From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,
Vol. II, pp. 267
Counties in Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
(LST-1171: dp. 7,823 (f.); l. 445'; b. 62'; dr. 16'8"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 186; a. 6 3"; cl. De Soto County)
De Soto County (LST-1171) was launched 28 February 1957 by Avondale Marine Ways, Inc., Avondale, La.; sponsored by Mrs. C. H. Smith; and commissioned 10 June 1958, Lieutenant Commander D. A. York in command.
From her home port of Norfolk, Va., where she arrived 3 July 1958, De Soto County operated off the Virginia Capes and joined in amphibious exercises in the Caribbean from 17 July to 7 August and from 1 to 17 December. On 24 February 1959 she sailed from Norfolk to embark Marines at Morehead City, N.C. with whom she sailed for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet. After taking part in a variety of exercises and calling at ports all around the historic sea, De Soto County returned by way of Morehead City to Norfolk 26 August. Exercises with Marines along the North Carolina coast and local operations continued through 1962.