According to Naval History and Heritage Command: LST-713 was laid down on 3 June 1944 at Jeffersonville, Ind., by the Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Co.; launched on 11 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Barbara A. Lawson; and commissioned on 7 August 1944.
During World War II, LST-713 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the following operations:
Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima-February 1945
Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto-April through June 1945
Following the war, LST-713 performed occupation duty in the Far East until mid-February 1946. She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 20 June 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 31 July that same year. On 21 May 1948, the ship was sold to the Bethlehem Steel Co., of Bethlehem, Pa., and subsequently scrapped.
LST-713 earned two battle stars for World War II service.
Found in 40 Collections and/or Records:
Ben Byrnes collection of Joshua Randolph Abell WW II letters
Consists of 27 WW2 handwritten letters and V-mail letters written by Joshua R. Abell, crewman on the USS LST-713 [a Naval tank landing ship commissioned on 7 August 1944. During World War II, LST-713 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater] to his mother Mrs. J. Earl Abell of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ben Byrnes collection of Joshua Randolph Abell WW II letters.
Letter fragment from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01
"I found a world atlas map book with maps of the world and of 'World War II' in it in one of the compartments so here lately I've been looking at and studying it to help broaded my knowledge. You know there is a lot that one can learn from just studying maps."
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1944-12-31
"...Today was the last day of my 'mess cooking' on LST-713. Wolfe, the guy from New Jersey, had the duty while I went on liberty...I am enclosing an article that I cut out of the paper or rather magazine, a sailor wrote about his ship as a sequence to Lincoln's 'Gettysburg Address'; however, he calls it the 'Sperrysburg Address'....
Press cutting enclosed: "Dear Ed: The below was cooked up by two of the men in my ship...Amen. Ben Robertson, CEM."
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-02
"I've finally regaind the warmth back into the upper part of my body. I watched the movie topside sitting on the Conn with no shirt or skivvy on, so I got chilled clear to the bone by the breezy night air...Quite a few places are secured on the ship now so it makes it very inconvenient for us to have to go around when we want to go anyplace. Ships sure require a lot of time, money and care, painting and so forth. It doesn't take the deck paint very long to wear off...."
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-04
"...After dinner I helped to scrape down the deck and chip the old paint off of the starboard 'main deck' and back on the 'fantail'. Then we got that painted with the yellow [chromicide] paint after securing from that at four p.m. We gave the ship a clean sweep-down 'fore and aft'. My back got right red as I had my shirt off while I was working topside...."
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-05
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-06
"...I helped to clean up the starboard scuttlebutt, small one-half size compartment where the water fountain is this morning. Then I painted on it till chow time...We got some new big records with radio programs recorded on them today--they aree good too. I've heard only two programs so far, 'Dinah Shore' and 'Spotlight Bands'. There are also a few old corny gay nineties records on board, too, sung by that girl who sings in the gay nineties revue on Monday nights...."
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-08
"...Today all those men sleeping in the port troop sleeping compartments had to move to [aft] crews quarters as on the starboard side, as they will soon..." [remainder of the the sheet has been excised, possibly by the censor]
Letter from "Pete" to his mother, 1945-01-09
"...We did a little work this morning and in the afternoon we had a 'holiday routine'. The first one that we've had in sometime now. But all I did was sleep and talk. I stayed up topside most of the time and watched some of the fellows fish and what do you know, they actually caught one...I got a haircut, by Barrett, a guy in our Division from Penn. who used to be a barber in good old civilian days...."