All sailors know any good sea story starts with...
"This Is No Shit!"
These are the stories Les Luke told about his growing up and about his time spent in the Navy during World War II.
Les Joined the US Navy November 5, 1942 and went to basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois. After basic he went to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and attended CB (Cook & Bakers) School. He then was assigned to the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia. From there he went to Little Creek, Virginia for LST training and then to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and assumed duties aboard the amphibious landing craft, LST-737. His ship traveled to New Orleans via the Mississippi river and continued to Gulf Port, Mississippi to pick up a load of telephone poles. From there the ship joined a convoy and traveled to Cuba for a couple days and then they left the convoy and traveled through the Panama Canal to California where they picked up about 300 sailors just out of boot camp. They then joined another convoy and headed for Hawaii. After unloading the troops and other supplies in Hawaii they loaded more troops and equipment and went to the Solomon Islands and then to the invasion of Palau and Anguar. They were then involved in many invasions and landings in the Philippines, Okinawa, Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Mindoro and many other sites throughout the war.
LST-737 Pohtos & Info
LST 737 was used as an ammunition ship at the Karama Retto, Okinawa Campaign
Picture taken on March 31, 1945 by the U.S.S. Texas (BB-35)
LST 737 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for this campaign
Picture Provided by Les Luke
Jap bomber dives on LST 737 at Ormoc Bay, west coast of Leyte Phillippines
Picture taken on December 7, 1944 by the U.S.S. Wasatch (DD)
The ship received a letter of commendation from Admiral Kinkard for the Ormoc Bay Campaign
Picture Provided by Les Luke
LST 737 was laid down on 13 February 1944 at Pittsburgh, PA by the Dravo Corporation, Neville Island; launched on 25 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. C. E. Walker and commissioned on 6 May 1944. Lt. W. B. Kirk, USNR in command. During World War II, LST 737 was assigned to the Asiatic Pacific theater and participated in the following operations: Capture and occupation of the southern Palau Islands - September and October 1944, Leyte landings - October and November 1944, Ormoc landings - December 1944, Lingayen Gulf landing - January 1945, Zarnbales-Subic Bay - January 1945. Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto - March through June, 1945. Following the war, LST 737 performed occupation duty in the Far East until early November 1946. She was decommissioned and transferred to the United States Army on 2 November 1946. The ship was struck from the Navy list on 29 September 1947. LST 737 earned five battle stars for World War II service.
March 10, 1924 ~ December 18, 2009
March 30, 2006