Military History/USS LST-543


Dear Mr. Horrel,
I am looking for information on LST 543 which served in the US Navy from February 1944 until 1947 or 48 I think.  My father (Frank James Ferrier) was Chief Petty Officer on the ship and we are piecing together some history of his experiences based on some love letters we found between he and his wife (our Mom) that she had squirreled away for 60 years.  I know there is a book available which we have ordered but I am looking for information on crew lists and specifically, the ships experiences going into Normandy in June 1944 (to square up with some information in the letters and some stories he told me as a lad) and later into Manila just before Okinawa when they almost sank in a typhoon, specifically when a tank broke lose on the tank deck and the crew risked life and limb to secure it and when one of the diesels went "wild", sucking up its crankcase oil and dieseling on its own.  I know these are obscure issues but it would be fun to confirm the stories from another source.  If you have any information source you could point me to I would be grateful.  Thanks very much.  Jim

Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "If you have any information source you could point me to I would be grateful."  I will do my best.
       I respectfully suggest that you begin by obtaining your father's Personnel File.  The location to send your letter-of request to is:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
 St. Louis   MO   63138

You may hear/read from others that there was a fire at their old location, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis.  There was a fire, but the Personnel Records for members of the US Navy, USMC & USCG were not impacted.
       As to the ETO & D-Day, USS LST-543 was assigned to the 103rd US Division (NOT the 103rd Infantry Division) along with USS LST-682, 980, 981, 982 & 983.  103rd US Division, along with 21st, 98th, 99th, 100th & 102nd were assigned to ASSAULT GROUP L1, commanded by Act. Captain F.J.C. Halahan, D.S.C., R.N.  HQ was located at St. Felix School, Southwold, England.
       You may also wish to contact:

Dept. of the Navy
Naval Historical Center
 805 Kidder Breese S.E.
  Washington Navy Yard
   Washington   DC   20374-5060

for any holdings they have about the USS LST-543, including a wartime era cruise book.
       If you have read many of my answers on AllExperts you will know that I am LOATHED to utilize the internet.  Having typed that, there are a A FEW (EVER SOOOOOOOOO FEW) locations on the internet that are FACT-BASED.  The following is one location on the internet I do recommend:

       There is a LST still in existence.  Based somewhere in Indiana, the LST was docked here in Nashville during Fall 2012.  It was of some interest.
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     211 Union St.   #611
      Nashville   TN   37201-1502

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Richard V. Horrell


Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.


A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

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Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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