USS Monmouth County LST-1032

The USS Monmouth County (LST-1032) was a United States Navy landing ship built during World War II. She was named after Monmouth County, New Jersey, which was known for its long land battles during the American Revolutionary War. The ship was commissioned on August 1, 1944, and commanded by Lieutenant J. M. Medina.

The class tank landing ship had the capacity to hold eight to ten officers and 89 to 100 crewmen. She commanded speeds of 11.6 knots with a displacement of 2,366 tons. Ship dimensions included a length of 328 ft., a beam of 50 ft. and a draft of 14 ft. 1 in.

Service in World War II and Vietnam

In 1944, the Monmouth County departed from New York City for the Pacific to participate in World War II. In 1945, she suffered an assault near Iwo Jima where enemy fire struck the hull of the ship, killing one crewman and wounding nine others. Despite the intense fighting, the Monmouth County sailed to Saipan to join the Okinawa invasion. The ship docked off the island, emptying her troops and cargo.

Once the Okinawa mission was completed, the Monmouth County sailed to the Philippines where she transported troops and supplies. She also carried occupation troops to the Japanese islands after the war. At the end of 1945, the ship sailed back to the United States, docking in San Francisco.

In 1946, the Monmouth County joined the Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. During this time, she participated in rescue missions in Little Creek, Virginia, expeditions to Greenland and training exercises in the Caribbean. The ship was then decommissioned in 1955.  The Monmouth County was re-commissioned in 1963 as a squadron unit in Little Creek, and was placed on full commission in 1965 during her occupation in the Dominican Republic.

During her four tours in Vietnam, the Monmouth County carried food, ammunition and construction equipment between the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and the Mekong Delta.

After the War

At the end of her last tour, August, 12, 1970, the ship returned home and was decommissioned in Vallejo, California.  She was struck from the Naval Register that same day and scrapped the next year. The Monmouth County received four World War II battle stars for her service.

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.