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U.S.S. POINT DEFIANCE

(LSD-31)

BEACH OR BAR -- NONE TOO FAR

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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 Deployments - Major Events

Add a LSD-31 Shellback Initiation Add a LSD-31 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV1953-Keel Date: 23 NOV 1953
at Ingalls Shipbuilding Pascagoula MS
SEP1954-Launch Date: 28 SEP 1954
MAR1955-Commissioned: 31 MAR 1955
AUG1958-Shellback Initiation - 24 AUG 1958 - Pacific Ocean
JAN1960-JAN1962Cuban Missle Blockade
JUN1961-Shellback Initiation - 27 JUN 1961 - Pacific Ocean
AUG1961-JAN1962West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN1962-AUG1962Correction to Westpac 1961-1962 listed above
MAY1962-JUL1962West Pac-Viet Nam
AUG1962-Shellback Initiation - 4 AUG 1962 - Pacific Ocean
OCT1962-OCT1962Panama Canal - Cuban Missle Blockade
OCT1962-OCT1962Cuban Missle Blockade
APR1963-MAY1963Transport the Bathyscaphe Trieste to resue the USS Thresher
SEP1963-MAR1964West Pac - Viet Nam - Taiwan
APR1965-NOV1965West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN1965-JUN1965Marine Amphibous assault landing-Chu Lai (1st in Viet Nam?)
NOV1966-JAN1967West Pac-Viet Nam
MAY1967-APR1968Vietnam
APR1968-DEC1968West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP1969-Shellback Initiation - 28 SEP 1969 - Pacific Ocean
SEP1969-NOV1970West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV1969-JUN1970West Pac
JAN1971-MAY1971West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN1971-MAR1972West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB1972-NOV1972West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR1972-NOV1972West Pac-Viet Nam
APR1972-SEP1972West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT1973-APR1974West Pac
JUN1974-APR1975Dry Dock
SEP1975-OCT1975Alaska
JAN1976-JAN1980West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
APR1976-NOV1976West Pac
OCT1976-Shellback Initiation - 12 OCT 1976 - Pacific Ocean
OCT1976- Shellback Initiation - 12 OCT 1976 - Pacific Ocean
MAY1978-Shellback Initiation - 13 MAY 1978 - Pacific Ocean
JUN1978-NOV1978West Pac
JAN1979-JAN1980Dry Dock
OCT1980-APR1981West Pac
NOV1980-Shellback Initiation - 27 NOV 1980 - Pacific Ocean
NOV1980-Shellback Initiation - 11 NOV 1980 - Pacific Ocean
JAN1982-JAN1982West Pac
MAR1982-AUG1982West Pac
SEP1983-Decommissioned: 30 SEP 1983

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 Corp. Pascagoula Miss. 23 November 1953 ;
launched 28 September 1954; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur D. Struble and commissioned 31 March 1955 Comdr. Oscar Blair Parker in command.

Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico the new dock landing ship arrived Long Beach Calif. in July 1955 and joined Amphibious Squadron 7 Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet.

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 eclipse.

In May 1959 Point Defiance participated in the large scale and highly successful amphibious operation "Twin Peaks" off Oceanside Calif. In February 1960 Point Defiance made her third cruise to the western Pacific 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 and in November participated in another combined amphibious operation with the Republic of China.

From April to September 1964 Point Defiance operated in the eastern Pacific 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 South Viet Nam and in early August helped salvage Frank Knox (DDR-742) aground on Pratas Reef. In late August she took part in the very successful operation "Starlight " an amphibious raid at Van Tuong South Viet Nam which inflicted heavy enemy casualties. After another successful amphibious landing 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 western Pacific once again with an amphibious ready group off Viet Nam. She returned to Long Beach 18 December. She remains with the Pacific Fleet into 1970.


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]