USS Maricopa County (LST-938)

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LST-938 entering San Francisco Bay having just passed under the Golden Gate Bridge as she returns from duty in the South Pacific, 27 May 1946
LST-938 entering San Francisco Bay, having just passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, as she returns from duty in the South Pacific, 27 May 1946
Name: USS LST-938
Builder: Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Massachusetts
Laid down: 14 July 1944
Launched: 15 August 1944
Commissioned: 9 September 1944
Decommissioned: December 1949
Recommissioned: 14 December 1951
Decommissioned: 29 February 1956
Renamed: USS Maricopa County (LST-938), 1 July 1955
Struck: 1 June 1962
Honors and
2 battle stars (World War II)
Fate: Transferred to South Vietnam, 12 July 1962
South Vietnam
Name: RVNS Da Nang (HQ-501)
Acquired: 12 July 1962
Fate: Captured by North Vietnam, April 1975
Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svgNorth Vietnam
Name: Tran Khanh Du (HQ-501)
Acquired: April 1975
Fate: Active in service as of 2003
General characteristics
Class and type: LST-542-class tank landing ship
  • 1,625 long tons (1,651 t) light
  • 3,640 long tons (3,698 t) full
Length: 328 ft (100 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
  • Unloaded :
  • 2 ft 4 in (0.71 m) forward
  • 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) aft
  • Loaded :
  • 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) forward
  • 14 ft 1 in (4.29 m) aft
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 × LCVPs
Troops: Approximately 130 officers and enlisted men
Complement: 8-10 officers, 89-100 enlisted men

USS Maricopa County (LST-938) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Maricopa County, Arizona, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as LST-938 on 14 July 1944 at Hingham, Massachusetts by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc.; launched on 15 August 1944; and commissioned on 9 September 1944 with Ensign W. H. Limes in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II, 1944–1945[edit]

Completion of shakedown in Chesapeake Bay brought assignment to the 7th Fleet. With LCT-1210 aboard, she departed New York on 18 October 1944 and rendezvoused with a convoy near Guantanamo en route the South Pacific. Pausing briefly in the New Hebrides, LST-938 sailed on to Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, and commenced unloading on 16 December. Having taken on supplies for a PT base on 7 January 1945, she joined a convoy for the partially liberated Philippines, where she operated for next four months.

On 10 March elements of the 41st Infantry Division were put ashore at Zamboanga on the southwest tip of Mindanao. Further south an invasion was pending and on 28 April LST-938 departed Leyte and steamed to Cairns, Australia. Illustrating the cooperative nature of the war effort, LST-938 transported elements of the Australian 7th Infantry Division to the assault beaches at Balikpapan, Borneo, Dutch East Indies. Unscathed after the landing operations of 1 July and the follow-up resupply missions, she returned to the Philippines on 27 July.

Post-war activities, 1945–1949[edit]

As the war ended, the ship embarked occupation troops and discharged them at Tokyo on 15 September. LST-938 continued to serve in the Japanese occupation until 30 November. Her next assignment placed her on duty along the China coast until 13 May 1946. The ship then departed Tsingtao and returned to the United States.

From her arrival on the east coast on 12 July 1946 until December 1949, LST-938 served as Naval Reserve training ship first at Bayonne, New Jersey, and later at Gulfport, Mississippi. Deactivation followed at Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.


The outbreak of war in Korea brought reactivation and she was recommissioned on 14 December 1951, Lt. H. W. Childress in command. LST-938 was based at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia, and served as a Marine Corps training ship. During the next 4½ years she carried out operations from Greenland to the Caribbean area.

On 1 July 1955 she was named USS Maricopa County (LST-938).

Decommissioning and transfer[edit]

Following an inactivation overhaul at New York she reached Green Cove Springs on 2 December 1955 and decommissioned on 29 February 1956. Late in October 1961 Maricopa County was towed to Philadelphia Navy Yard and prepared for a new career.

Struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1962 she was transferred to South Vietnam and commissioned in the Republic of Vietnam Navy as RVNS Da Nang (HQ-501) on 12 July 1962.

Captured by the North Vietnamese around the time of the fall of Saigon, on 29 April 1975, the ship was placed in service with the Vietnamese People's Navy and renamed Tran Khanh Du (HQ-501).


LST-938 earned two battle stars for World War II service.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

  • "LST-938". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 26 June 2007. 
  • "Maricopa County". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  • "LST-938 Maricopa County". Amphibious Photo Archive. Retrieved 26 June 2007.