1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Named for Whetstone Point, Md., first fortified in 1776. Those beginnings
ultimately became Fort McHenry, the strongpoint that defended Baltimore,
Md., harbor from a determined British assault during the War of 1812. The
equally determined and successful resistance put up by the defenders of Fort
McHenry inspired a young lawyer, Francis Scott Key, to pen the words for a
song that eventually became the National Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Whetstone (LSD-27) was laid down on 7 April 1945 at the Boston Navy Yard, launched on 18 July 1945 sponsored by Mrs. Worthington S. Bitler, the wife of Capt. W. S. Bitler on duty at the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned on 12 February 1946, Comdr. G. R. Keating in command. Whetstone was the last of it's class (Casa Grande LSD-13) to be built. Following the ship's shakedown, Whetstone underwent post-shakedown availability at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard before heading for the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal between 26 and 30 April 1946, the new dock landing ship reached San Diego on 11 May. For the next few months, Whetstone--attached to Transport Division 11, Transport Squadron 1--operated in the waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, conducting intra-area lifts of boats and equipment between Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Adak, Sitka, Seattle and San Francisco. On several trips Marine troops were transported to the Aleutian islands, off of Alaska. In addition, she also called at Port Angeles, Wash., and San Diego during that time. She subsequently departed San Francisco on 18 February 1947 bound for the Far East. Reaching Shanghai, China, on 9 March, the LSD remained at that Chinese port until the 22d, when she got underway to shift down the coast to Hong Kong. Whetstone supported the American occupation and assistance efforts in not only Chinese waters but Japanese as well, the ship touching at Shanghai once more, as well as at Sasebo and Kobe, Japan, before she set course for the Palaus on 15 April 1947. (see map Page 6). The ship went south and crossed the equator in April. There the ship held a ’shellback initiation ceremony. The Whetstone was present in the Philippines to commemorate the islands independence on July 4, 1947. On this cruise the ship went through three typhoons. The ship bounced around like a cork.
Whetstone returned to the waters off the Asian mainland, however, via Peleliu and Manus, the next time visiting the waters of North China--reaching Tsingtao, China on 15 July. She subsequently departed that port on the 22d, conducting voyages between Guam, Yokosuka, and Iwo Jima before setting course for Pearl Harbor via the Marshalls. After taking aboard a pair of seaplane wrecking derricks, YSD-40 and YSD-62, at Kwajalein, Whetstone headed for Hawaii. Reaching Pearl Harbor on 12 September, Whetstone remained there only long enough to drop off the two self-propelled derricks and take aboard a garbage lighter, YG-56, before she was underway again, her destination: San Diego. After delivering her charge, Whetstone operated off the west coast of the United States into late 1948, frequenting the waters off the coast of California. She participated in exercises and maneuvers off Oceanside, Calif., the site of the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton. She was soon to be a victim of the post-World War II reduction of military strength. On 20 October 1948, Whetstone was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego.
The Rolling Stone is a Quarterly publication of the USS Whetstone LSD-27 Association, INC. The Association is a non profit, historical and educational organization dedicated to promoting fraternal, civic, patriotic and historical memories of those who served aboard.
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