USS Barnstable County
(LST-1197)

Ship's History


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The BARNSTABLE COUNTY was the 19th of 20 Newport (LST 1179) Class Tank Landing Ships (LST) built for the Navy. The first 3 Newport class LST's were built at the Philadelphia Naval ship yard in Philadelphia, PA. The remaining 17 were built by National Steel and Shipbuilding in San Diego, CA. This design represented a complete departure from previous LST configurations. The function of the traditional bow doors was supplanted by a huge 110 foot, thirty-five ton bow ramp supported by two outstreched derrick arms. The conventional broad bow, made necessary by the full bow doors, was replaced by a "destroyer type" bow which enabled the BARNSTABLE COUNTY to maintain speeds in excess of 20 knots, allowing her to operate with modern high-speed amphibious forces. The Newport Class LST's also provided more versatility than their predecessors by having the use of a stern gate giving them the ability to launch amphibous tracked vehicles while underway.

She was named in honor of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, and its county seat, the town of Barnstable. She is the second ship of the Fleet to be named for Barnstable County. The first Navy ship named for Barnstable County was the attack transport USS BARNSTABLE (APA-93) which was launched on August 5, 1943 and began combat operations in the Pacific theater of WWII in August of 1944.

The specifications for a Newport Class LST are:


For the complete history of the USS Barnstable County (LST-1197), from the laying of her keel in 1970 until her decommissioning in 1994 and transfer to Spain, click here.


Image courtesy of NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

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Barnstable County (LST-1197) History Thumbnails

Ship's Insignia Zippo Keel Laying Construction Launch Ceremony
Christening Launching 1st Change of Cmd Bow Ramp Stern Gate


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Version (01.36): July 9, 2015