the Philippines to Nagoya. She operated in the Marianas for the rest of 1945.
The first three months of 1946 were spent in the Philippines where she was placed in a custody status. The Navy recommissioned the ship in August 1950 at Yokosuka. Immediately she transported soldiers to Korea, arriving at Inchon on September 15. In the ensuing assault, she landed the troops on Red Beach facing mortar and machine gun fire. As a member of TE 90.32, the LST-883 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation. The ship continued to operate in Korea and Japan until departing for the United States March 31, 1951.
After overhaul at Bremerton from May 16 to July 22, the ship operated off the West Coast until deploying to the Far East on October 2. She continued troop and supply runs in the theater until late July 1952. The LST-883 arrived back in San Diego on August 22. The ship deployed to Korea ten months later, reaching Pusan July 27, 1953. This trip was much like the previous deployments, as the landing ship carried troops and supplies in and around Korea, Japan and Okinawa.
Returning stateside in March she spent the rest of 1954 operating out of San Diego along the California coast. Another Far East deployment took place in 1955, lasting six months and ending on October 19. On July 1 she was renamed the USS La Moure County. Twice more, in 1958 and 1959, she was sent to the Far East.
The Le Moure County was decommissioned on December 7, 1959, at Long Beach and struck from the Naval Register on New Year’s Day 1960. She was sold for scrap in November of that year. She was awarded one Battle Star for service in World War II and seven for actions in Korea.
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.