Thomaston-class dock landing ship

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USS Thomaston;10122801.jpg
Class overview
Name:Thomaston class
Builders: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi [1]
Preceded by: Casa Grandeclass
Succeeded by: Anchorageclass
Built: 19531956
In commission: 1954
Completed: 8
Active: 1
Retired: 7
General characteristics
Type: Dock landing ship
Displacement: 11,800 long tons (11,989 t) full load
Length: 510 ft (160 m)
Beam: 84 ft (26 m)
Propulsion: 2 × 600 psi boilers, 2 × geared turbines, 2 shafts, 24,000 shp (17,897 kW)
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)+
Boats & landing
craft carried:
3 × LCU or 9 × LCM-8 or 50 × AAV/LVTP-7 amphibious tractors
Troops: 325
Complement: 348 (18 officers, 330 enlisted)
Armament: 4 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal Mk.33 AA guns (2 twin mounts)
Aviation facilities: Helicopter landing area

The Thomaston class was a class of eight dock landing ships built for the United States Navy in the 1950s.

Dock landing ship type of amphibious warfare ship

A dock landing ship is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with well decks, such as the Soviet Ivan Rogov class, also have bow doors to enable them to deliver vehicles directly onto a beach. Modern dock landing ships also operate helicopters.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of US Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2019, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.


The class is named after a town of Thomaston, Maine, which was the home of General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War to serve under the United States Constitution. [2]

Thomaston, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Thomaston is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,781 at the 2010 census. Noted for its antique architecture, Thomaston is an old port popular with tourists.

Henry Knox Continental Army and US Army general, US Secretary of War

Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, who also served as the first United States Secretary of War from 1789 to 1794.

United States Secretary of War minister in the USA

The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War", had been appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation between 1781 and 1789. Benjamin Lincoln and later Henry Knox held the position. When Washington was inaugurated as the first president under the Constitution, he appointed Knox to continue serving as Secretary of War.


The Thomaston class was the third class of U.S. Navy dock landing ships. The class was designed and approved in the early 1950s. Compared to the Ashland and Casa Grande-class dock landing ships of World War II, the ships of this class were about a third larger and five knots faster. [3] The class was designed to be able to transport:

<i>Ashland</i>-class dock landing ship

The Ashland-class dock landing ship were the first of their type and were built during World War II. A Landing Ship, Dock is a form of auxiliary warship designed to support amphibious operations.

<i>Casa Grande</i>-class dock landing ship

The Casa Grande class was a class of dock landing ships used by the Royal Navy and the United States Navy during the Second World War. Nineteen ships were planned, but two, USS Fort Snelling and USS Point Defiance were cancelled before being completed.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Landing Craft Utility Type of boat designed for transporting amphibious forces and cargo to shore

The Landing Craft Utility (LCU) is a type of boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers.


The LCM-8 is a river boat and mechanized landing craft used by the United States Navy and Army during the Vietnam War and subsequent operations. They are currently used by governments and private organizations throughout the world. The acronym stands for "Landing Craft Mechanized, Mark 8".

Landing Craft Mechanized Landing craft designed for carrying vehicles

The landing craft mechanized (LCM) also landing craft mechanical is a landing craft designed for carrying vehicles. They came to prominence during the Second World War when they were used to land troops or tanks during Allied amphibious assaults.

The dock was covered by removable segments that were able to carry the weight of two medium helicopters. Both cranes could lift weights of up to 50 tons. The machinery spaces were located underneath the dock, in contrast to the earlier Ashland class, where the machinery spaces were located to port and starboard of the dock.

Originally, all ships were armed with eight 3"/50 caliber gun Mark 33 twin mounts. The number was later reduced.

3"/50 caliber gun naval artillery gun class defined by bore diameter and length

The 3″/50 caliber gun in United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long. Different guns of this caliber were used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard from 1890 through the 1990s on a variety of combatant and transport ship classes.

Spiegel Grove was a trial ship for the Jeff(A) and Jeff(B) landing craft in the mid-1980s. Jeff(B) was then developed into the Landing Craft Air Cushion. All ships were decommissioned by the U.S. Navy between 1983 and 1990, Alamo and Hermitage were sold to Brazil in 1989-1990. [4]

USS <i>Spiegel Grove</i> (LSD-32) US Navy dock landing ship sunk off Key Largo as an artificial reef

USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32) was a Thomaston-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was named for Spiegel Grove, the home and estate in Fremont, Ohio, of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States.

Landing Craft Air Cushion Hovercraft employed as a landing craft

The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a class of air-cushion vehicle (hovercraft) used as landing craft by the United States Navy's Assault Craft Units and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). They transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force both from ship to shore and across the beach.

USS <i>Hermitage</i> (LSD-34)

USS Hermitage (LSD-34) was a Thomaston-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was named for The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's estate just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

Ships in class

Ship NameHull numberCommissionedDecommissionedFate
Thomaston LSD-2817 September 195428 September 1984Sold for scrap, 28 July 2011
Plymouth Rock LSD-2929 November 195430 September 1983Sold for scrap, 25 August 1995
Fort Snelling LSD-3024 January 195528 September 1984Sold for scrap, 25 August 1995
Point Defiance LSD-3131 March 195530 September 1983Sold for scrap, 28 July 2011
Spiegel Grove LSD-328 June 19562 October 1989Sunk as an artificial reef, 2002
Alamo LSD-3324 August 195628 September 1990Transferred to Brazil, 12 November 1990; decommissioned in 2012
Hermitage LSD-3414 December 19562 October 1989Transferred to Brazil, 2 October 1989; decommissioned in 2016
Monticello LSD-3529 March 19571 October 1985Sunk as a target, 14 July 2010

Related Research Articles

The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use a hull classification symbol to identify their ships by type and by individual ship within a type. The system is analogous to the pennant number system that the Royal Navy and other European and Commonwealth navies use.

