From Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,
Vol. III (1977), pp. 352-353
Counties in Florida, Mississippi, and Ohio.
(LST-836: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-511)
LST-836 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 11 September 1944; launched 29 October; sponsored by Mrs. H. E. Hetu; and commissioned 25 November, Ens. Elmo J. Sullivan in command.
After shakedown off Florida, LST-836 loaded ammunition, lumber, and cement, then departed New Orleans 2 January 1945. She unloaded the cargo at Balboa, C.Z., and proceeded to San Diego, arriving on the 23d. In early February she sailed for Hawaii, where she trained, embarked troops, then steamed to the Marshall Islands. Following 3 weeks of preparation in the Marshalls and Carolines, the landing ship departed Ulithi 12 April for Okinawa. With the battle for this strategic hase well underway, LST-836 arrived 6 days later; unloaded troops and equipment and returned Ulithi 29 April.
For the rest of the war, she shuttled cargo and troops throughout the Pacific; then after VJ day was assigned to duty with the occupation forces in Japan. Returning to the United States LST-836 arrived San Francisco 19 January 1946, and remained on the West Coast until she decommissioned at Vancouver, Wash., 25 July 1946.
Following 4 years in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, LST-836 recommissioned at Bremerton 3 November 1950, Lt. Thomas J. McLaughlin in command. After refresher training she sailed for the Far East, to aid United Nations forces, in their struggle to stop Communist aggression in South Korea. Arriving Yokosuka 28 March 1951. the veteran landing ship was once again assigned to a battle zone and for the next 8 months shuttled cargo and troops between Japan and various Korean ports.
After a brief stateside overhaul in early 1952, LST-836 departed San Diego 24 July for operations in conjunction with the first hydrogen bomb tests in the Marshall Islands. From August to November she aided scientists as they tested this new source of power that will affect mankind in both war and peace. She returned to San Diego; then, after a brief respite, sailed 16 March 1953 for further duty in the still raging Korean conflict. Arriving Yokosuka 22 April, LST-836 immediately commenced cargo runs from the staging areas to Inchon.
When the fighting ended, LST-836 remained in the Far East to transport cargo to the United Nations peacekeeping force stationed in Korea. From 1954 to 1959, she made three Westpac cruises and participated in training operations along the West Coast. On 1 July 1955, LST-836 was named Holmes County.
Following a FRAM overhaul in late 1959, the landing ship was assigned to the Pacific Amphibious Force, and for the next 5 years Holmes County engaged in amphibious exercises along the West Coast and in the Hawaiian Islands.
When Communist aggression continued as an external threat to the people of South Viet Nam, the United States responded to preserve the freedom of the little Asian country. On 11 October 1965, Holmes County, a veteran of two conflicts, departed San Diego for operations in Southeast Asia. She arrived Da Nang, South Vietnam, 22 November and operated there for the rest of the year and into 1966. On 29 March 1966, after 89 days in the combat zone, Holmes County steamed for Yokosuka, Japan, for upkeep before starting the 5,500-mile journey home. Holmes County received the following message from Commander 7th Fleet: "As you depart 7th Fleet Intra-Coastal Task Unit, be assured you leave behind an admiration for the extraordinary work you have done this cruise."
On 26 May Holmes County arrived home. After serving in the San Diego area for 4 months, she participated in Operation "Base Line" in October. This was one of the largest peacetime operations conducted by the Pacific Fleet.
LST-836 received one battle star for World War II service and three stars for the Korean Conflict.