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USS WEXFORD COUNTY (LST-1168 ) - a LST-1156 class landing ship tank

In Commission 1954 to 1971

LST-1168 Deployments - Major Events

Add a LST-1168 Shellback Initiation Add a LST-1168 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
FEB 1952 - Keel Date: 27 FEB 1952
at Christy Corporation Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin
NOV 1953 - Launch Date: 28 NOV 1953
JUN 1954 - Commissioned: 15 JUN 1954
AUG 1956 - AUG 1956 Panama Canal
JAN 1959 - AUG 1958 West Pac
MAR 1962 - MAR 1962 Shellback 23 March 1962
JAN 1965 - JAN 1967 West Pac-Viet Nam
AUG 1965 - DEC 1965 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1967 - JUN 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN 1970 - DEC 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT 1971 - Decommissioned: 29 OCT 1971

LST-1168 General Specifications

Class: LST-1156 class landing ship tank

Named for: Wexford County in Michigan

Complement: 16 Officers and 189 Enlisted

Displacement: 2590 tons

Length: 384 feet

Beam: 55 feet

Flank Speed: 14 knots

Final Disposition: Sold to Spain 29 October 1971Served in Spanish Navy 1971-1995Sold for scrapping 1995


LST-1168 was laid down on 27 February 1952 by the Christy Corp. Sturgeon Bay Wis. launched on 28 November 1953; sponsored by Mrs. Philip K. Wrigley and commissioned on 15 June 1954 Lt. Comdr. Victor Vansant in command.

Following commissioning LST-1168 was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet with a home port at Norfolk Va. She spent the remainder of 1954 in training shakedown upkeep and independent ship exercises.

On 14 February 1955 she departed Norfolk for a three-month tour of duty in the Caribbean operating from the island of Vieques Puerto Rico. While in the Caribbean the ship visited San Juan and Ponce Puerto Rico; and St. Thomas Virgin Islands. Upon returning to Norfolk in May she engaged in exercises and spent the summer of 1955 on reserve cruises and midshipmen training exercises. The tank landing ship received the name Wexford County on 1 July 1955.

In late 1955 Wexford County entered the shipyard at Philadelphia for overhaul and remained there into April 1956. She completed overhaul and arrived back at Little Creek on 4 April. The ship then participated in east coast operations until July when she deployed for the Caribbean. After stops at Vieques and Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico she returned briefly to Little Creek then set out for the west coast via the Panama Canal. Wexford County arrived at Long Beach Calif. on 2 September 1956 and spent the year conducting routine operations off the California coast.

In January 1957 the ship reported to Long Beach for overhaul and remained there until April. She departed for San Francisco on 4 April and entered an upkeep period which lasted until 20 June. She returned to San Diego on 22 July 1957 where the tank landing ship continued operations along the California coast.

Wexford County departed for Pearl Harbor and her first deployment to the western Pacific on 23 January 1958 en route to Yokosuka Japan. From Yokosuka the ship made stops in Hong Kong; Sasebo Japan and Inchon Korea. On 24 June 1958 she left for San Diego and arrived there on 18 August. After several months of activity she went into upkeep on 5 December at Long Beach.

On 29 January 1959 Wexford County departed for Yokosuka again via Hong Kong and Okinawa. She arrived at Yokosuka on 24 March 1959. The ship made several shuttles between Yokosuka and Sasebo Japan and Naha Okinawa. She left Yokosuka for San Diego arriving there on 7 June 1959. The remainder of the year was spent in exercises off the coast and routine upkeep.

During the next several years Wexford County was involved in numerous routine operations along the California coast. A highlight of these years was a deployment to Guam for which she departed San Diego on 2 January 1962. After steaming 5 480 miles she arrived on 23 January. The ship conducted operations for reconnaissance and installation of weather stations in the eastern Caroline Islands. The ship returned to San Diego on 1 September 1962. On 10 July 1963 she commenced overhaul at Bethlehem Steel Long Beach Calif. which lasted through late November.

The first two months of 1964 found Wexford County engaged in training. She was in a restricted availability status during March and April 1964. In May she participated in Exercise "Pine Tree " in which Wexford County served as a secondary control ship. During July 1964 the ship was in type training. This was followed by Exercise "Sea Bar " held near Fort Lewis Wash. in conjunction with the United States Army. In this exercise Wexford County acted as primary control ship. Returning to San Diego in mid-September Wexford County entered upkeep for several weeks. She then took part in amphibious exercises with Marine forces. Upon completion of various training exercises the ship entered a holiday upkeep period.

