The USS Lindenwald, an Ashland-class dock landing ship, was fabricated by the Moore Dry Dock Company of Oakland, California. Her original commission began on December 9, 1943. Commander William W Weaver was her commander, and she had a complement of 326 officers and enlisted men. The displacement of the Lindenwald was 4,490 tons, and her length was 457’9″. Her beam was 72’2″ and she had a draft of 18′. Her top speed was 15 knots. Her shakedown and training took place off the coast of San Francisco.
Service in World War II and the Caribbean
The Lindenwald was responsible for the transport of many troops and boats in the course of numerous operations. As part of the Southern Transport Group she was operational in the Invasion of Marshall Island. The Lindenwald carried 18 LCMs (mechanical landing crafts) and when she unloaded, received 54 LVTs (tracked landing vehicles). She was then deployed to the Ellice Islands on her way to Guadalcanal.
Once anchored in Guadalcanal, the Lindenwald made contact with the US Marines. She was an operational part of the invasion of Emirau Island. She transported numerous Marines and boats to the conflict. In May of 1944 while still working with the Marines, the Lindenwald aided in the invasion of Saipan, and then the invasion of Leyte in the Lingayen Gulf.
In March of 1945 the Lindenwald joined with Task Force 51 and together they began to prepare for Okinawa. They arrived in Okinawa on April 1 and remained there for 92 days, operating as a repair and service vessel. She was responsible for the repair of more than 452 boats. Once her duties were completed in Okinawa, she received orders to return to her home port of San Francisco, California. When she arrived there, she spent two months in overhaul. After the overhaul, she was then deployed to the Gulf of Mexico. Her official decommission was on 5 April 1947. She was then placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Beginning in 1953, the Lindenwald was recommissioned as an active part the PhibGroup4 while in service with the 6th Fleet. She was also operational in the Amphibious Force of the Atlantic Fleet. She was briefly staffed with a civilian crew, but reacquired by the Navy during the Cold War. She was an active participant to Operation Quick Kick in April 1964, helping to stabilize the Caribbean region. For several more years, she continued to perform exercises there and on the east coast.
In 1967, the USS Lindenwald was decommissioned for a final time and struck from the Naval record. The next year, she was sold as scrap to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corporation. For her service in World War II, the ship was awarded five battle stars.
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.