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USS ST. LOUIS (AKA-116 ) - a Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship

In Commission 1969 to 1991

AKA-116 Deployments - Major Events

Add a AKA-116 Shellback Initiation Add a AKA-116 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
APR 1968 - Keel Date: 3 APR 1968
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
JAN 1969 - Launch Date: 4 JAN 1969
SEP 1969 - MAY 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1969 - Commissioned: 22 NOV 1969
JAN 1970 - JAN 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1970 - JAN 1971 West Pac
NOV 1970 - FEB 1971 West Pac-Viet Nam
DEC 1970 - JAN 1971 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1971 - Shellback Initiation - 6 MAR 1971 - Indian Ocean
MAR 1972 - OCT 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN 1974 - JUL 1974 West Pac
JUN 1974 - Shellback Initiation - 2 JUN 1974 - Indian Ocean
MAY 1980 - NOV 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
MAY 1987 - Shellback Initiation - 19 MAY 1987 - Pacific Ocean
NOV 1991 - Decommissioned: 2 NOV 1991
MAY 1992 - Shellback Initiation - 19 MAY 1992 - Pacific Ocean
NOV 1992 - NOV 1992 Decommisioning

AKA-116 General Specifications

Class: Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship

Complement: 50 Officers and 592 Enlisted

Displacement: 18465 tons

Length: 576 feet

Beam: 82 feet

Draft: 26 feet

Final Disposition: Inactive reserve


The sixth St. Louis (LKA-116) was laid down on 3 April 1968 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched on 4 January 1969; sponsored by the Honorable Leonore K. Sullivan, M.C., Representative from the 3d District of Missouri; and commissioned on 22 November 1969 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Capt. John W. Klinefelter in command.

Following commissioning, St. Louis was outfitted at Norfolk; and, on 3 February 1970, commenced trials. On 6 February, she was ready for sea and sailed for Long Beach, Calif., her home port. While en route, she conducted underway training for her crew; visited Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; transited the Panama Canal; and arrived at Long Beach on 28 February ready for two months of intensive training in battle organization and amphibious operations.

St. Louis spent May and June in post-shakedown availability and the greater part of July in provisioning preparatory to her first deployment with the fleet. Late in July, she conducted her first dependants' cruise to familiarize the families of her crew members with her operations and capabilities. She got underway on 1 August with units of Amphibious Squadron 11 for Pearl Harbor.

St. Louis, with the squadron, reached Pearl Harbor on 6 August, refueled, and sailed on the 8th for Vietnam. On 16 August, she was detached to proceed to Subic Bay and finally rejoined her squadron at Danang on 21 August. After offloading Marines and their equipment, she then proceeded to Buckner Bay, Okinawa; returned to Long Beach to transport a World War II midget Japanese submarine to the submarine base at Pearl Harbor; and anchored again in Danang Harbor on 11 October. After completion of a large redeployment operation involving over 2,000 Marines and 22,000 tons of equipment in the Quang Nam province, St. Louis visited Hong Kong and then moved to Subic Bay in the Philippines to participate in large scale amphibious landing exercises during November and December.

St. Louis completed the amphibious exercise in early January, spent 15 days in upkeep in Subic Bay, then headed north again for two months of shuttling men and cargo between Vietnam, Okinawa, and Japan. She departed from Yokosuka on 20 March 1971 and entered

Long Beach on the 31st. After a month and a half stand down period in Long Beach and three more weeks of local operations and upkeep there, she returned to Vietnam, arriving in Danang on 24 June. She visited Hong Kong, 28 June to 3 July, then returned to Long Beach on 19 July. St. Louis remained on the west coast for the remainder of 1971 and for the first three months of 1972. During this period, she was engaged in refresher training, amphibious exercises, and upkeep. On 31 March 1972, St. Louis headed out of San Francisco Bay back to Vietnam. After seven months of transporting men and cargo between various bases in the western Pacific, she returned to Long Beach on Veterans' Day 1972. She spent the rest of 1972 and all of 1973 on the west coast. She visited Acapulco, Mex., in February, participated in DSRV operations in May, and visited Portland, Oreg., in June for the annual Rose Festival. She finished out 1973 with availability periods, refresher training, and amphibious exercises. In mid-January 1974, St. Louis stood out of Long Beach to return to the western Pacific. As of May 1974, she is in port at Subic Bay, P. I.

St. Louis earned two battle stars for service in the Vietnam War.

[Note: The above USS ST. LOUIS (AKA-116) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS ST. LOUIS (AKA-116), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]