In early 1965 Wexford County took part in Operations "Bubble Ops" and "Silver Lance " which were at that time the largest peacetime amphibious operations ever conducted in the Pacific. Shortly after she departed for Okinawa and Yokosuka Japan. Following a brief stay the ship sailed in early May for San Diego. During June and July 1965 she carried out local operations. In August Wexford County again deployed for the western Pacific and spent September in Danang Vietnam. Subsequent stops were made in Chu Lai and Qui Nhon Vietnam; and Hong Kong. In December 1965 Wexford County returned to San Diego for the duration of the year.

Wexford County was involved in local operations for the first four months of 1966 and provided services for the Amphibious School Coronado Calif. In late April the LST steamed to Newport Oreg. to participate in that community's Loyalty Day celebration. On 1 May 1966 Wexford County returned to San Diego. On 12 July she arrived at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul. The ship returned to San Diego on 9 November and began underway and refresher training on 27 November. This training period ended on 16 December 1966.

Amphibious training for the tank landing ship commenced on 16 January 1967 and continued through 27 January. She briefly returned to Long Beach for further repair; then continued on to Hawaii to participate in landing exercises on Molokai and to lift Marine forces to San Diego. In June 1967 Wexf ord County sailed to San Francisco Portland and Seattle to embark Marine troops bound for training at Camp Pendleton Calif. She participated in various operations during July; and in late August she repeated her stops along the west coast to return Marine units to their respective home ports.

After returning to San Diego in September Wexford County began a tender availability period. Amphibious exercises and deployment preparations lasted through October. In early November 1967 the ship sailed for

Vietnam by way of Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka. In December Wexford County reached Vietnam and assumed her duties.

On 4 January 1968 Wexford County arrived in Subic Bay to off-load cargo and departed on 14 January to return to Vietnam. She remained on station until 13 March at which time she left for Subic Bay arriving there on 16 March. She returned to Vietnam via Hong Kong on 5 April to rejoin forces off Vietnam.

Wexford County left Vietnam in early May and returned to San Diego via Taiwan Yokosuka and Pearl Harbor. She arrived in San Diego on 26 June 1968 after approximately seven and one-half months overseas. For the next two months the ship was in a restricted availability status.

On 28 August the ship got underway for South Bend Wash. to help celebrate the city's Labor Day festival. She returned to San Diego on 6 September. Throughout September and October Wexford County carried out operations along the California coast. On 15 November 1968 she entered drydock at San Diego.

Wexford County got underway on 12 January 1969 with a task group headed for Mazatlan Mexico arriving on 18 January. She spent two weeks there involved in various training exercises. In February and March Wexford County was again in San Diego for routine maintenance. She departed for exercises at Treasure Island Calif. on 14 April. She sustained heavy damage to a main engine and spent May undergoing repairs at San Diego.

A midshipmen cruise occupied the months of June and July. August and September 1969 were devoted to exercises and Wexford County spent the rest of the year in overhaul at San Diego.

The yard period ended on 20 February 1970. Inspections training and preparations for deployment occurred from March through May and on 2 June 1970 the ship left for Pearl Harbor and Guam. Wexford County reached Guam on 25 June and after taking on new cargo she left for Subic Bay Philippines and then to Vietnam. After unloading a construction battalion and their equipment she departed for Hong Kong arriving there on 30 July.

From 2 September 1970 through early November Wexford County was involved in numerous troop lifts cargo transports and exercises between Okinawa and Yokosuka and Numazu Japan. On 2 November she detached and began the voyage back to San Diego via Subic Bay; Guam; Ponape Caroline Islands and Pearl Harbor. She arrived at San Diego on 22 December 1970.

Wexford County spent the year 1971 in preparation for transfer to Spain. The ship was decommissioned on 29 October 1971 and transferred to the Spanish Navy that same date where she served as Martin Alvarez (L 12) into 1980.

Wexford County earned five battle stars for her service in Vietnam.

[Note: The above USS WEXFORD COUNTY (LST-1168) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS WEXFORD COUNTY (LST-1168) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]