USS Terrell County LST-1157

The USS Terrell County was first laid down March 3, 1952 in Bath, Maine. She launched on December 6, 1952 and was sponsored by Mrs. John H. Spiller. The Terrell County was first commissioned on March 14, 1953 by the name USS LST-1157. She was re-commissioned under the name USS Terrell County on July 1, 1955.

On September 23, 1953 the Terrell County departed from North Carolina and headed to join the Pacific Fleet with a full complement of amphibious vehicles and Marines.  She arrived in San Diego in late October. During 1954, the Terrell County operated in the Central-Pacific, mainly providing transport of supplies, to the southern Marshall Islands. She returned to the United States on July 2, 1954, where the Terrell County performed duties off the west coast. In 1955, the Terrell County had one deployment to Okinawa and Japan, returning to her west coast duties later in the year.  On August 13, 1957 the Terrell County was deployed again to the Western Pacific. During this tour she served as the Flagship for Landing Ship Squadron 1. During this tour the Terrell County had three successful amphibious landings, moved over 500 vehicles and 1500 men and steamed over 25,000 nautical miles. 1958 brought a sudden training session in Pearl Harbor when tensions began to flare in Lebanon. After the crisis abated, she returned to west coast duty.  On April 15, 1959, the Terrell County was deployed to Japan and returned later in the year for a complete overhaul in San Diego. On the 16 of June 1960 the Terrell County was sent to the West Pacific again. At this time her home base was changed to Japan. In March 1965, the Terrell County was sent to South Vietnam; she arrived on March 16, unloaded and returned to base for an overhaul. After the refit, she spent the entire month of August in training. On October 1965 she was sent to Korean where she picked up the “Tiger Division” of the Republic of Korea for transport to Vietnam. This marked the first time in over 1000 years Korean troops had been sent abroad. The Terrell County participated in Operation Blue Marlin outside of Danang, and on the 21 of November 1965 was run aground during bad weather. After repairs to her hull, the Terrell County was returned to duty. The USS Terrell County remained in Vietnam until 1970 providing support services and participating in many important operations. She returned to San Diego on November 11, 1970 and was placed in the pacific Reserve Fleet. The USS Terrell County was decommissioned on March 25, 1971. She was struck from the register on November 1, 1976. The USS Terrell County was sold to Greece where she served as the Oinoussai L104 until March 20, 2003.

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.