USS Thomaston (LSD-28) (Non-retention)
Named after a city in the state of Maine, the USS Thomaston is the lead ship of an eight-ship class of Landing Ship Dock amphibious support vessels. Thomaston was constructed by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., of Pascagoula, Mississippi and commissioned in 1954. Following an initial shakedown period at Guantanamo Bay, Thomaston joined the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force. The vessel participated in exercises off the Aleutian Islands and Hawaii. Thomaston was based in San Diego, but was sent to the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the crisis, the ship returned to the West Coast-based amphibious force of the Seventh Fleet, operating in the Western Pacific. In the fall of 1964, Thomaston was in Vietnamese waters during the first marine landings in Vietnam. Thomaston spent the remainder of the decade, and the first half of the 1970s, supporting the war effort. In early 1975, the ship participated in the final evacuation of Saigon. After delivering the civilians to Subic Bay, the vessel headed back to San Diego via Okinawa, Japan and Pearl Harbor. The vessel underwent an extensive 18-month overhaul in the late 1970s. It remained based in San Diego until it was removed from service and decommissioned in September 1984. The Thomaston received 11 battle stars, one Navy Unit Commendation, and two Meritorious Commendations for its service in Vietnam.