USS Cabildo (LSD-16)

Ships log - Summary of activities from 1944 through 1970
ship at DaNang
Danang 1966
24th. - Keel laid at Newport News Shipbuilding Company, Newport News, VA.
22nd. - Ship launched with a small contingent of key officers and crew reporting directly to the ship
Initial crew members assembeled in Newport Rhode Island for pre commissioning training.
Remainder of the plank owners were assembled for training in Norfolk, Virginia.
see commissioning
14th. - Majority of officers and crew were brought from Newport, RI by troop train.
15th. - The ship was commissioned with Commander E.B. Holdorff, USNR, in command.
31st. - Shakedown commenced with Navy camera men aboard to film moving pictures of an LSD in action. LCI’s and LCT’s were taken in and our of the well deck, and tanks were transferred to LSM’s and LST’s “married” to the stern.
26th. - Following shakedown, proceeded to NYC and took on a full cargo of boats and a dredge.
6th. - Left New York in convoy but defective pumps forced the ship to drop out at Norfolk where she remained for repairs.
12th. - Underway for Guantanamo, Cuba.
22nd. - After testing proved the problem corrected, departed Cuba. Proceeded through the Panama Canal en route to Pearl Harbor, remaining in Balboa, Canal Zone for two days.
8th. - Arrived Pearl Harbor. A boat division of five officers and 104 men were assigned to the ship.
18th.- Departed for Guam where the dredge was promptly put to work.
9th. - Departed Guam for Okinawa via Saipan and Ulithi
15th, - Departed Ulithi in convoy
21st. - Arrived Okinawa in convoy.
23rd. - At 0240 received "Flah Red, Control Yellow" warning. 0245 went to General Quarters. LCVPs #1 and #2 took station 200 yards on port and starboard bow and commenced making smoke. At 0335 the air raid welcome to the pacific was over and the ship secured from General Quarters.

4th. - While underway in a rough sea, an emergency signal was received from the SS Soter Ortynsky, a merchant vessel, that they had a man seriously ill. Following a dangerous transfer, the patient, a member of the ship’s armed guard crew, was successfully operated on for appendicitis complicated by peritonitis.

