USS Clarke County (LST-601)

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USS Clark County.jpg
USS Clarke County (LST-601), underway off
the coast of South Vietnam, c. 1967.
United States
Name: USS LST-601
Builder: Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, Seneca, Illinois
Laid down: 21 October 1943
Launched: 4 March 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Celia Counter Finch
Commissioned: 25 March 1944
Renamed: USS Clarke County (LST-601), 1 July 1955
Namesake: counties in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and Virginia
Decommissioned: 23 November 1955
Recommissioned: 28 July 1966
Decommissioned: c. 1970
Honors and
Fate: Sold to Indonesian Navy, c. 1979
Name: KRI Teluk Saleh (510)
Acquired: c. 1979
Status: placed in reserve, c. 1995–98
General characteristics
Class and type: LST-542-class tank landing ship
Displacement: 1,780 tons standard, 3,640 tons full load
Length: 328 ft (99.97 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15.24 m)
  • Bow 2'-4", stern 7'-6" (unloaded)
  • bow 8'-2", stern 14'-1" (unloaded)
Depth: 8' fwd; 14'-4" aft (full load)
Propulsion: Two General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Troops: 140 officers and enlisted men
Complement: 8-10 officers, 100-115 enlisted men
Armament: One single 3"/50 gun mount, eight 40mm guns, twelve 20mm guns

The USS Clarke County (LST-601), originally USS LST-601, was a United States Navy LST-542-class tank landing ship built during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1955 and again in the late 1960s. Named after Clarke County, Alabama; Clarke County, Georgia; Clarke County, Iowa; Clarke County, Mississippi; and Clarke County, Virginia, she was the only U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

USS LST-601 was laid down on 21 October 1943 at Seneca, Illinois, by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company. She was launched on 4 March 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Celia Counter Finch, and commissioned on 25 March 1944 with a Lieutenant Ledbetter in command.

First period in commission, 1944-1955[edit]

During World War II, LST-601 was assigned to the European Theater of Operations and participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France in August and September 1944. At the close of World War II, LST-601 remained in active service in Amphibious Force, United States Atlantic Fleet.

LST-601 was renamed USS Clarke County (LST-601) on 1 July 1955. She was decommissioned on 23 November 1955.

Second period in commissiong, late 1960s[edit]

Clarke County was recommissioned on 28 July 1966 and performed service in the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1970. In November 1967 she was damaged during operations near Duc Pho, South Vietnam, and required the salvage efforts of fleet tugs USS Abnaki (ATF-96) and USS Ute (ATF-76) and rescue and salvage ship USS Bolster (ARS-38) USS Mars (AFS-1). Clarke County was refloated on 1 December 1967.

Awards and honors[edit]

LST-601 received one battle star for World War II service. Clarke County received six campaign stars plus two awards of the Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam War service.

Transfer to Indonesia[edit]

Clarke County was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy List after her Vietnam War service had ended. She was sold to Indonesia for service in the Indonesian Navy as KRI Teluk Saleh (510).


From left to right, LST-601, LST-602, and LST-603, at the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia on 10 May 1944.