<i>Midway</i>-class aircraft carrier class of American aircraft carriers

The Midway-class aircraft carrier was a series of three aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. The lead ship, USS Midway, was commissioned in late 1945 and was taken out of service in 1992. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt was decommissioned in 1977. USS Coral Sea was decommissioned in 1990.

Landing craft small and medium seagoing vessel used to convey a landing force

Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft, such as boats and barges, used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships, which are larger. Production of landing craft peaked during World War II, with a significant number of different designs produced in large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States.

Landing craft tank amphibious assault craft for landing tanks on beachheads

The landing craft, tank was an amphibious assault craft for landing tanks on beachheads. They were initially developed by the British Royal Navy and later by the United States Navy during World War II in a series of versions. Initially known as the "tank landing craft" (TLC) by the British, they later adopted the U.S. nomenclature "landing craft, tank" (LCT). The United States continued to build LCTs post-war, and used them under different designations in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Mobile Riverine Force joint U.S. Army and U.S. Navy force in the Vietnam War

In the Vietnam War, the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF), initially designated Mekong Delta Mobile Afloat Force, and later the Riverines, were a joint US Army and US Navy force that comprised a substantial part of the brown-water navy. It was modeled after lessons learned by the French experience in the First Indochina War and had the task of both transport and combat. The primary base was at Đồng Tâm Base Camp, with a floating base at the base of the Mekong River. It played a key role in the Tet Offensive.

Landing ship, infantry

A Landing ship, infantry (LSI) or infantry landing ship was one of a number of types of British Commonwealth vessels used to transport landing craft and troops engaged in amphibious warfare during the Second World War. LSIs were operated by the Royal Navy, British Merchant Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Indian Navy, and Royal Australian Navy. They transported British Commonwealth and other Allied troops in sea assaults and invasions throughout the war.

<i>Anchorage</i>-class dock landing ship

The Anchorage-class dock landing ships were a series of five dock landing ships (LSD) constructed and commissioned by the United States Navy between 1965 and 1972. US Navy decommissioned all five of them by 2003. They are succeeded by Whidbey Island-class LSDs and Harpers Ferry-class LSDs.

<i>Haskell</i>-class attack transport

Haskell-class attack transports (APA) were amphibious assault ships of the United States Navy created in 1944. They were designed to transport 1,500 troops and their combat equipment, and land them on hostile shores with the ships' integral landing craft.

Amphibious assault ship Type of warship used in amphibious assaults

An amphibious assault ship is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. The design evolved from aircraft carriers converted for use as helicopter carriers. Modern ships support amphibious landing craft, with most designs including a well deck. Coming full circle, some amphibious assault ships also support V/STOL fixed-wing aircraft, now having a secondary role as aircraft carriers.

Amphibious warfare ships of Australia

The Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army have operated 24 amphibious warfare ships. These ships have been used to transport Army units and supplies during exercises and operational deployments.

USS <i>White Marsh</i> (LSD-8)

USS White Marsh (LSD-8) was an Ashland-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy, named in honor of White Marsh, Virginia, the birthplace of Dr. Walter Reed (1851–1902).

Amphibious warfare ship Ship used in amphibious warfare

An amphibious warfare ship is an amphibious vehicle warship employed to land and support ground forces, such as marines, on enemy territory during an amphibious assault. The largest fleet of these types is operated by the United States Navy.

The LCM2000 was a class of Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM) built for the Australian Army by Australian Defence Industries (ADI). The LCMs were ordered in 2001 and the first craft was originally scheduled to enter service with the Army in 2003. The craft proved too large for their intended purpose, however, and were only used for training and minor exercises before the project was cancelled in February 2011.


The LCM-1E is a class of amphibious mechanized landing craft manufactured by Navantia at their factory in San Fernando. These craft are intended to deliver troops and equipment onshore from amphibious assault ships during amphibious assaults. The craft are operated by the Spanish Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, and have been ordered by the Turkish Navy.

LCM 1 Landing craft used in WWII

The Landing Craft, Mechanised Mark 1 or LCM (1) was a landing craft used extensively in the Second World War. Its primary purpose was to ferry tanks from transport ships to attack enemy-held shores. Ferrying troops, other vehicles, and supplies were secondary tasks. The craft derived from a prototype designed by John I. Thornycroft Ltd. of Woolston, Hampshire, UK. During the war it was manufactured in the United Kingdom in boatyards and steel works. Constructed of steel and selectively clad with armour plate, this shallow-draft, barge-like boat with a crew of 6, could ferry a tank of 16 long tons to shore at 7 knots (13 km/h). Depending on the weight of the tank to be transported the craft might be lowered into the water by its davits already loaded or could have the tank placed in it after being lowered into the water.

Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel landing craft designed to transport troops or vehicles from ship to shore

A Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel or Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) is any of a variety of amphibious landing craft designed to transport troops or armoured vehicles from ship to shore during amphibious landings.


  1. Bundschuh, Randy. "USS Thomaston (LSD-28) Characteristics" . Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  2. "Thomaston". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  3. Paul H. Silverstone: U.S. Warships since 1945. Ian Allan Ltd. Shepperton, Surrey (UK), 1986, p. 98. ISBN   0-7110-1598-8
  4. Stefan Terzibaschitsch: 50 Jahre amphibische Schiffe der U.S. Navy, Leonberg, Germany 1995, p. 37.