LST 1090's

First Landing

(or Treeing)

On the Mississippi River
near Baton Rouge, LA. in 1945.
By Roy Hockett

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The First Landing of the 1090

 LST 1090 sped down the Mississippi at floodtide, the fastest the ship was ever to travel perhaps.  She was on the way from Ambridge Ship Yard, near Pittsburgh, PA, to Algiers Naval Station across the river from New Orleans.  The trip had been fairly uneventful except for close encounters with bridges due to the flood level of the river.  The mast was lashed to the main deck, and a wooden structure had been added to the Conn for the River Pilot.  It was even necessary that we remove this structure at one point in order to navigate under one bridge, and it was close at that.

 I believe we were past Baton Rouge, or in that vicinity, when I started out of the port hatch from the passageway between Officers Country and the Galley. 

I was nearly run down by a couple of shipmates trying to escape tree limbs.  I could see large trees through the hatch.

There were a number of minor jolts and finally an abrupt shop.  We had suffered a steering casualty.  I have learned lately that the Coast Guard Pilot used an electric switch control for steering - and that it failed.

We were well into the timber, practically from bow to stern, and limbs and debris was on the deck but, fortunately, there were no major injuries - perhaps a few bumps and scratches from limbs.  There was enough free area toward the stern on the port side to launch a LCVP.  The stern anchor was towed out into midstream, and the old gal managed to pull herself out of the trees.  Steering was repaired, and we continued on to New Orleans.

Roy Hockett, RDM 3rd, 1945 - 1946