Thursday, April 23, 2020

Circuit breaker Day 17 pix: Decommissioned Republic of Singapore Navy LSTs

Decommissioned County-class tank landing ships were moored at the Republic of Singapore Navy's Changi Naval Base (CNB). RSS Endurance L201 is seen here tied up to seaward of RSS Excellence L202, the latter LST identifiable by her large deck crane.

It should be obvious by now that I was quite fond of the old RSN LSTs which United States Navy sailors nicknamed "large slow targets" during WW2. Yes, they were old. Yes, their flat bottom gave them a lively ride even in moderate seas. Their heads discharged waste straight to the sea. But I think the old LSTs had character and I never got tired of looking at them.

Thanks to the LST crews, the SAF never faced the problem of a foreign nation impounding our armoured vehicles. The old LSTs carried interesting cargo too on some of their voyages.... usually unloaded at night near Bedok Jetty (Tuas Naval Base wasn't built back then).

This picture was taken on 21 May 2004 when then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong officially opened CNB, the RSN's newest naval base.

The next day's newspaper left bittersweet memories because I got two Page 1 bylines - which is quite rare for a journalist to achieve. The opening of CNB was a happy story. The death of Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16 pilot Lieutenant Brandon "Chip" Loo was the other Page 1 story. For me, it was never easy writing about Singapore Armed Forces training deaths : (

1 comment:

James said...

There was a LST or AO or whatever classification they used, RSS Enterprise. There are some blogs out there crediting it for rescuing Vietnamese boat people in the 70s, and some allusions to it being possessed from VN Navy. Any info that can be shared?

I assumed this post will go into yr Pte email for moderation before publication, so if inappropriate pls don’t post