USS LST-906

Undated photo of LST-906 underway in the Mediterranean. She is fitted with a 220 ft × 16 ft (67.1 m × 4.9 m) temporary flight deck for launching USAAF Piper L-4 Grasshopper observation aircraft, one of which is shown, ready for launching.

History

United States

Name:
USS LST-906

Builder:

Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc.
Hingham, Massachusetts

Laid down:
14 January 1944

Launched:
11 March 1944

Sponsored by:
Mrs. Henry Levine

Commissioned:
27 April 1944

Decommissioned:
20 May 1945

Struck:
22 June 1945

Honors and
awards:
1 battle star, World War II

Fate:
Sold for scrap

General characteristics

Class and type:
LST-542-class tank landing ship

Displacement:

1,490 tons (light)
4,080 tons (full load of 2,100 tons)

Length:
328 ft (100.0 m)

Beam:
50 ft (15.2 m)

Draft:
8 ft (2.4 m) fwd; 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m) aft (full load)

Propulsion:
Two diesel engines, two shafts

Speed:

10.8 knots (20.0 km/h) (max)
9 knots (17 km/h) (econ)

Complement:
7 officers, 204 enlisted

Armament:

6 × 40 mm AA guns
6 × 20 mm AA guns

Aircraft carried:
6 × L-4B “Grasshopper”[1]

Aviation facilities:
Custom-built mesh airstrip[1]

USS LST-906 was an LST-542-class tank landing ship in the United States Navy. Like many of her class, she was not named and is properly referred to by her hull designation.
LST-906 was laid down on 24 January 1944 at Hingham, Massachusetts, by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc.; launched on 11 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Henry Levine; and commissioned on 27 April 1944.
During World War II, LST-906 was assigned to the European Theatre.

USS LST-906, with US Army Air Force L-4 Grasshopper on her flight deck being prepared for take-off. Note additional L-4 type aircraft stowed alongside the deck.

While in the Mediterranean, Seabees converted LST-906 into a makeshift aircraft carrier sporting a custom-built mesh airstrip above deck. She was the base for 6 USAAF L-4B Grasshoppers flown as artillery spotters for the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division during the Invasion of southern France in September 1944.[2] LST-906 was one of six LSTs so converted.[3]
While at anchor at Leghorn, Italy, heavy seas on 18 October 1944 caused LST-906 to drag anchor and run aground.[4] On 6 December a storm caused further damage to the still-grounded ship.[4]
The ship was decommissioned on 20 May 1945, struck from the Navy list on 2