The History Of LST 454
LST 454 was bulit at the Kaiser Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington. It was one of a thirty ship contract awared to Kaiser (LST 446-475 were the ships produced). The ship was launched on October 14, 1942. On January 25, 1943 the ship was commissioned in Portland, OR. It's orginal crew (I plan to list them when I next update the sight) comprised of seven officers and 49 enlisted men.
On March 11, 1943, the 454 departed for the Southwest Pacific. After stops at Pearl Harbor, Suva and Noumea, she arrived in Sidney, Austrilia sometime on May, 1943. LST 454 was one of the first units in LST Flotilla 7 which was the original and mainstay Flotilla of the Seventh Amphibious Force. The Seventh Amphibious Force was sometimes refered to as "MacArthur's Amphibious Navy." LST 454 participated in the first landing of the seventh philbs- Woodlark Island, June 30, 1943. It also took part in the last major landing in the Pacific War. This was at Balikpapan Borneo, July 1, 1945.
After the June 30, 1943 landing on Woodlark, LST 454 was based at Milne Bay in New Guinea along with the other units of Flotilla Seven. Then came the long and tedious climb up the New Guinea Coast.
New Guinea is the second largest island in the, it has a southeast to northwest coastline of about 1,300 miles. At this period (7/1/43) all of this exotic territory from Buna to Cape Sansapor was in the hands of the Japs. The Seventh Amphibs began landing MacArthur's troops- both Army and Marines along this path to the Philippines. First came the landing at Lae in September, 1943, and Finschhafen the same month. Next was Arawe and Cape Gloucester, New Britain in December, 1943.
The new year of 1944 found the Flotilla 7 landing at Saidor in January and in March the Admiralty Islands (off the New Guina Coast) were invaded. Then came landings at Aitape, Hollandia, and Tanahmerah Bay in April.
Landings on Wakde and Biak were accomplished in May, 1944. The tiny island of Noemfoor was invaded in July and finally the 7thAmphib landed at Sanaspor which is the extreme northwest tip of New Guinea on July 10, 1944. This marked the end of the Seventh Amphibious Forces long trek up the New Guinea Coast. The Japs were still on the island but they were isolated and could not get supplies or reinforcements.
During the latter part of 1944 and early in 1945, the 454 participated in three major landings in the Philippines- Leyte, Luzon, and Cebu. All the resupply trips they made are are to numerous to mention. On July 1, 1945, LST 454 participated in the last major landing in the Pacific at Balikpapan, Borneo. Most of the big brass of thr Pacific Theater was at this invasion as no one knew exactly what the Japs would attempt to do to repel this landing. Many rumors were spreading but all the rumors proved wrong and the Australian 7th division took care of the Jap defenters.
During the participation of WWII the LST 454 was on 13 invasions/landings and proudly recived 8 Battle Stars. The Seventh Amphibous Force was commanded by Vice Admiral Daniel E. Barbey, who, in my opinion, was the greatest amphibious commander of World War II.
-B.J. Harrell -QM3/C LST 454