10th. - arrived in Eniwetok. The ship rid herself of the LCT’s and engaged in a week of intensive, 24-hour-a-day landing craft repair.
14th. - Received the glorious news that Japan had agreed to surrender.
21st. - while entering Peliliu Bay a floating mine was sighted and subsequently destroyed by gun fire. A cargo of small boats was loaded for Leyte.
24th. - Discharged the cargo of small boats at Leyte.
30th. - Arrived Buckney Bay, Okinawa and commenced operstion the boat pool and repairing landing craft.
9th. - In company with the Montpelier, Lunga Point, Sanctuary and Consolation, proceeded to Japan. The ship sailed with lights on, it was a strange feeling.
11th.- Made the initial occupational landings at Wakanoura Wan, Honshu, Japan. Entry was diffucult through mines laid by US B29's that the Japaneese pilot had little knowledge about.
see POWS and the Typhoon  
15 th. - loaded with 248 Javanese, Dutch and Australian former prisoners of war, departed in convoy which included the hospital ship USS Sanctuary for Okinawa where for three days were in throes of a typhoon.
The POW's were disembarked at Haguchi Bay, Okinawa after several miserable days including two days when the ship headed due east trying to aviod the worst of the storm.
Departed 27 September for Subic Bay, PI and then Manila, PI arriving 2 October.
17th. - Arrived Sasebo while at anchorage many crew members were able to get as close as authorities would allow, to view the immense destruction of Nagasaki, the second city to be hit with an atomic bomb.
14th. - Cmdr. Holdoff, eligible for release, received orders for immediate departure. Command was temporarily turned over to senior line officer, Lt. Maurice N. White.
22nd. - Permanent change of command with Cmdr. Wallace E. Gregg, USN taking command.
Continued repair and boat pool functions working out of Wakanoura Wan with short trips to Nagoya, Shimizu and Kure.
4th. - Set sail for Yokohama arriving the following day.
20th. - Ddeparted Yokosuka arriving Pearl Harbor 2 May.
2nd. - Arrived Pear Harbor.
4th. - Depart Pearl Harbor for San Diego.
12th. - Arrived San Diego
Note - The ship logged 38,882 miles in 1945-46 (1 yr 10 mo)
15th. - Decommissioned and transfered to Reserve Fleet in San Diego, California.
7th. - Re-commissioned for the Korean hostilities.
Shakedown cruise. Proceeded to Mare Island Naval Station in Vallejo, California.
6th - Left Vallejo, California under sealed orders.
13th. - Arrived Pearl Harbor.
Arrived at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands to participate in Operation Greenhouse, an Atomic Energy Commission project. During this operation, Cabildo was one of the first ships to become radio-active and required extensive decontamination prior to return to the United States
Departed Yokosuka, Japan and proceeded to Inchon, Korea; Otaru, Hokido, Japan transporting the California 40th and 45th National Guard Division.
Deployed in the Western Pacific, Cabildo operated in Korean Theater of Operations. Operations were varied and the ship's duty ranged from lifting Army and Marine elements to acting as flagship and tender for the Ships of Mine Squadron Three.
see Wonson Action 1952  
26th.While in Wonson Harbor, North Korea that the Cabildo was hit by enemy fire from shore batteries. After repairs the Cabildo continued various operations from Japan to Korea over the next four months
While on the ‘53 cruise the Cabildo visited Pearl Harbor, Bikini Atoll, Eniwetok, Guam, Yokosuka, Yokohama, Sasebo, Kobe, Tokyo, Okinawa, Inchon, Pusan and Hong Kong. Christmas in ‘53 was celebrated in Hong Kong as was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with special napkins from the Skyroom Lounge!
During this cruise Cabildo was in some pretty illustrious company including the USS Quincy, Helena, Oriskany, Los Angeles, Wasp, St. Paul, Fort Marion, Gunston Hall and USS Wisconsin
Departed San Diego in late January for Mare Island, arriving in early February to go into drydock.
Returned to San Diego to engage in operations through June
3rd. Departed San Diego for Pearl Harbor. Plan of the day for 8 July warned crew of overexposure to the tropical sun. Arrived Pearl on 10 July, moored at berth King 10, Naval Supply Depot. The movie for the 9th was “Meet Danny Wilson”.
Departed Pearl for Bikini Atol on 18 July. Bikini to Eniwetok on July 19 and Eniwetok to Guam on 24 July. Departed Guam for Yokosuka, Japan on 29 July.
On 6 August departed Yokosuka for Inchon, Orea and departed Inchon for Pusan on 8 August. Operations carried out during this time included extensive mine sweeping. Cabildo participated in Operation Marlex while in waters off Korea. Cabildo was in this area through October.
6th. Departed Yokosuka for Inchon, Orea and departed Inchon for Pusan on 8 August. Operations carried out during this time included extensive mine sweeping. Cabildo participated in Operation Marlex while in waters off Korea. Cabildo was in this area through October.
Off Otaru, Japan Cabildo was blanketed with snow and it’s cold! Movie for the night of 4 November was “Sea Devil” starring Yvonne DeCarlo and Rock Hudson.
Fired for Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) off Japan. All 20mm, twin 40mm and quad 40mm batteries take part.
1st to 23 April the Cabildo visited the following ports in Japan: Sasebo, Yokosuka, Yokohama, Sucami Wan-Numaru, Camp McGill and in Korea: To Jan Po, Paegn Yong Do, the Islands: Okinawa, HaHa Jima and Iwo Jima leaving Pearl Harbor 16 April and arriving San Diego 23 April.
16th. Departed Pearl Harbor
23rd. Arriced San Diego
12th. Departed San Diego
14th. Departed Treasure Island for Nome, Alaska
23rd. Embarked Marine troops at Nome for transportation to Seattle, Washington. No liberty parties due to hight winds.

8th. Departed for Portland, Oregon to pick up dredge for Army post in Whittier, Alaska for use in constructing new dock.

16th. Arrived Whittier, Alaska ship missed anchoring off a ledge and subsequently dropped 36 fathoms of chain before being able to stop. Capstan brake in chain locker so hot it required use of fire extinguishers to cool.
18th. Departed Whittier, Alaska
26th. Arrived San Diego
Made second Alaska cruise.
Home port changed to Long Beach, California.
  1955 (Need the details)
see Iwo Jima
  January -
Operated in Far Eastern Waters for third tour since re-commissioned.
see pictures of the collision  
  February Collision with the USS Spangler (DE-97)  
    While passing mail to and from the USS Spangler the ships bumped and the USS Cabildo had some 52 ribs damaged.  
10th. Returned to Long Beach
Operated in US home waters.
17th. Departed for Wespac

1958 was a very busy time for the Cabildo. We spent most of our time on patrol as China and Formosa were having difficult times. We entered Kaohsiung, Formosa and loaded gun powder tubes similar to the type we used in our semi-fixed 5" gun on the bow and some Matador missiles for the Air Force. We were watched going in to the harbor by a submarine. We were there about three days while the loading went on. We could hear the Chinese big guns firing on Matsu and Quamoy (not sure about the spelling) and the dock we were tied up at had many armed soldiers moving to and fro. On the way out of the harbor (I was in the starboard fire room) we received a fully back down. Some one, don't know who, us or them, made a mistake and the mines stretched across the channel had not been pulled back so we could go out. It was a close encounter. We had very little liberty time on this cruise as compared to our other cruises. Our fuel, mail and food was brought out to us while on station.

