From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. VI (1976), pp. 248-249
A city on the Mississippi River -- the largest city in the state of Missouri.
(LKA-116: dp. 18,600; l. 575'6"; b. 82'; dr. 25'3"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 336; a. 8 3"; cl. Charleston)
The sixth St. Louis (LKA-116) was laid down
on 3 April 1968 by the Newport News Shipbuilding
& Dry Doek Co., Newport News, Va., Launched on 4 January 1969; sponsored by the Honorable
Leonore K. Sullivan M.C., Representative from the 3d District of Missouri and commissioned on 22
November 1969 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Capt. John W. Klinefelter in command.
Following commissioning, St. Louis was outfitted
at Norfolk; and, on 3 February 1970, commenced
trials On 6 February, she was ready for sea and sailed for Long Beach, Calif., her home port. While
en route, she conducted underway training for her crew, visited Fort Lauderdale, Fla., transited the
Panama Canal and arrived at Long Beach on 28 February ready for two months of intensive
training in battle organization and amphibious operations.
St. Louis spent May and June in post-shakedown
availability and the greater part of July in
provisioning preparatory to her first deployment with the fleet. Late in July, she conducted her first
dependents' cruise to familiarize the families of her crew members with her operations and
capabilities. She got underway on 1 August with units of Amphibious Squadron 11 for Pearl Harbor.
St. Louis, with the squadron, reached Pearl
Harbor on 6 August, refueled, and sailed on the 8th for
Vietnam. On 16 August, she was detached to proceed to Subic Bay and finally rejoined her
squadron at Danang on 21 August. After offloading Marines and their equipment, she then
proceeded to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, returned to Long Beach to transport a World War II midget
Japanese submarine to the submarine base at Pearl Harbor; and anchored again in Danang Harbor
on 11 October. After completion of a large redeployment operation involving over 2,000 Marines
and 22,000 tons of equipment in the Quang Nam province, St. Louis visited Hong Kong and then
moved to Subic Bay in the Philippines to participate in large scale amphibious landing exercises
during November and December.
St. Louis completed the amphibious exercise
in early January, spent 15 days in upkeep in Subic
Bay, then headed north again for two months of shuttling men and cargo between Vietnam,
Okinawa, and Japan. She departed from Yokosuka on 20 March 1971 and entered Long Beach on
the 31st. ( This was a 11 day TransPac crossing. St Louis maintained a 20 knot + speed for the entire Crossing) After a month and a half stand down period in Long Beach and three more weeks of local
operations and upkeep there, she returned to Vietnam, arriving in Danang on 24 June. She visited
Hong Kong, 28 June to 3 July, then returned to Long Beach on 19 July. St. Louis remained on the
west coast for the remainder of 1971 and for the first three months of 1972. During this period, she
was engaged in refresher training, amphibious exercises, and upkeep.
On 31 March 1972, St. Louis headed out of San
Francisco Bay back to Vietnam. After seven
months of transporting men and cargo between various bases in the western Pacific, she returned to
Long Beach on Veterans' Day 1972. She spent the rest of 1972 and all of 1973 on the west coast.
She visited Acapulco, Mex., in February, participated in DSRV operations in May and visited
Portland, Oreg., in June for the annual Rose Festival. She finished out 1973 with availability periods,
refresher training, and amphibious exercises. In mid-January 1974, St. Louis stood out of Long
Beach to return to the western Pacific. As of May 1974, she is in port at Subic Bay, P.I.
St. Louis earned two battle stars for service in the Vietnam War.
AMPHIBIOUS CARGO SHIPS
DESCRIPTION: Cargo ships designed specifically to support amphibious landings.
The amphibious cargo ships are the first class of ship designed specifically to carry
troops, heavy equipment and supplies in support of amphibious assaults.
Four of the five ships in the class had been transferred to the reserve fleet in the late
1970s and early 1980s. The need for additional sealift capacity resulted in all four
being returned to the active fleet in 1982-1982. They are among the first Navy ships to
have a fully automated main propulsion plant. The lead ship of the class, USS
Charleston (LKA-113) was decommissioned in 1992, and will be joined by USS Saint
Louis (LKA-116) in FY-93. Both ships will be mothballed for possible activation in the
future. The remaining ships will remain active through the end of their service life.
St. Louis is now in the Ready Reserve Inactive Fleet Pearl Harbor, HI
Other US Navy Ships
Named St. Louis