The USS POINT DEFIANCE (LSD-31), a Thomaston-class dock landing ship, was commissioned on 31 MAR 1955. USS POINT DEFIANCE was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi and, after fit out and shake down, moved through the Panama Canal to take up station at Long Beach, California. She began a carrer of Western Pacific deployments, punctuated by special operations. POINT DEFIANCE fired research rockers in 1958, was in theater during the 1962 Cuban Missile Blockade, and in 1963 carried the bathyscaphe Trieste from San Diego Boston. POINT DEFIANCE deployment destination after 1963 was Vietnam. The mid-1970s brought a return to the peace time routine of "West Pac", state-side maintenance and training that comprises the career of a West Coast "Amphib". USS POINT DEFIANCE served her country for 28 years, 5 months and 30 days, until decommissioned on 30 SEP 1983. In September 1995, the she was sold for scrapping, but the Navy repossessed POINT DEFIANCE in July 1997. POINT DEFIANCE has been laid up at NISMF - Suisun Bay, Benicia, CA, awaiting final disposal.
The USS POINT DEFIANCE (LSD-31) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:
LSD-31 General Specifications
Class: Thomaston-class dock landing ship
Complement: 304 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 8899 tons
Length: 510 feet
Beam: 84 feet
Draft: 19 feet
Final Disposition: Laid up in the Reserve Fleet
USS POINT DEFIANCE (LSD-31)
Point Defiance (LSD-31) was laid down by the Ingalls Shipbuilding
23 November 1953 ;
launched 28 September 1954; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur D. Struble
31 March 1955
Comdr. Oscar Blair Parker in command.
Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico
the new dock landing ship arrived
in July 1955 and joined Amphibious Squadron 7
After two deployments to the western Pacific
Point Defiance became
one of the first rocket launching surface ships to support the 1958 International
Geophysical Year Solar Eclipse Expedition to the South Pacific. Launchers
on deck fired eight NIKE-ASP rockets to collect scientific data during the
In May 1959
Point Defiance participated in the large scale and highly
successful amphibious operation "Twin Peaks" off Oceanside
In February 1960 Point Defiance made her third cruise to the western
participating in operation "Blue Star
" a combined amphubious
operation with Chinese Nationalist Forces. In June 1960 she participated
in operation "Sea Hawk
" a combined amphibious landing with Republie
of Korea forces and returned to Long Beach in July.
She operated off the West Coast during most of 1961
and made a brief cruise
to Pearl Harbor and Okinawa. Point Defiance departed Long Beach for
the western Pacific in January 1962. In May she landed Marines at Bangkok
Thailand. In October she transited the Panama Canal and steamed to the Caribbean
ready to act if needed during the Cuban Quarantine.
In early 1963 Point Defiance carried bathyscaphe Trieste from
San Diego through the Panama Canal to Boston for deep search operations
into the cause of the loss of the nuclear submarine Thresher.
In September Point Defiance was on her way to the western Pacific
again. In October she steamed to Viet Nam to safeguard U.S. interests
in November participated in another combined amphibious operation with the
Republic of China.
From April to September 1964
Point Defiance operated in the eastern
then underwent overhaul. She departed for the western Pacific 27
April 1965 and off loaded men and equipment at Da Nang
South Viet Nam
26 May. On 18 June she helped rescue survivors from the midair collision
of two Guam based B-52's. In July she landed Marines at Qui Nhon
and in early August helped salvage Frank Knox (DDR-742)
aground on Pratas Reef. In late August she took part in the very successful
" an amphibious raid at Van Tuong
which inflicted heavy enemy casualties. After another successful
she returned home 24 November.
Point Defiance again departed for the western Pacific 27 March 1966
and began transporting troops and equipment from U.S. bases in the Far East
to South Viet Nam. She returned to Long Beach 24 June
but deployed to South
Viet Nam again 1 November. On 11 January 1967 Point Defiance participated
in operation "Deckhouse V
" a major U.S. operation in the Kien
Hoa area. On 18 May she sent U.S. Marines on to the beach in the southern
half of the Demilitarized Zone
exchanging fire with North Vietnamese shore
batteries. She returned to Lonz Beach 24 June.
On 7 May 1968 Point Defiance was off on another deployment to the
once again with an amphibious ready group off Viet Nam.
She returned to Long Beach 18 December. She remains with the Pacific Fleet
Point Defiance was decommissioned
30 September 1983 and her name struck from the Naval Vessel Register 24
Feb. 1992. She was sold 29 Sept. 1995.
[Note: The above USS POINT DEFIANCE (LSD-31) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS POINT DEFIANCE (LSD-31) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]