At one point we pulled into Yokosuka just long enough to drop about 10 men off that were in need of hospital care and took on mail I would say we were along side the dock for 15 minutes. On another occasion we ruptured a water tube in the starboard boiler and had to go into the yard for about two weeks. It was a busy time, but I enjoyed all the "steaming" we had to do.

4th. While enroute home the ship celibrated the 4th of July with a holiday routine and then crossed the international date line and enjoyed another day of holiday routine.
  Aug - Sept
During this time period Commander Philip Kelsey was relieved by Commander McCaughey.
  Oct - Dec
During this period the ship loaded Army personnel from Fort Lewis Washington and participated in a landing exercise near San Simeon with hearst Castle in full view.
(Wade H. Combs)
  Feb - June
Deployed to the Western Pacific from Feb. 10, 1959 until returning on June 5, 1959.
  July - Dec.
Todd Shipyard overhall Seattle Washington. Stuck there during the steel strike. "We had been in the yards long enough to be inoperable and when the strike started so we had to stay until the strike was over."
(Wade H. Combs)

  Feb- July
Operated in Far East participating in Amphibious Operations with Nationalist Chinese and Koreans.
  July - Dec
Attended the "Pacific Festival" in San Francisco and participated in Operation Pack Mule in Southern California.
Made an operational visit to Fort Lewis and Tacoma, Washington and good will visit to Vancouver, British Columbia
  Mar - May
Participated in support operations to preserve the peace in the Far East. this included emergency deployment to Okinawa with USMC units embarked.
Participated in operation Green Light off the coast of Southern California.
  August 1961 - February 1962
FRAM Mark II overhaul at Todd Shipyard, Alameda, California. Ship was extensively modernized. INSURV Inspection
Amphibious Refresher Training.
  February see Christmas Island  
The last U.S. atomic test series. The ship was used to take the natives off their island for their own protection during the test. We delivered and set up targets for the tests. Ship had one occasion of having to avoid a hot cloud. CIC got a well done.
see Crossing the Line
First crossed the Equator March 6th at Longitude 00000 and Latitude 157 48 W. The skipper was Captain Gray. We were to cross over two more times.
Participated in operation Dominic as a unit of Joint Task Force 8, operating in support of nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean area.
October - November
Cuban Missile crisis. The Cabildo loaded Marines and equipment at Camp Pendelton and transited through the Panama Canal and was steaming in the Gulf of Mexico available had force been necessary.
Interim overhaul at AAA Shipyard San Francisco.
  April - June Operating and training off southern California and Mexico.  
  July Visited San Francisco for a weekend in the middle of a two week training exercise  
  June-August Operating and training off southern California and Mexico.  
Departed Long Beach for Hawaii taking two Norwegian PT Boats to Pearl Harbor en route to Vietnam. They were being evaluated as prototypes for what became the Swift Boats. Participated in a landing exercise with Marines from Kaneohe Bay on Molokai.
Departed Pearl Harbor for Wespac refueling at Kwajalein Atoll and stopping briefly in Guam. We continued on Subic Bay Philippines via the straights of San Bernardino.
Station Ship Hong Kong. Operated both the Shore Patrol and Air Port Liaison for the American presence in Hong Kong
Made two round trips between Okinawa and Yokosuka Japan. Spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Kobe Japan.
Our Captain, Commander Charles M. Itte, was relieved by Commander Warren D. Dietrichson in Yokosuka Japan.
The USS Merrick (AKA-97) collided with the USS Cabildo during transfer of an injured man in the Japanese Sea. The ship returned to Yokosuka repairs.
Participated in Operation Firehouse off the Korean East Coast operation with a UDT Team aboard.
Participated in a large joint amphibious exercise with the relieving amphibious squadron and Marines from Okinawa on the West Coast of Taiwan.
After returning the Marines to Okinawa our Phibron 7 squadron started for our home port of Long Beach. After three days three ships in the squadron were diverted to support activities in Vietnam.
Operation Starlight Vietnam:
  18th -24th
Amphibious landing with RLT-7 US Marines at Baie De My Han Republic of Vietnam.
Specifics unknown
see Vietnam Images
Transported AIR Boats to Vietnam. Numerous shuttle trips including swift boats.

