Peters, Rodney Walter
RM1, U.S. Navy
Grants Pass, Oregon
Wall Location: 39W L03
USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY (LST-1167) was one of the first Naval vessels engaged in Vietnam, departing Naha, Okinawa, on 9 August 1964, for extended operations off Vietnam in the South China Sea. In 1965 and 1966, she participated in a number of Marine lifts into Vietnam, including three amphibious landings. In late 1966 she served as the "mother ship" for MARKET TIME coastal patrol ships operating along the Ca Mau Peninsula coastal area. In 1967, she performed various duties before serving as a Mobile Riverine Force support ship in the Mekong Delta from 24 October through 26 January 1968. At that time she returned to lift duties before entering a repair availability from 16 July through 22 September, when she resumed duty with the Mobile Riverine Forces.
Tragedy struck on 1 November while WESTCHESTER COUNTY lay anchored in the vicinity of My Tho, Vietnam. Two giant underwater explosions ripped WESTCHESTER COUNTY, killing 25 men. The enemy mines had been attached to the hull about midship on the starboard side, rupturing berthing compartments and fuel and storage tanks.
The 18 KIAs represented the U.S. Navy's greatest single-incident combat loss of life during the War.
Casualties: US 23 KIA (5 from the 9th Division), 2 Vietnamese, 27 WIA