q LST 531 - Exercise Tiger
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The Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company put down the foundation for the LST531 on September 22nd, 1943, in Evansville, Indiana. The vessel was launched on November 24th, 1943, and Mrs. Marion Yoder was the sponsor. The vessel was commissioned on January 17th, 1944, with Lieutenant William D. Bradley of the United States Navy serving as the commander.

On April 28th, 1944, during WWII as USS LST531 was participating in a pre-invasion landing drill called Exercise Tiger, in Lyme Bay, England, it was lost to a German E-boat torpedo strike.

As of the 9th of June, 1944, LST531 was removed from the Navy list.

  • 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
LST-491 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid Down: 22nd September, 1943, at Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville, IN.
  • Launched: 24th November, 1943.
  • Commissioned: USS LST531, 17 January, 1944, LT. William D. Bradley, William D., USNR, in command
  • During World War II: USS LST531 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater.
  • Action: Sunk by a German E-Boat torpedo attack off Slapton Sands, England, 28 April 1944, during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy invasion.
  • Deregistered: Struck from the Naval Register, 9th June, 1944.
  • Commendations:
Commanding Officer(s)
  • LT. Bradley, William D., USNR
    17th January, 1944 – 1944
  • LTjg. Behrens, John W., USN
    1944 – 28th April, 1944
CREDIT(S): Data Source and images courtesy of NavSource Naval History, the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., and Beverly Hughes ( LT JG. John H Hill’s niece,).