NAVY LSD’s Carry a Kangaroo Punch – All Hands Magazine – August 1953

Navy LSD’s Carry A Kangaroo Punch

Ted Sammon an All Hands writer wrote an article at the end of the Korean War on LSD’s, USN Landing Ship Dock ships utilized in a new role during Korea as mine sweeping mother ships. This concept was first developed by the German Reichsmarine in WWI, called Minenraummutterschiffe’s.They used obsolete dreadnaught battleships, (pre-1910), removed their massive guns topside, and replaced them with boat skids, where they carried 14-18 57′ motor launch-like boat minesweepers called F-Boote’s. These boats were carried to the mined areas, and launched via cranes ahead of the German fleet to clear a path to the Atlantic; The Allies (UK and America) planted the “North Sea Mine Barrage” consisting of several mine lines stretching across the Noth Sea from Scotland to Norway to bottle up the German Fleet and U-boats in the North Sea in WWI – and repeated this mining effort in WWII. The German Kriegsmarine used the same concept during WWII, using primarily modern cargo ships, Modifying a total of eight captured and two Kriegsmaring ships, designated MRS = Minenraumschiffe.

The ballasting and launching of the LCVP’s directly into Wonsan harbor described in the article was changed in mid-1952 after North Korean artillery struck the USS Cabildo during this ballasting-deballisting process. Every boat had to stay manned while the well deck was flooded, until it was drained and sailor power chained the boats down with appropriate lumber supports. Later, the Navy changed the process to launch MSB’s by the use of the LSD’s cranes. Four remaining LCVP’s containing heavy submarine batteries that powered their magnetic minesweeping cables, could not be launched by crane, because their plywood construction would not hold the weight of these batteries. Therefore, they were still launched out the stern gate of the LSD (Four Boats Only) with a partial ballasting. They would then back up to the LSD stern first to accept their 1,500 foot magnetic tails, previously flaked down in the well deck.

See two previous posts on this Blog Aug 2, 2012 and Aug 9, 2012 including the movie of the LSD ballasting down in 1952.

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