1968 Log entries from May to Oct. thanks to crewmember LT(jg) Gary Zupkas

  May 1st. Departed Long Beach, CA for Nha Be, Vietnam.
9th. Arrived Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
    11th. Departed Pearl Harbor for Subic Bay, Philippines.  
    28. Arrived Subic Bay.      

29. Departed Subic Bay for Vung Tau, Vietnam.

  June 1st. Arrived Vung Tau in the middle of the night.      

2nd. Departed Vung Tau the next morning in the midst of monsoon rain and headed up the river for Nha Be. Officers were issued sidearms and vials of morphine. Sights and sounds of bombing in and around Saigon evident as Cabildo traverses narrow and winding river. Arrived Nha Be and offloaded Mobile PBR Base. Departed Nha Be for Cua Viet.


5th. Arrived Cua Viet. Departed for Subic Bay.


8th. Arrived Subic Bay. ENS Bruce Wolven reported aboard with ENS Gary Zupkas who began the process of relieving LTJG Jim Shields as COMM Officer and RPS Custodian. ENS Bruce Wolven takes over duties as Main Propulsion Assistant and immediately takes charge of needed repairs to boilers that had "salted up"..


17th. Departed Subic Bay for Da Nang, Vietnam. While underway, conducted man overboard, GQ and gunnery drills (used painted barrels for target practice for 40mm and 50 cal machine guns).


20th. Arrived Da Nang. CDR Richard C. Johnston relieved CDR David R. Freytag as Commanding Officer. Anchored in the midst of LSTs, Oilers and hospital ship USS Repose (AH-16). Super Sabres and Hueys flying overhead, sound of gunfire, explosions and much black smoke. Onloaded LCMs. Departed for Phan Rang.


22nd. Arrived Phan Rang. Onloaded diving boat. Phan Rang was a desolate mountainous beach surrounded by fishing boats. Departed Phan Rang for Vung Tau. Manned port and starboard 50 cal. machine guns but encountered no trouble.


23rd. Arrived Vung Tau. Offloaded LCMs and diving boat. Departed Vung Tau for Subic Bay.


26th. Arrived Subic Bay. Onloaded PCFs (“Swift” Boats). Departed Subic Bay for Tan My.

30th. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay. Set Hostile Security Watch while at anchor (six sentries patrolled rails for swimmers with mines). Grenades were kept on bridge.

3rd. Arrived Subic Bay. Four carriers are in port including the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). The “Fleet’s In” .. and Olongapo is very crowded. Onloaded Deep Sea Dredge.


5th. Departed Subic Bay for Sasebo, Japan.


18th. Departed Sasebo for Cam Ranh Bay


24th. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay. Offloaded PCF’s.


25th. Departed Cam Ranh Bay for Vung Tau. Buzzed by two Super Sabres (hundred feet over the bridge). Went through typhoon weather (50 knot relative winds). Unrep with USS Guadalupe (AO-32).


26th. Arrived Vung Tau. Offloaded Deep Sea Dredge.


27th. Departed Vung Tau for Cam Ranh Bay.


28th. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay. The crew had a beach party/cookout with steaks and free beer. Needless to say, a good time was had by all, as reported by Bruce Wolven in charge of Shore Patrol. A lot of laying in the sun, body-surfing, eating and, of course, drinking. As the Papa boat was taking crewmembers back to the ship, pier sentries spotted VC in the water around the Swift Boats. They dropped concussion grenades in and killed one of the swimmers.


30th. A group of Red Cross girls came aboard to entertain the troops (sounds funny, but all within the bounds of propriety).

  August 1st. Departed Cam Ranh Bay for Tan My.      

3rd. Arrived Tan My. Departed Tan My for Cua Viet. Departed Cua Viet for Da Nang. Arrived Da Nang. Loaded boats. USS Boston (CA-69) conducting shore bombardment.


4th. Departed Da Nang for Subic Bay. Conducted AA “sleeve shoot” exercises with 40mm.

    7th. Arrived Subic Bay      

8th. QMC Thompson reports aboard.


11th. ENS Bruce Galanter reports aboard. Departed Subic Bay for Vung Tau.


14th. Arrived Vung Tau.


15th. Departed Vung Tau for Da Nang.


17th. Arrived Da Nang. While anchored in Danang Harbor, there is a Red Alert due to VC infiltration. USS Providence (CL-82) commenced shore bombardment and Cabildo is ordered to move to Wonder Beach Army Causeway. Departed Da Nang for Wonder Beach.


