LST-1153 Talbot County
These two LST's (1153 and 1154) were built at the Hingham Shipyards and were the only two steam powered LSTs built. These and the next 15 LSTs were 383 feet long, 55 feet wide and displaced 2324 tons (light).
The end of World War II left the Navy with a huge inventory of amphibious ships. Hundreds of these were scrapped or sunk, and most of the remaining ships were put in "mothballs" to be preserved for the future. Consequently, construction of LST's in the immediate post-war years was modest.
The keel of the LST 1153 was laid on July 19, 1945 at the Boston Naval Shipyard. At the height of wartime construction ships of this type took an average of ninety days from the laying of the keel to the launching of the completed ship. Shortly after the keel of the LST 1153 was laid down the Allies accepted the surrender of the Japanese Empire, after having already defeated the Axis powers in Europe. The need for the LST 1153, it seemed, had disappeared and construction was suspended. After a lengthy delay construction was resumed and she was launched on April 24, 1947.
LST-1153 and LST-1154, commissioned respectively in 1947 and 1949, were the only steam-driven LST's ever built by the Navy. They provided improved berthing arrangements and a greater cargo capacity than their predecessors. The LST 1153 and the LST 1154, though great ships, were built as experimential steam powered ships and were not considered as a great group of ships.
Older, smaller LST's were considered slow although they were capable of filling the role for which they were designed. With a length of 382 feet, a beam of 54 feet, displacement of 6000 tons, and a top speed of 13 knots, the 1153 class of LST's brought about an increase in speed as well as a larger load capacity.
Armament consisted of two open 5" 38cal. gun mounts, one forward and one aft; two twin .40mm gun mounts and two .20mm gun mounts. The smaller, anti aircraft type guns were all mounted near the forward 5" 38cal mount.
Propulsion on these LST's was by steam. The USS LST 1153 was equipped with a 450 PSI Babcock and Wilcox boiler and two engines, housed in two separate engine rooms. The forward engine room contained a Westinghouse Engine and the aft engine room housed an engine manfactured by General Electric. Fuel for the boiler was black oil. Like other LST's the 1153 and the 1154 were equipped with dual shafts and screws (propellers).
AVB-2 Tallahatchie County
USS LST-1154, a 2250-ton LST-1153 class tank landing ship, was built at the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts. She was commissioned in May 1949 and thereafter operated with the Atlantic Fleet. Renamed Tallahatchie County in July 1955, she deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in 1958 and in 1959-60. In 1961-62, she was converted to an advance aviation base ship and redesignated AVB-2. She was sent to the Mediterranean in mid-1962 to provide immediate support for the establishment of expeditionary air bases. Homeported at Naples, Italy, Tallahatchie County remained in the Mediterranean for the rest of her Navy service. She was decommissioned in January 1970 and sold for scrapping in July of that year.
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