USS Ashland (LSD-1) 1960 - 1969

A collection of pictures of USS Ashland (LSD-1) in the 1960s.

Ken Dooley S1c 1965-67, donated a collection of pictures. Click here to view them.

Bill Bagwell Ltjg 1968 - 69, 1969 Med. Cruise

Ron Gibb 1964 Med Cruise pictures

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

A photo of the USS Ashland (LSD-1) taken from a helicopter off the USS Guadalcanal LPH-7 sometime in 65-66. -submitted by Steve Jette PN3, USS Ashland (LSD-1), 1966-69.  Those of you that served aboard Ashland in WWII will immediately notice many modifications. For example, the 5" gun is gone.

USS Ashland (LSD-1) at Malta, August 1969.

In 1968 the Ashland was engaged in a landing exercise.   News came down of severe weather heading our way and all dispatched landing craft were called to return to the ship. I was a BM assigned to the well deck while landing craft were being loaded. The seas had already picked up by the time we started loading the last of the LCU's.   The hoisting cables were severed when the LCU rammed the tail end of the wing wall leaving the gate down in the water hanging by the support cables only.   Aft ballast tanks were pumped to elevate the aft of the ship as much as permitted and still get underway.   A temporary sea wall was constructed across the open end of the well deck to prevent swells from entering the well deck, which would affect the boats sitting on the deck.

As the ship moved through heavy seas the gate moved up and down stressing the support cables until they finally gave way tearing out large holes in the upper end of the wing walls. Now the hinges only supported the gate.   Many hours had past, not sure exactly how many but if my memory serves correct I believe it was between 12 and 18 hours, you could hear the stern gate slam against supports attached to the hull below the water line.   I was at the helm, you could hear the low, rhythmic boom reverberate through the ship each time the stern of the ship came up in the water and the gate slammed against the hull supports. . . And then there was silence.

We spent roughly 68 days in the Naples ship yard.   As I understand the USS Donner (LSD-20) brought the replacement stern gate which came from a mothballed LSD in the Hudson River in New York.

-- Jeff Pittenger BM3 1968-69