Allied Warships

USS LST 561 (LST 561)

Tank landing ship of the LST (Mk 2) class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeTank landing ship
ClassLST (Mk 2) 
PennantLST 561 
Built byMissouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co. (Evansville, Indiana, U.S.A.) 
Ordered2 Aug 1943 
Laid down24 Feb 1944 
Launched25 Apr 1944 
Commissioned15 May 1944 
End service2 Jun 1958 

Decommissioned on 2 June 1958.
Sunk as target on 21 October 1958.


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Notable events involving LST 561 include:

24 Jun 1944

Convoy UGS 46.

This convoy departed Hampton Roads on 24 June 1944.

It was made up of the following transports / tankers; Albert G. Brown (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Alexander Lillington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Ammla (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Anson Jones (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Arthur St. Clair (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Benjamin D. Wilson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin H. Latrobe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Lundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin Williams (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Charles Goodnight (American, 7244 GRT, built 1944), Charles Goodyear (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), David J. Brewer (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Empire Coleridge (British (tanker), 9798 GRT, built 1942), Esso Nashville (American (tanker), 7943 GRT, built 1940), Fitzhugh Lee (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Frederick L. Dau (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), George Matthews (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George Shiraz (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Gideon Welles (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Henry L. Ellsworth (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Howard A. Kelly (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Irvin McDowell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James E. Howard (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James Harlan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Hoban (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Hill (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James Madison (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), John C. Spencer (American, 7242 GRT, built 1943), John H. Reagan (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), John T. Holt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Habersham (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Holt (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Katy (Norwegian (tanker), 6826 GRT, 1931), Kildonan Park (Canadian, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Marshall Elliott (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Memphis City (American, 5686 GRT, built 1921), Norsol (Norwegian (tanker), 8236 GRT, built 1941), O' Henry (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), R.F. Peckham (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Salamis (Norwegian (tanker), 8286 GRT, built 1939), Samavon (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samcolne (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samleven (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samlistar (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Sammex (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samport (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samsoaring (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samspeed (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samstrule (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samtorch (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samtucky (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samtyne (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samuel Gorton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Livermore (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Samwye (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), San Cipriano (British (tanker), 7966 GRT, built 1937), Steel Engineer (American, 5687 GRT, built 1920), Taria (Dutch (tanker), 10354 GRT, built 1939), Thaddeus Kosciuszko (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942), Theodore Sedgwick (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Hill (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Tibia (Dutch (tanker), 10356 GRT, built 1939), Toltec (Honduran, 5527 GRT, built 1929), Tulsa (American, 5083 GRT, built 1919), Vernon L. Kellogg (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ward Hunt (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), William D. Moseley (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), William L. Yancey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942).

Also part of the convoy were the LST's; USS LST-548 (Lt. J.B. Brady, USN), USS LST-550 (Lt. V.A. Meehan, USNR), USS LST-561 (Lt. V.W. Foster, USNR), 11715 655 (T/Lt. D.D. Sumrall, USN), USS LST-656 (Lt. F.T. McCahill, USNR), USS LST-664 (Lt. J.R. Burke, USNR), USS LST-665 (Lt. H.L. Jones, USNR), USS LST-690 (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Reif, USNR), USS LST-691 (Lt. J.H. Monroe, USNR), USS LST-692 (Lt. R.B. Carothers, USNR), USS LST-913 (Lt. L.C. Gwin, USNR), USS LST-914 (Lt. A.W. Meyer, USNR), USS LST-994 (Lt. R.P. Gonder, USNR), USS 995 (Lt. G.W. Chamberlain, USNR), USS LST-996 (Lt. C.A. Leach, Jr, USNR), USS LST-997 (Lt. L.R. Dhuyvetter, USNR), USS LST-1019 (Lt. N.C. Ross, USNR), USS LST-1020 (Lt. P.D. Tracy, USNR), USS LST-1021 (Lt. R.W. Erickson, USNR),

The escort carrier HMS Trouncer (Cdr. B.J. Fisher, DSO, RN) (transporting aircraft) was also part of the convoy as was the naval tanker (escort oiler) USS Mattaponi (Lt.Cdr. V.J. Banks, USNR).

