USS Benzie County (LST-266)
The USS "Benzie County" (LST-266) was an sclass|LST-1|tank landing ship built for the
United States Navyduring World War II. Named for Benzie County, Michigan, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.
LST-266 was laid down on
11 November 1942at Ambridge, Pennsylvaniaby the American Bridge Company; launched on 16 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph B. Barnwell; accepted and placed in reduced commission on 24 July 1943; departed Ambridge on 25 July 1943; and commissioned at New Orleans, Louisianaon 4 August 1943. After fitting out, LST-266 carried out her shakedown training in St. Andrews Bay until 28 Augustwhen she set out for Key West, Florida. Arriving there on 30 August, she joined coastal convoy KN-262 on 1 Septemberand reached Little Creek, Virginiasoon thereafter for operations in the Norfolkarea and at Solomons Island, Maryland. The tank landing ship continued in the Hampton Roadsregion for the rest of 1943 and well into 1944.
14 March 1944she sailed for Tunisiaas part of Task Force (TF) 64, in convoy UGS-36, 72 merchantmen and 18 tank landing ships shepherded by 16 warships. The escorts drove off a suspected U-boatlate on 31 March, but danger from above replaced that from below just six hours later when 22 German aircraft attacked the convoy early on 1 April. In the ensuing action, the screen downed two enemy planes and probably damaged two others. As a result, UGS-36 reached its destination, Bizerte, on 3 April. LST-266 then stood out of that port on 12 Apriland made Oran, Algeria, on the 16th. From there, she sailed for the United Kingdomon 20 Aprilin convoy MKS-46, reporting to the 12th Fleet for duty upon her arrival in British waters on 3 May 1944. A little over a month later, LST-266 (as LST Flotilla4 flagship) took part in Operation Neptune, the invasion of France. On 5 June, the tank landing ship departed Falmouth, Englandfor the assault area in Task Group (TG) 126.4 made up of 40 LSTs, 35 of which towed pontoon causeways. The Channel's characteristic strong winds and heavy tidal currents made station keeping hazardous; but eventually, at 0800 on the 7th, TG 126.4 reached the invasion beaches; and LST-266 dropped anchor off the " Fox Green" portion of Omaha Beach. Despite a choppy sea, the ship dispatched her first loaded landing craft, an LCM, to the beach at 1120; but the rough sea finally forced a pause in unloading at 1345. With 184 troops and 84 vehicles still on board, LST-266 persuaded a tank landing craft(LCT) to "marry" to her bow so that unloading could resume, an evolution aided by providentially calm wind and sea conditions. After three LCTs had been loaded and dispatched to the beach, more remained on board to send. Her executive officer, Lt. Wilbur H. Lundell, took a small boat out to look for a Rhino Ferryto speed the unloading. His hunt bore fruit; and, after marrying the Rhino Ferry to her bow at 2323, LST-266 completed her unloading at 0130 on the 8th.
Later that day, LST-266 received orders to stand out for onward routing. "Ducking and dodging" convoys of LCTs on the return voyage, LST-266, one of 42 LSTs in convoy, reached the
Isle of Portlandon the morning of the 9th. From there, she accompanied 11 other tank landing ships to Tilbury Docks to load cargo, arriving there early on 12 June. Embarking 273 British troops and 72 vehicles, LST-266 anchored briefly in the River Thamesbefore joining an out-bound convoy, ETM-8, in the late afternoon of the 13th. Arriving off Sword Beach, in the British sector, at 2245 on 14 June, LST-266 beached herself on " Queen Red" Beach, four miles west of Ouistreham, France at 0830 on the 15th along with five other U.S. tank landing ships. "Until 0930," wrote Lieutanant Logan A. Bolon, USNR, LST-266's captain, "the beach was peaceful and free of enemy action, but at 0930 the peacefulness took a hasty departure, no doubt hurried along by the burst of an enemy shell five hundred yards on the port quarter." As the tide receded enough to allow unloading, the Germans increased the tempo of their gunfire accordingly. Over the next few hours, enemy long-range guns methodically sowed the beach with shells. "I am fully convinced," Bolon recounted, "that those manning the enemy guns were extremely capable and not at the game. The range and deflection was good and salvoes varied from one to four. This vessel received one direct hit...and enough near misses to scare the daylights out of us..."
