USS Grant County (LST-1174)

The USS Grant County (LST-1174) was a U.S. Navy tank landing ship constructed in 1956 and named for fifteen U.S. counties, including one in Arkansas.

LST-1174 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways when they had to debark their cargos from deeper water, but they were capable of dropping their forward ramps directly onto a beach. The Grant County could launch 500 tons of vehicles in a dry landing and 1,500 tons if using the causeways.

LST-1174’s keel was laid down on March 15, 1956, at Avondale, Louisiana, by Avondale Marine Ways, Inc. The ship was christened by Marion H. Higgins, wife of U.S. Navy admiral John Martin Higgins, and launched on October 12, 1956. The USS Grant County was commissioned on December 17, 1957, under Lieutenant Commander R. B. Nichols.

The Suffolk County–class LST weighed 3,560 tons (7,823 tons loaded), was 446 feet long and sixty-two feet wide, and could reach speeds of seventeen knots. It carried a crew of 124 and could transport 706 troops. The Grant County was armed with three twin gun mounts.

From 1958 to 1962, the USS Grant County participated in amphibious training along the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean, also sailing to the Mediterranean in 1958 and 1961 for operations with the Sixth Fleet. It was training with the U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, in 1962 when it was ordered to Florida in October during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Following the 1965 American invasion of the Dominican Republic, the Grant County was sent there from Little Creek, Virginia, on June 1 to return U.S. Marines and Seabees to the United States. It was sent to the Mediterranean on October 3, 1965, returning to the United States on March 31, 1966, before steaming back to the Dominican Republic in August to return additional marines to the mainland.

The USS Grant County was decommissioned on January 15, 1973, and transferred to the Brazilian navy, where it served as the Duque de Cavias (G-26). It was struck from the navy list on December 30, 1977, and sold to Brazil on February 1, 1980. Brazil decommissioned it on February 8, 2000.

For additional information:
Rottman, Gordon L. Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 1942–2002. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Co., 2005.

“USS Grant County (LST 1174).” Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Naval History and Heritage Command. (accessed June 13, 2018).

“USS Grant County (LST 1174).” NavSource Online. (accessed June 13, 2018).

“Welcome Aboard U.S.S. Grant County (LST 1174).” NavSource Online. (accessed June 13, 2018).

Mark K. Christ
Little Rock, Arkansas


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