On departure from Hampton Roads the convoy was escorted by Task Force 60 which was made up of the cutter USCGC Bibb (Cdr. H.T. Diehl, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 60, T/Capt. R.B. Nickerson, USN, on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Vance (Lt.Cdr. F.V. Helmer, USCG, with COMCORTDIV 45, Cdr. E.J. Roland, USCG, on board), USS Lansing (Cdr. R.F. Rea, USCG), USS Durant (Cdr. C.C. Knapp, USCG), USS Calcaterra (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Howard, USCGR), USS Chambers (Cdr. H.A. Loughlin, USCG), USS Merrill (Cdr. I.J.Stephens, USCG), USS Riley (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Johnson, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 67, T/Cdr. F.G. Gould, USN, on board), USS Leslie L.B. Knox (Lt. J.A. Moffett, USNR), USS McNulty (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Jennings, USNR), USS Metivier (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Maher, USNR), USS George A. Johnson (Lt.Cdr. A. Robinson, USNR), USS Eugene E. Elmore (T/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Conkey, USN), Somali and the sloop Dumont d'Urville.

On 26 June 1944, the transport Tulsa developed engine trouble and was detached to return to Hampton Roads unescorted.

On 28 June 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

On 3 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USCGC Bibb.

On 4 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS McNulty, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

At 1108O/4, the tanker Norsol was detached to Horta, Azores escorted by USS Leslie L.B. Knox. At 0419N/5, the escort of the tanker was taken over by the A/S trawler HMS Mazurka (A/Skr.Lt. J. Baxter, RNR) and USS Leslie L.B. Knox then set course to rejoin the convoy which she did around 2026N/5.

On 5 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Durant, USS Lansing, USS Chambers, USS Calcaterra, USS Vance and USS Merrill.

On 7 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled the ships of Hunter Killer Task Group 22.5, the escort carrier USS Wake Island (T/Capt. J.R. Tague, USN) and the destroyer escorts USS Farquhar (Delton E Walter, USNR), USS Fiske (Lt. J.A. Comly, USNR), USS Hill (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Bane, USNR), USS J.R.Y. Blakely (Lt. A.S. Archie, USNR) and USS Douglas L. Howard (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Stokey, USNR). Task Group 22.5 was operating in the area also covering the passage of the convoy.

Around 1900Z/9, in position 34°23'N, 08°47'W, the transport Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943) joined coming from Casablanca. She had been escorted out by the minesweeping sloops La Gracieuse, La Boudeuse and Commandant Delage.

These three French escort vessels now proceeded to Casablanca escorting HMS Trouncer and the transports / tankers Alexander Lillington, Esso Nashville, George Shiraz, Henry L. Ellsworth, John T. Holt, Joseph Habersham and Samtucky. They arrived at Casablanca on the 10th. With them was also the Dumont d'Urville.

Around 1730Z/10, the transports Socotra (British, 7840 GRT, built 1943) and Teucer (British, 9079 GRT, built 1906) joined coming from Gibraltar. With these ships the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN), submarine HMS Virtue (Lt. R.D. Cairns, DSC, RN) and rescue tug HMRT Vagrant also joined the convoy.

Around 1650B/12, the destroyer USS Hilary P. Jones (T/Cdr. F.M. Stiesberg, USN) and destroyer escort USS Herbert C. Jones (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Soule, 3rd, USNR) joined the convoy.

Around 1700B/11, the following ships joined the convoy coming from Oran Bay Edward N. Hurley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Edward Richardson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Felix Grundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Rumsey (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John B. Hood (American, 7196 GRT, built 1943), John Howland (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Louis McLane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Luctretia Mott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ponce de Leon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Hart Benton (American, 7187 GRT, built 1943) and Thomas Sumter (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) while the following ships parted company with the convoy and entered Oran Bay; David J. Brewer, Howard A. Kelly, James E. Howard, Katy, USS LST-561, USS LST-664, USS LST-665, USS LST-691, USS LST-994, USS LST-995 and USS LST-1020. The LST's however later rejoined the convoy.