Shortly before 1130, the nearby LST-207 took a direct hit, and immediately requested medical assistance. LST-266 provided a doctor and 14 pharmacist's mates to help the wounded; soon thereafter, at 1137, LST-266 herself took a hit at the normal load
waterline, in a main ballast tank. About ten minutes later, the tank landing ships received orders to evacuate all hands save skeleton crews. At 1150, LST-266's crew went ashore and sought cover for the duration of the shelling, leaving behind a seven-man repair party, four motor machinist's mates, one chief pharmacist's mate, a doctor and two other officers. Even British warships, brought into the area a little over a half an hour later, failed to silence the enemy guns which continued to lob shells at the LSTs until 1630, inflicting damage on five of the six.Although she had dispatched her last vehicle to the beach at 1325, LST-266 could not retract from the beach because of the extreme tide conditions. Those men who had been evacuated returned a little over an hour later; and, at 1600, the tank landing ship began making all preparations for getting underway. Retracting soon thereafter on the second attempt, LST-266 proceeded to the out-bound convoy anchorage area and, from there, headed back to England, entering Portsmouthat 0235 on 17 June. Her repeated requests for repairs at British facilities ignored, LST-266 had to take matters into her own hands, and her own ship's force repaired the shell damage within 24 hours.
LST-266 remained in European waters, carrying out cross-channel missions, into the spring of 1945. She then moved to
Belfastin Northern Irelandwhere she joined a homeward-bound convoy, ONS-50, on 11 May, with USS LCT-527LCT-527nested on board. Detached from the convoy on the 27th, LST-266 proceeded to Norfolk, arriving there on the 31st to unload the landing craft and undergo voyage repairs. Although earmarked for Pacificservice, LST-266 never reached that theater, spending the rest of her active days in the Atlantic. Following an availability at Norfolk during the summer of 1945, the tank landing ship steamed to New York, where she loaded LCT-706 and the stern section of LCT-600. After carrying that cargo to Hampton Roads and unloading it at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, she returned to New York immediately to load LCT-766 for transportation to Jacksonville, Florida. Arriving at Green Cove Springs, Floridaon 2 October 1945, she reported for duty with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet that same day. On 18 June 1947, LST-266 was decommissioned and placed in service, in reserve. A week later, on 25 June 1947, she was placed out of commission, in reserve. Towed from Mayport, Floridato Charleston, South Carolinaby the USS|Tunica|ATA-178|2 three weeks later, LST-266 remained at the Charleston Naval Shipyarduntil 11 Septemberwhen the USS|Umpqua|ATA-209|2 towed her back to Mayport.
1 July 1955, the tank landing ship was named USS "Benzie County" (LST-266), but never served actively under the name. On 1 November 1958her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register, and she was sold to the Fleet Storage Company on 4 August 1959for scrapping. LST-266 earned two battle stars for World War II service.
* cite web|title=LST-266 "Benzie County"|work=Amphibious Photo Archive
List of United States Navy LSTs
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Benzie County, Michigan — Infobox U.S. County county = Benzie County state = Michigan map size = 225 founded = 1863 seat = Beulah | area total sq mi =860 area land sq mi =321 area water sq mi =538 area percentage = 62.62% census yr = 2000 pop = 15998 density km2 =19 web … Wikipedia
List of World War II topics (U) — # U 571 (film) # U A # U boat Front Clasp # U boat War Badge # U Boote westwärts # U Man # U.S. British Staff Conference (ABC 1) # U.S. 20th Air Base Group # U.S. 5th Interceptor Command # U.S. Army Forces Far East # U.S. Army Forces in the… … Wikipedia
List of United States Navy LSTs — A full list of United States Navy Landing Ship Tanks (LST)* USS LST 1 * USS LST 2 * USS LST 3 * USS LST 4 * USS LST 5 * USS LST 6 * USS LST 7 * USS LST 8 * USS LST 9 * USS LST 10 mdash; converted to USS Achelous (ARL 1) * USS LST 11 * USS LST 12… … Wikipedia
List of United States Navy ships, B — B Ba* USS B 1 (SS 10) * USS B 2 (SS 11) * USS B 3 (SS 12) * USS B. A. H. Hubbard (SP 416) * USS B. F. Macomber (SP 980) * USS B. H. B. Hubbard (SP 416) * USS B. N. Creary (1864) * USS Bab (SP 116) * USS Babbitt (DD 128) * USS Babette II (SP 484)… … Wikipedia
Liste der Schiffe der United States Navy/B — Schiffe der United States Navy A B C … Deutsch Wikipedia