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USS

LST507

LST507, a tank landing ship, was laid down in September 1943 and launched in November 1943.

Commissioned on 10th January 1944, she sailed from her building yard in New Orleans, Louisiana. After being commissioned, Lt. James S. Swarts, D-V(G), USNR, was in command. LST507 reported for shakedown on 26th January and departed South Pass on 19th February for New York. She then departed New York on 5th March and reached Boston, Mass., the next day. LST507 sailed in convoy BK-99 for Nova Scotia on 10th March and Halifax on 12th March. Arriving in English waters on 28 March 1944, LST507 reported for duty with the Twelfth Fleet on 3rd April. By the end of the month, the tank landing ship was participating in preparations for the invasion of northern France.

On 28th April 1944, LST507 was hit by a torpedo on the starboard side, causing the ship to sink by the stern. The German E-boats also torpedoed LST289 and LST531, sinking the latter. Lt. Swarts ordered the ship to be abandoned, and Swarts relinquished his own life belt. LST515 picked up the survivors, and Swarts succumbed to exposure and shock. He was later awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism.

Survivors included 94 naval officers and enlisted men on board and 151 soldiers on board at the time of the torpedoing.

LST507 was stricken from the Navy Register on 9th June 1944.

Specifications:
  • Displacement:
    1,625 t.(lt)
    4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
    2,366 t. (beaching displacement)
  • Length: 328′ o.a.
  • Beam: 50′
  • Draft:
    light: 2′ 4″ fwd, 7′ 6″ aft
    sea-going: 8′ 3″ fwd, 14′ 1″ aft
    landing: 3′ 11″ fwd, 9′ 10″ aft (landing w/500 ton load)
    limitin:g 11′ 2″
    maximum navigation: 14′ 1″
  • Speed: 11.6 kts. (trial)
  • Endurance: 24,000 miles @ 9kts. while displacing 3960 tons
  • Complement:
    13 officers
    104 enlisted
  • Troop Accommodations:
    16 officers
    147 enlisted
  • Boats: 2 LCVP
  • Cargo Capacity: (varied with mission – payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
    Typical loads:
    1. One Landing Craft Tank (LCT), tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment and military supplies. A ramp or elevator forward allowed vehicles access to tank deck from main deck
    2. Additional capacity included sectional pontoons carried on each side of vessel amidships, to either build Rhino Barges or use as causeways. Married to the bow ramp, the causeways would enabled payloads to be delivered ashore from deeper water or where a beachhead would not allow the vessel to be grounded forward after ballasting
  • Armament: varied with availability when each vessel was outfitted. Retro-fitting was accomplished throughout WWII. The ultimate armament design for United States vessels was:
    2 x Twin 40MM gun mounts w/Mk. 51 directors
    4 x Single 40MM gun mounts
    12 x single 20MM gun mounts
  • Fuel Capacity: Diesel 4,300 Bbls
  • Propulsion:
    two General Motors 12-567A, 900hp Diesel engines
    single Falk Main Reduction Gears
    three Diesel-drive 100Kw 230V D.C. Ship’s Service Generators
    two propellers, 1,700shp
    twin rudders
History
LST-1 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid Down: 8th September 1943, at Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Co., Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Launched: 16 November 1943.
  • Commissioned: USS LST507, 10th January 1944, LT. James S. Swarts, USNR in command.
  • During World War II: USS LST507 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the Invasion of Normandy, June 1944.
  • Action: Sunk by a German E-Boat torpedo attack off Slapton Sands, England, 28th April 1944, during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy invasion. LST507 went down with 16 Army trucks and landing craft on deck and 22 amphibious DUKWs in her hold. Torpedoed by 40-knot German E-boats based in Cherbourg, 202 US servicemen from this vessel were killed. In total US 639 servicemen lost their lives in Exercise Tiger that night.
  • Deregistered: Struck from the Naval Register, 9th June 1944.
  • Commendations:
Commanding Officer(s)
  • LT. Swarts. James S., USNR
    10th January 1944 – 28th April 1944
CREDIT(S): Data Source and images courtesy of NavSource Naval History