On 12 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS McNulty, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

Also on 12 July 1944, the following ships joined the convoy off Algiers; Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Coulgorm (British, 6997 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gain (British (tanker), 3738 GRT, built 1943), Essex Trader (British, 7237 GRT, built 1943), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Iceland (British, 1236 GRT, built 1914), Lorraine (French (tanker), 9512 GRT, built 1937), Middlesex Trader (British, 7421GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pride (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Pan-Maryland (American (tanker), 7701 GRT, built 1938), Prosper Schiaffino (French, 1634 GRT, built 1931), Samstrae (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Thomas Stone (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Zaanstroom (Dutch, 1646 GRT, built 1920) with the following transports Fort Grahame and Thomas Hart Benton parted company and entered Algiers harbour.

On 13 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USCGC Bibb, USS Durant, USS Lansing, USS Vance, USS Calcaterra, USS Chambers and USS Merrill.

On 13 July 1944, the transports Chertsey and Essex Trader arrived at Bougie after having straggled from the convoy.

On 13 July 1944, the transport Middlesex Trader arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy.

On 14 July 1944, the tankers Empire Harbour (British (tanker), 797 GRT, built 1943), Suderholm (Norwegian (tanker), 4908 GRT, built 1917) and Vittorino Zanibon (Italian (tanler), 1622 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta. Also the new (British) escort joined the convoy, this was made up of the sloop Pheasant and the corvettes Alisma, Saxifrage and Spiraea.

When the above ships joined the convoy the following transports / tankers parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bizerta Hai Lee, Mattaponi, San Cipriano and Tibia. Also all the USN escort vessels and the naval tanker proceeded to Bizerta as did HMS Caledon and the French Somali. Also the LST's had entered Bizerta.

On 14 July 1944, the transport Thomas Stone arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy. Around the same time the transport Prosper Schiaffino must also have left the convoy. She arrived at Sfax on 15 July 1944.

On 15 July 1944, the tanker Thomas F. Cunningham (American, 7218 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Malta. HMS Virtue arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 15 July 1944, the transports / tankers Algorab (Dutch, 4938 GRT, built 1921), Fort la Prairie (British, 7138 GRT, built 1943), Fort Venango (British, 7166 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Goldberger (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Kobad (French (tanker), 7329 GRT, built 1930), Marit Maersk (Greek (former Danish), 1894 GRT, built 1938) and Samesk (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) departed Augusta to joined the convoy.

On 16 July 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Albert G. Brown, Benjamin H. Latrobe, Charles Goodyear, Coulgorm, Edward N. Hurley, Edward Richardson, Empire Gain, Felix Grundy, Fitzhugh Lee, George Matthews, Gideon Welles, Iceland, Irvin McDowell, James Hoban, James Rumsey, John B. Hood, John Howland, Joseph Holt, Joyce Kilmer, Joseph Goldberg, Marshall Elliott, Memphis City, Ocean Pride, Pan-Maryland, Salamis, Samavon, Samsoaring, Samstrule, Samuel Gorton, Samuel Livermore, Taria, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Theodore Sedgwick, Thomas Hill, Thomas Sumter, Toltec, Vittorino Zanibon, Ward Hunt, William D. Moseley, William L. Yancey, William Moultrie and Zaanstroom.

The Empire Harbour arrived at Catania on the same day.

On 19 July 1944, the following transports Marit Maersk, Samcolne, Samleven, Sammex arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy. Also HMS Alisma and HMS Saxifrage arrived at Alexandria.

On 20 July 1944, the following transport / tankers arrived at Port Said; Algorab, Ammla, Anson Jones, Arthur St. Clair, Benjamin D. Wilson, Benjamin Lundy, Benjamin Williams, Charles Goodnight, Empire Coleridge, Fort la Prairie, Fort Venango, Frederick L. Dau, James Harlan, James Madison, John C. Spencer, John H. Reagan, Joseph Goldberger, Kildonan Park, Kobad, Lorraine, Louis McLane, Lucretia Mott, O'Henry, Ponce de Leon, R.F. Peckham, Samesk, Samlista, Samport, Samspeed, Samstrae, Samtorch, Samtyne, Samwye, Socotra, Steel Engineer, Suderholm, Teucer, Thomas F. Cunningham and Vernon L. Kellogg. Also HMS Pheasant and HMS Spiraea arrived at Port Said.

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