18th. Arrived Wonder Beach. Departed Wonder Beach for Qui Nhon.


19th. Arrived Qui Nhon. Departed Qui Nhon for Subic Bay. While underway on 20 August, received a distress signal from Taiwanese vessel. Proceeded on course to aid stricken vessel.


21st. Arrived Subic Bay. Anchored, awaiting USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) to depart. Delayed because Kawishiwi has gotten salt in her boilers, leaving a very upset CO.

  September 1st. Departed Subic Bay for Da Nang.      

4th. Arrived Da Nang. Departed Da Nang for Wonder Beach. Picked up parts for radar and crypto gear. PCFs come under mortar attack and Cabildo is once again ordered to take station off Wonder Beach Army Causeway.


5th. Steamed off Wonder Beach to avoid typhoon. Went through tropical storm Bess (50 knot relative winds, 30 degree rolls). Steamed up and down the coast for the next few days, cancelling one of our lifts, awaiting orders.


6th. Arrived Da Nang. Departed Da Nang for Wonder Beach


7th. Arrived Wonder Beach. Departed Wonder Beach for Vung Ro Bay


8th. Arrived Vung Ro Bay. Departed Vung Ro Bay for Da Nang


16th. Arrived Yokosuka. ENS Jim Arthur reports aboard. Departed Yokosuka for Sasebo, Japan.


19th. Arrived Sasebo. Shore liberty for the crew. Departure was scheduled for 22 Sept. but delayed because of typhoon Della.


25th. Departed Sasebo for Subic Bay. Ran into Della’s “relief”, typhoon Elaine and took evasive course. Took up to 40 degree rolls.

  October 2nd. Arrived Subic Bay      

5th. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay.


8th. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay. Departed Cam Ranh Bay for San Fernando.


11th. Arrived San Fernando. Departed San Fernando for Subic Bay.


20th. Departed Subic Bay for Hong Kong.


28th. Departed Hong Kong for Da Nang.

    30th. Arrived Da Nang. ENS Perry Bishop reports aboard. Departed Da Nang for Cam Ranh Bay.  
    31st. Arrived Cam Ranh Bay. Half the crew has intestinal “problems” because of bad water  

1st. Departed Cam Ranh Bay for Keelung

6th. Arrived Keelung. We are the only US Navy ship in port (one Coast Guard vessel and various Merchant vessels). Cabildo is paid a visit by a Nationalist Chinese Admiral.

9th. Departed Keelung for Buckner Bay. Went through rough seas (up to 48 degrr rolls) on way to Okinawa.

11th. Arrived Buckner Bay. Ensign Dick Saylor reports aboard.

13th. Departed Buckner Bay for Kure. Onloaded Admiral’s gig and dog and had a very interesting cruise throug the Inland Sea.

15th. Arrived Kure. Departed for Yokosuka.
17th. Arrived Yokosuka. Underwent upkeep repairs. Turbine blade comes loose and chews up rotor.
23rd. Amphibious Squadron SEVEN, minus USS Cabildo (turbine repair) sails for home. We say goodbye to USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) and USS Okanogan (APA-220) as they set sail to join with USS Merick (AKA-97) on their way home. Needless to say, morale is at an all-time low as the crew contemplates not making it back for Christmas. But the Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility takes full responsibility for turbine damage and works around the clock to have it repaired. Sea trials are conducted and turbine test out ok. We’re on our way home.
26th. Departed Yokosuka for Pearl Harbor.
6 th. Arrived Pearl Harbor.
7th. Departed Pearl Harbor for Long Beach. This is on Pearl Harbor Day and everyone is suffering from “channel fever” but very glad that we are heading for CONUS.
14th. Arrived Long Beach. The USS Cabildo (LSD-16) ends her illustrious overseas career
Year of duty in readiness training, “Operation Bellflower” with Mine Warefare Command and participates in the Centennial 4th of July Celebration in Tacoma, Washington.
Her Last Contribution
see Target Image  
In the mid-1980’s the EX USS Cabildo was acquired from Naval Civil Engineering Lab (NCEL) at Port Hueneme by Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division. In December 1983 the ship was environmentally cleaned and utilized as a Fleet target.
The Ship Today
see Cabildo Today
After one of her target exercises a tug was unable successfully connect a tow line to the former USS Cabildo and she grounded and sank on San Nicolas Island, one of the California Channel Islands. We are fortunate to have from Brad Mongeau some wonderful pictures taken taken about the ship as she rests beneath the sea today.
Webmaster note: I for one am peased that she was not cut up for scrap and that she resides peacefully in such a beautiful place. weg

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