Welcome to the USS LST 494 Assoc. Web Site!
 
What Are LSTs?
       
 The keel of the first LANDING SHIP TANK (LST) was laid down on June 10, 1942 at Newport News, Virginia.  The overall length of the ship was 328 feet with a 50 foot beam and a minimum draft of 3 feet 9 1/2 inches.  An LST could carry a 2,100 ton load of tanks, vehicles and other equipment.  The ship's armament usually consisted of multiple 20-millimeter and 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns along with a three-inch 50-caliber gun.
 
The need for LSTs was urgent and their building program enjoyed high priority throughout the war.  A total of 1,051 LSTs were built during World War II.  LSTs were designed during World War II to disembark military forces without the use of dock facilities or the various cranes and lifts necessary to unload merchant ships.  They gave the Allies the ability to conduct amphibious invasions at any location on a foreign shore that had a gradually sloped beach.  Some LSTs were used for special missions.  They were used  as troop ships, ammunition ships, hospital ships, repair ships and numerous other special purposes.
 
From their combat debut in the Solomon Islands and throughout the war, LSTs demonstrated a remarkable capacity to absorb punishment and survive.  Although considered a valuable target by the enemy, only 26 were lost due to enemy action.  However, crew members often referred to them by the nickname large slow target, loaded for a single trip.  Naval historians have pointed to the aircraft carrier, submarine and LST as key American warships employed in World War II.
 
LSTs  played  important  combat  rolls  in the Korean War and in Vietnam.  World  War II LSTs  are  no longer found in U.S. naval service but some are still in use by the navies of other countries who were given the ships after their usefulness in the U.S. navy ended.
 
LSTs onloading troops and equipment in an English port for the invasion of Normandy
June 1944
Omaha Beach, Normandy
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