LST-542 Chelan County
These tank landing ships were a modified version of the LST-1 class which went into full production in 1942 Troop capacity was 140. They carried two LCVPs. Typical armament was one 3"/50 gun, eight 40mm guns, and twelve 20mm guns. They had two shafts and two rudders. Unloaded, they drew 2'4" in the bow and 7'6" in the stern. Loaded they drew 8'2" in the bow and 14'1" in the stern.
Some modifications, with the "LST-542 class", included the installation of the (Conn) navigation bridge [3rd level above the main deck] atop the Captain's sea cabin, the installation of a water distillation plant with a capacity of 4,000 gallons per day, removal of the tank deck ventilator tubes from the center section of the main deck, strengthening the main deck to carry an LCT (Landing Craft, Tank), and an upgrade in armor/armament.
MSC-6 Orleans Parish
LST-1069 was laid down 7 February 1945 at Bethlehem Hingham Steel Co., Hingham, Mass., launched 7 March 1945, and commissioned 31 March 1945. The ship remained in the 3rd Naval District serving the Naval Reserve Training Program until transferred to the Reserve Fleet, Green Cove Springs, Fla. September 1949. The outbreak of Communist aggression in Korea ended her retirement 2 years later. Recommissioning on 11 January 1952 preceded conversion as a mine squadron flagship and logistic support vessel. Helicopter landing, fueling, and repair facilities also permitted her to embark and control helicoptors as demonstrated during 1955 LANTMINEX. Also during 1955, on 1 July, LST-1069 was named Orleans Parish. With additional communications equipment installed and other modifications she rejoined the fleet as the mine countermeasure support ship, MSC-6. She decommissioned, 20 May 1966, and was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service where she was designated Orleans Parish LST-1069 and altered to serve as a cargo ship.
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