Little Creek Virginia January 31, 1964
Baby Gators Form New LST Division
Five WWII Ships Under ComPhib Gru 2
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."
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