Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Someone at an LST blog site emailed me this jpeg of Pat's ship. As I mentioned earlier, you can read 312 on the ship on the bottom right. Pretty cool huh?

"In the early morning hours of the 10th of June, 1944, a low flying German twin engine bomber was spotted. The 40-mm gun crew on the PC-619 commenced firing and the Heinkel HE-177 was shot down. The crew picked up the only survivor, a waist-turret gunner, who had parachuted to safety before the Heinkel hit the water. The prisoner, Hermann Goldenbaum, a Luftwaffe airman, was the only survivor of a crew of six. Eventually, Airman Goldenbaum was transfered to the LST-312, taken to Calshot, England and later to prison camps in Illinois and Idaho until the wars end." - Navsource Online

Saturday, 8th of June, 1944, "July Tank landing ships LST-312 and LST-384 are damaged by V-1 rocket-bomb while moored at Naval Advance Amphibious Base, Deptford, England."
-The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy during WWII

"Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN (right center, with hand on bulwark edge), Commander Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet with Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox (using binoculars) and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden (right) during an inspection of his command, 25 March 1943. They observing the unloading of tank landing ships (LSTs). Also present are (from left center to center): Captain L.S. Perry, USN (Aide to Secretary Knox); Commander W.D. Wright, USN; and an unidentified British Naval officer. Boat on davits behind them is an LCP(R). Markings on the boat indicates that they are on board USS LST-312. Official U.S. Navy" -Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.


Scott said...

Hi David,
Nice photos. My father (Claude Victor Vansant) served on LST 312 as a Lt(jg) Engineering Officer from 1/13/45 to 5/15/46. He was on LST 620 before this. He was on 620 in France outfitting it during the Normandy Invasion. He was on 312 when it was hit by a V-1...or the story was it when either many were on leave in town or on shore leave? Not sure about the official story but there were no casualties and the ship was repaired. My family has a few photos of the damage after the V-1 (Hs-293 rocket propelled glidebomb) and a photo of my father trolling off the stern in the med and landing a dolphin fish (mahi mahi). This is a cool photo since I am a marine biologist (fishery biologist) and it's my favorite thing to do too.
If you have any more info to share about the bomb hit, when, and any other info it would be greatly appreciated. My father like his Dad were physicians but the both passed away in the 70's.
Scott Van Sant

Finlayson said...

My uncle would love to talk to you. I think you'd love to talk to him. said...

From Ray Lincoln, Quartermaster on LST-620, re: Claude Victor Van Sant...

I'm sorry but I can't say that I remember your father. He was only on the 620 for approximately 5 months. This was sixty-five years ago and we were in different department so we may never or seldom met.

LST 620 left New York in July of 1944 traveling the northern route across to Ireland. It was probably one of the largest convoys with over 100 ships crossing the Atlantic. The Canadian Navy was our escorts and we heard depth charges during the trip. However, we didn't lose any ships.

From Ireland, we arrived in England in the middle of August. We made trips from Plymouth, Portland, and Weymouth to Utah and Omaha beaches and St. Michel, Brest, France.

We left England for the US on October 5th and arrived in Virginia on October 24. We came back by the Southern route via the Azores. There were 32 LST in the convoy and on the way home we ran into a hurricane with 50 foot waves that lasted 24 hours.

I think your father was transferred in October or November because we left on December 17th for the Pacific theater. I was on the 620 until May 1946. We traveled to many islands and were in on the invasion of Okinawa. The ship was decommission in June of 1946 in the Philippine Islands.

I have a listing of all the ports of call for the LST-620 from its commissioning in June 1944 in New Orleans until I left the ship in 1946.

Anonymous said...

David - Tried to leave comment yesterday, but evidently it didn't take.
I served with your father for a sort period of time, also with Claude Vansant. I was Gunnery Officer on 620 and 312 before I shipped out to the Pacific in fall of 1944.
After the war returned to complete my education at Univ of TX - for over 60 years was Petroleum Engineer and Geologist in the oil industry. Worked in many parts of the world, as well as US/CA I 'hung in' until about 2 months ago and finaly decided it was time to hang yup my spurs.
I have 6 kids,16 grandkids and 10 great grandkids. Two of my grandsons are Naval Officers, one a fly boy, the other now on inactive duty served 8 years - part of the time a SEAL officer.
I hope this time this will take. Howard R. Lowe

Finlayson said...

Thanks for the comment. I need to make a correction. The posts relating to USS LST 312 are pertaining to my uncle Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson. He's still alive and kicking - living in Columbia, SC. I am sure that he'd be happy to talk with you if perchance you are interested. God bless - and thanks for your years of service.

My father, Henry Westbrook Finlayson had polio since childhood - nevertheless served in what capacity he could state side as a civilian.

Thank you again for making contact. I will relay your email to my uncle Pat.

Anonymous said...


FYI, LST-312 and LST-314 were hit by a V-1 buzz bomb. An Hs-293 glide bomb (really a missile) is an entirely different weapon. Just want to set the record straight.


Finlayson said...

Again, thank you MB for the correction about the V1. I will not make that mistake again. God bless!

CJMazeika said...

Very interesting to read about the U.S. naval base in Deptford, London. Little is known about the deaths of 14 U.S. Marines here.
Does anyone have contacts who may have stories to tell of being stationed at Deptfprd? We would be interested to make contact. Please get in touch if you have any memories or photos of that time. Many thanks

Chris Mazeika

Finlayson said...

My uncle doesn't mind talking about his experiences. He just celebrated his 89th birthday last week.

I recently opened a facebook group for the USS LST 312. You might enjoy what's been posted there.

My uncle has a facebook account but I don't think he checks it much.

Anonymous said...

Hello David,
I met your uncle yesterday (and aunt too) and had a great time speaking with him. We were conducting an oral history of Columbia. We hope to go back for another round of conversation before too long. So glad you have this blog up and I will be in touch.
Fielding Freed
Director of Museums
Historic Columbia Foundation

Finlayson said...

Both Pat and Jennie Llew are a mother-load of information. I am glad you ran across them, glad you are doing what you are doing in preserving the past. God bless you and all you do.

Harold said...

My dad serve on the LST 620.His name is Harold Chapman.Lives in Nashville,Tn.He would love to talk to his LST 620 naval mates.He is listed in the phone book

Anonymous said...

A video of 'The story of the LST 314; is available on You Tube.
r wilson

John Strickland said...

Scotty, your dad is probably the Claude Vansant who delivered my wife in 1952, I grew up right around the corner from the elder Dr. Vansant

My deceased uncle Aubrey Hobson Strickland served on LST 620 during wwII. Recently discovered in his few remaining effects a typed list representing ports of call for his boat starting at Little Creek, VA on Dec 17 1944 concluding with Okinawa October 17 1945, and all the ports in between. If anyone wants a copy of the list I can email. Dont have the list for the Atlantic crossing however. Do have his Shellback certificate. He was born west of Atlanta in Douglas County