USS ST. LOUIS (AKA-116)
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.
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
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
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]