USS Schenectady (LST-1185)
USS Schenectady underway
|Namesake:||Schenectady, New York|
|Ordered:||15 July 1966|
|Builder:||National Steel and Shipbuilding Company|
|Laid down:||2 August 1968|
|Launched:||24 May 1969|
|Acquired:||1 May 1970|
|Commissioned:||13 June 1970|
|Decommissioned:||15 December 1993|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target, 23 November 2004|
|Class and type:||Newport-class tank landing ship|
|Length:||523 ft (159.41 m) overall, 500 ft (152.40 m) at the waterline.|
|Beam:||70 ft (21.34 m)|
|Draft:||19 ft (5.79 m)|
|Propulsion:||Six 16 cylinder ALCO 16-251E main propulsion diesel engines. Two shafts, three engines per shaft, 15,000 horsepower per shaft.|
|Speed:||27 knots (50.0 km/h)|
|Troops:||Marine detachment: 18 officers, 289 enlisted Marines|
|Complement:||14 officers, 241 enlisted|
USS Schenectady (LST-1185) was the fifth Newport-class tank landing ship built. It was delivered to the US Navy on 1 May 1970 and commissioned on 13 June 1970. It was decommissioned on 15 December 1993, held in reserve and sunk as a target on 23 November 2004.
The vessel was laid down on 2 August 1968 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co, in San Diego, California. Schenectady was launched on 24 May 1969, sponsored by Mrs Charles E Goodell. The ship was commissioned on 13 June 1970, with Cdr. David E Sigsworth in command.
Assigned to Amphibious Squadron (PhibRon) 9 and homeported at San Diego, Schenectady conducted training exercises and trials through the summer. In October 1970, it got underway to accompany USS Defiance and USS Surprise to Panama. Detached on the 19 October 1970, it returned to San Diego on 29 October 1970 and, for the next six months, participated in further training exercises along the southern California coast.
On 5 May 1971, the LST departed San Diego and headed west to participate in Operation "Keystone Oriole," an operation involving the withdrawal of marine units from Vietnam. Diverted en route to avoid Typhoon Carla, it arrived at Danang, Republic of Vietnam, on 24 May 1971, loaded there, and departed again on the 25th. From Vietnam, it proceeded to Hong Kong, then to Subic Bay, Philippines, where it headed east to Pearl Harbor and San Diego.
Arriving at the latter on 19 June 1971, Schenectady remained on the west coast into the fall, and on 1 October 1971 departed San Diego with six other units comprising PhibRon 5. On the 14th, it joined the 7th Fleet. Four days later, it arrived at Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Upkeep in Japan and training operations in the Ryukyu Island chain southwest of Japan followed. From there, it moved into the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, conducted survey operations, and returned to Okinawa to load diesel electric generating plants for delivery to the government of the Philippines for use in its rural electrification program.
Arriving at Manila on 23 November 1971, it offloaded its cargo, then proceeded to Subic Bay and joined Amphibious Ready Group Alpha. It departed Subic Bay with that group on the 26th and, for the next three and a half weeks, conducted operations which ranged from the Philippines to Japan and into the South China Sea. On 20 December 1971, it returned to Subic Bay. Six days later, it proceeded to Hong Kong, where it remained through the end of the year. On 5 January 1972, it departed Hong Kong and resumed its wide-ranging 7th Fleet operations.
During this period, Schenectady participated in the South Vietnamese Army's offensive to recapture Quang Tri Province, in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam. While so engaged, on 29 June 1972, the LST came under the fire of enemy shore batteries and became the first ship of its class to return fire in an actual combat situation.
After an absence in excess of ten months, Schenectady returned to Coronado, California, on 6 August 1972. For the next year, it remained on the west coast, participating in exercises and engaged in normal operations and upkeep. On 29 August 1973, it departed from the United States for another deployment to the western Pacific. It arrived in Subic Bay on 22 September 1972 and, for the next five months, transported men and cargo between ports in Japan, Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. On 10 February 1974, it stood out of Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to return to the United States. Stopping at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for four days from 23 to 27 February 1972, Schenectady returned to San Diego on 6 March 1972.
Schenectady earned a battle star for service along the coast of Vietnam.
She was decommissioned on 15 December 1993 and laid up in reserve at Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility. Ex-Schenectady was sunk as a target on 23 November 2004 in operation Resultant Fury, the first time a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress independently dropped guided weapons on a moving ship.
Notes and references
- "Airpower Over Water". Retrieved 24 December 2010.