LST-31, county namesake, made World War II history

The tank landing ship left Pearl Harbor on 19 January and set a course for Kwajalein. She anchored off that atoll on 1 February and began discharging her cargo in support of operations in the Marshalls. In February, the ship began embarking troops for the invasion of Eniwetok and, five days later, sortied with LST Group 8. She beached at Eniwetok on the 20th and began landing her soldiers and discharging cargo ashore. LST-31 remained there until March 20, when she got underway for Hawaii. She stopped en route at Kwajalein and Tarawa to take on cargo and passengers and finally reached Pearl Harbor on April 15.

Following repairs in drydock there, she resumed operations on 10 May with a series of training exercises in Hapuna Bay, Hawaii. On the 25th, LST-31 left Hawaiian waters, bound for Eniwetok. Upon her arrival at that atoll on June 7, she refueled and took on cargo in preparation for operations against Saipan. The vessel arrived off Saipan on 14 June and began discharging troops and supplies ashore. She cleared the area on the 23rd and returned to Eniwetok to replenish her cargo.

LST-31 arrived back at Saipan on July 17; unloaded supplies and small craft; and, during the next few weeks, served as a hospital ship. At night, she anchored off Saipan to receive casualties and was underway off Tinian during daylight hours. This assignment occupied the ship through August, when she began a round-trip voyage to Eniwetok. After returning to Saipan, the vessel underwent three days of voyage repairs and got underway in September for the west coast of the United States. En route, she touched at Eniwetok; Apamama and Makin Islands, Gilbert Islands; and Pearl Harbor. She left the latter port on 6 November and reached San Francisco on Nov. 17, 1944. After one day in port there, LST-31 sailed to San Pedro to enter the West Coast Shipbuilding Company yards for extensive alterations and repairs.

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