Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Military Monday that I didn't finish until Tuesday


LST 374 (1942 - 1945)
When my father died, my brother and I found an old briefcase hidden under a table on the patio of his apartment. His wife Madeline didn't know it was there and suggested that we just throw it out. In the briefcase was his old address book, the Scrabble game he played with me and my brothers over 40 years ago, a couple of pictures of me and my brothers, my mother, and my children. And an envelope with 30 or so photographs of his ship and his shipmates.


LST 374 (1942 - 1945)

LST 374 (1942 - 1945)

Like many impassioned young men of the time, my father enlisted in the Navy in July of 1942 with a falsified birth certificate. He was 16 at the time and had just completed his junior year in high school. After recruit training at the NTS Newport, RI, he was transfered to the US Navy Training School and received a completion certificate as a radioman with a second-class petty officer rating. After a quick trip to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, he was transferred to the Amphibious Traning Base in Solomons, MD where he joined his shipmates on the LST 374. 

LST 374 (1942 - 1945)
According to Wiki and the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, LST-374 was laid down on 12 November 1942 at Quincy, Mass., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 19 January 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Victor D. Herbster; and commissioned on 29 January 1943.


LST 374 (1942 - 1945)

During World War II, LST-374 was assigned to the European theater and participated in the Sicilian occupation in July and August 1943 and the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 29 May 1945 and struck from the Navy list on 12 March 1946. On 14 January 1947, the tank landing ship was sold to A. G. Schoonmaker. LST-374 earned two battle stars for World War II service.


Don Hanson (top right), USS LST 374

This morning, I completed a Flag Order Form and sent it and a check for $18.00 made payable to The Keeper of the Stationery, The Honorable Mark Pryor, 255 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510. I've asked that the flag be flown for my father and the men of the LST 374.






5 comments:

  1. God Bless the veterans of World War II.

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  2. Thank you for posting the pictures of LST 374, My father Lt Cmr Russell L Sanders was the commanding office of this ship during the Normandy invasion. Happy to see you are keeping the memories alive, My dad spent 23 years in the Navy (1933 to 1956). He passed away in 1996

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  3. Hi Charles. The LST Association is hosting a reunion in Branson, MO in August this year. I've registered and would be happy to share anything I find with you. You can reach me at: hanson22d@hotmail.com. Take care and thanks for posting.

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  4. Hi Donna, my dad (now deceased) also served on LST 374 from spring 1944 - early 1945. I inherited a similar set of small pictures to yours. Is there a way I can contact you directly?

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    1. Hi Holly! I'd love to hear from you. Write me at: hanson.donna@gmail.com.

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