Little Creek Virginia January 31, 1964
Baby Gators Form New LST Division
Five WWII Ships Under ComPhib
Five World War II task landing ships
got an administrative new look here recently. They were organized into
a new division of their own within the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force.
The reorganization is intended to
consolidate training and operational matters of this class ship.
Task Landing Ship Division 41, only
one of its kind in the force, is presently commanded by Rear Adm. Robert
E. M. Ward, Commander Amphibious Group Two. It is composed of Dodge County,
Duval County, C??? County, Churchill County and Middlesex County, ships
which were recommissioned during the defense buildup of 1961.
"I am delighted to have you in Amphibious
Group Two," wrote Adm. Ward ... the division was formed. "As you know,
my personatl interest in LSTs is very keen. I am certain that you will
continue to perform assigned missions in an exemplarary manner and you
will maintian optimum combat readiness."
He continued "I am also certain that
you will fulfill any and all of the challenging tasks that are part of
the NAVY-MARINE CORPS TEAM'S continuing and increasingly important role
in the achievement of our national objectives. Welcome aboard."
The ships were among more than one
thousand tank landing ships constructed during World War II, a type of
which Sir Winston Churchill said "... made perhaps the greatest single
contribution to the solution of landing heavy vehicles over beaches."