Spiegal Grove LSD-32
(LSD-32: dp. 6,880; 1. 510'; b. 84'; dr. 19'; s. 21 k.;
cpl. 756; a. 12 3"; cl. Thomaston)
Spiegel Grove (LSD-32) was laid down on 7 September 1954 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss.; launched on 10 November 1955, sponsored by Mrs. Webb C. Hayes; and commissioned on 8 June 1956, Capt. S. Filippone in command.
Spiegel Grove sailed for Hampton Roads and arrived at Norfolk, Va., on 7 July. She headed for the Guantanamo Bay area on her shakedown cruise on 26 July and returned on 15 September. The ship was in the yard during October, and, in November, she participated in amphibious exercises off Onslow Beach, N.C.
On 9 January 1957, Spiegel Grove, with other ships of Transport Amphibious Squadron (TransPhibRon) 4, sailed from Morehead City, N.C., with elements of the 6th Marines embarked, for a tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She returned to Norfolk on 3 June and operated along the east coast for the remainder of the year. In November, she transported 364 Army troops to Labrador. In January 1958, the LSD was deployed with her squadron to the 6th Fleet on an extended tour which did not end until 6 October. On the 22d, Spiegel Grove was assigned to PhibRon 10, the new Fast Squadron. The years 1959 and 1960 saw the LSD participating in numerous operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean.
Spiegel Grove stood out of Norfolk in April 1961 with Task Force (TF) 88 for "Solant Amity II," a good-will tour to the African coast. The force carried tons of medical supplies, food and disaster supplies, toys, books, and seed. During the four month cruise the ships visited Gambia, Durban, the Malagasy Republic, the Seychelles Islands, Zanzibar, Kenya, the Union of South Africa, Togo, and Gabon before returning home on 8 September. She then entered Horne Brothers Shipyard, Newport News, Va., for an overhaul that was not completed until early January 1962.
Spiegel Grove conducted refresher training and then spent March and April in amphibious exercises in the Caribbean. In May, she took part in operations supporting Malcolm Scott Carpenter's manned space flight. In July and August, she returned to the Caribbean for "Phibulex 2-62." On 1 December 1962 a tender availability period was begun to prepare the ship for "Solant Amity IV." The LSD loaded supplies during January 1963 and sailed, on 15 February, for her second good-will tour which lasted until late May. The ship steamed over 21,000 miles and visited nine countries before returning home. Spiegel Grove next deployed to the Caribbean from July to September with PhibRon 8.
The landing ship has spent the greater part of her active service participating in amphibious exercises along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. Spiegel Grove was deployed to the 6th Fleet from January to June 1964, 3 November 1966 to 11 May 1967, and from 17 April to 9 October 1971. She participated in Operation "Steel Pike I" off Spain in October 1964 and made a midshipman cruise to England and Denmark in 1970. Spiegel Grove still serves with the amphibious forces of the Atlantic Fleet into December 1974.