USS Whetstone LSD-27 (1946-1970)
The USS Whetstone (LSD-27) was named after Whetstone Point in Baltimore, MD. The landing ship was built at the Boston Navy Yard. The Whetstone was commissioned on 12 Feb 1946 under the command of Commander G R Keating.
The Whetstone left for San Diego, CA, arriving there on 11 May 1946. The ship operated along the west coast of the United States the next few months. The Whetstone left San Francisco, CA on 18 Feb 1947 for the Far East. The Whetstone patrolled the coasts of China and Japan with other naval vessels until 15 Apr 1947. The ship returned to the South China Sea on 15 Jul 1947. The Whetstone returned to the United States the last part of 1948. The Whetstone was decommissioned on 20 Oct 1948.
The Whetstone was re-commissioned on 2 Dec 1950 and deployed to Korea in April 1951. She assisted in recovering a Soviet MIG that went down in July 1951. The ship left for the United States on 5 Dec 1951. The Whetstone was sent to the western Pacific on 1 Dec 1952 and arrived in Japan on 22 Dec 1952. She operated in the Far East into the 1960s. The ship rescued 2 civilians from a capsized vessel near Point Loma, CA.
The Whetstone left San Diego, CA on 11 Feb 1966 and transported the 3rd Marine Division to Okinawa. She moved some of the 5th Marine Division from Okinawa to Vietnam. She spent 2 months supporting the Qui Nhon Support Command. Sailors from the Whetstone and army soldiers repaired landing craft on the deck of Whetstone.
The Whetstone transported LCMs to Cam-ranh Bay on 31 Jul 1966. On 6 Sept 1966, she arrived in Okinawa to unload troops from the 5th Marine Division that had been in combat in the Da Nang area. She returned to San Diego, CA on 6 Oct 1966. The ship was sent to Seattle, WA for repairs and new equipment and made way to San Diego on 26 March 1967.
The Whetstone arrived at WestPac in Dec 1967. The ship transported 11 helicopters from Okinawa to Da Nang. Whetstone became part of Task Group 76.5 and was involved in two amphibious operations. She participated in Operation Badger Catch in Jan. 1968. This operation was to clear enemy troops from the Cua Viet River area. The Whetstone made one more trip to Vietnam in 1969. The ship returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 2 April 1970. She was sold as scrap on 17 Feb 1983.
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.