USS Clearwater County (LST-602)

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LST-601 LST-602 and LST-603, 10 May 1944
LST-601, LST-602, and LST-603, at the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia on 10 May 1944
History
United States
Name: USS LST-602, later USS Clearwater County
Namesake: Clearwater County, Idaho, and Clearwater County, Minnesota
Builder: Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, Seneca, Illinois
Laid down: 23 October 1943
Launched: 9 March 1944
Commissioned: 31 March 1944
Decommissioned: 1946
Recommissioned: 1950
Renamed: USS Clearwater County (LST-602), 1 July 1955
Struck: 1 May 1972
Honours and
awards:
Fate: Transferred to United States Air Force 1957
Notes:
History
Mexico
Name: Manzanillo (IA-02)
Acquired: 30 May 1972
Fate: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: LST-542-class tank landing ship
Displacement:
  • 1,780 long tons (1,809 t) light
  • 3,540 long tons (3,597 t) full
Length: 328 ft (100 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft:
  • Unloaded :
  • 2 ft 4 in (0.71 m) forward
  • 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) aft
  • Loaded :
  • 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) forward
  • 14 ft 1 in (4.29 m) aft
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 LCVPs
Troops: 140 officers and enlisted men
Complement: 8-10 officers, 100-115 enlisted men
Armament:

USS Clearwater County (LST-602), originally USS LST-602, was a United States Navy LST-542-class tank landing ship built during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1946 and from 1950 to ca. 1957. Named after Clearwater County, Idaho, and Clearwater County, Minnesota, she was the only U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name, it was transferred to, and is currently in use by the Mexican Navy.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

LST-602 was laid down on 23 October 1943 at Seneca, Illinois, by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company. She was launched on 9 March 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Adele R. Ziehm, and commissioned on 31 March 1944 with Ensign John H. Mehus, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

During World War II, LST-602 was assigned to the European Theater of Operations and participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in August and September 1944. In 1946 she was decommissioned/

When the Korean war broke out, LST-602 was recommissioned in 1950 and performed service in the Korean Theater from 26 November 1951 to 25 July 1952 and from 19 July 1953 to 26 February 1954. She participated in the following Korean War campaigns:

  • Second Korean Winter (22 December 1951 to 14 January 1952, 22 February to 11 March 1952, and 20 to 28 March 1952)
  • Korea, Summer-Fall 1953 (27 July 1953).

On 1 July 1955, LST-602 was renamed USS Clearwater County (LST-602). She remained in U.S. Navy service until 1957.

Post-U.S. Navy career[edit]

Clearwater County was operated by the United States Air Force from September 1957 to September 1969, when she was transferred to the temporary custody of the Maritime Administration. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 May 1972 and given to Mexico on 30 May 1972.

In the Mexican Navy, she served as ARM Manzanillo (A-402). Manzanillo helped during operations to help Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005. She is presently stationed in the Pacific Ocean in Manzanillo, Colima, on 16 November 2011 she was decommissioned.

Awards and honors[edit]

LST-602 earned one battle star for World War II service and two battle stars for Korean War service.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.