The USS LSM-448 was commissioned during 1945. She was one of the latter ships deployed and saw no action in WWII. The ship was instrumental in rescuing a downed PBY aircraft shortly after the war. During 1953, the ship was home-ported out of Guam Island and became known as the "Marianas Express; You Name It - We haul It". The ship traveled from Guam throughout many of the islands between Guam and Yokosuka, Japan.
The ship carried supplies on it's voyages, also including medical staff for military bases still on many islands. The medical staff were also available to the native population. As a good will gesture, natives of the islands were allowed to "hop" rides to visit relatives on other islands or to move to a different island. The cargoes carried varied from military items, various government and civilian cargoes, to what ever the natives brought with them on trips.
The ship was decommissioned January 25, 1957, at the PacResFlt, Tongue Point Navy Base, Astoria, Oregon. Lt. H. J. Beyers was in command prior to the decommissioning process. The ship was mothballed until 1958, when Hugo Neu Corporation (During 1962, Hugo Neu Corp. became the Hugo Neu-Proler Company), a scrap salvage business with seven "Feeder Yards" and headquartered in New York City. Hugo Neu-Proler Company buys and recycles more than 10% of the scrap metal exported from the U.S. including more than 60% of the total volume available in the Los Angeles area.
With this recent information, it would stand to reason that the USS LSM-448, was scrapped.
On July 9, 2000, Hugo Neu-Proler Company was asked about the disposition of the old ship. As of this writing (July 21,2000), there has been no response from the company.
I served on the USS LSM during 1955-56. I started as a ENFA (E-2) and was promoted thru the ranks to EN3 (E-4) while on the ship. I transferred from the USS LSM-448 during latter 1956 to the PacResFlt, Astoria, Oregon, where I was promoted to EN2 (E-5). I left the "Regular" Navy (1958) and served as an instructor with reserve units in Phoenix and Tucson (Arizona) and Pasadena (California) until 1962. I was honorably discharged as EN1 (E-6). An interesting note, after I transferred from the USS LSM-448, the ship came to Astoria's PacResFlt for decommissioning. I was involved in the process and also was present at the decommissioning ceremony.
Richard E. Richardson