"A cool, gray, drizzly day in Rio de Janiero"


Lieutenant Ryan Andrews, USN, is participating in an exchange program with the Brazilian Navy. Here is his report of the decommissioning:

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the decommissioning ceremony after all. I was aboard my ship which was docked right next to Ceará at the time. It was a cool, gray, drizzly day here (Rio de Janeiro) during the ceremony. All of the crew assembled on her flight deck and the crews of the neighboring ships manned the rails as a sign of respect. Several admirals arrived to give speeches and to commemorate her service to the Brazilian Navy. At the conclusion of the ceremony the flags were lowered for the last time and quickly afterward her hull number and name were painted over with haze gray. She is still at BNRJ and her ultimate fate hasn't been decided, although I've heard rumors that she'll be sent for dismantlement and scrapping. Most of her useful equipment and parts have already been cannibalized, some of which went to my ship.



Second acts in exile. . . .


As the Confederacy was collapsing, Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin escaped through Florida and turned up in England where he had a distinguished career as a lawyer.


In 1955, as the Kaiser automobile company was collapsing, its dies were shipped to Argentina where Kaiser manufactured the same vehicle from 1958 to 1962.


As their careers in crime were collapsing in the United States, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid escaped to Argentina where they resumed their profession of robbing banks.

When the USS HERMITAGE reached the end of its service life, it was sold to the Brazilian Navy where it served for more than 25 years as the Ceara. It was decommissioned on 29 April 2016.

Read about life after death.

Hermitage in Brazil

Last Days of the Ceara


Frank Capps contributes Commissioning Booklet

Roy Gay on Basketball on SoLant Amity I

Frank Stack on SoLant Amity I

Ernest Warren

Gary Goedkin on "Hermy"


Operation Snowy Beach

New relics from Scott Eriksen

Bill Grubb photos WestPac 1967

Promotions in Vietnam---from Fred Gallagher



December 14, 2016 will be the sixtieth anniversary of the commissioning of the USS HERMITAGE at the Ingall's Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
In honor of our ship's anniversary, the Hermitage Association is asking for your contributions of memories and photos of your time on the HERMITAGE. Please send your submissions (a paragraph or two will be sufficient) and JPEGs of your photos to Aaron Finestone at
aaron@themightyzed.com. As the P.O.D. once stated, "HERMITAGE is your home, be proud of it."


Banned from the head---from Ralph Van Horn

Don Kromer on changes to the Hermitage since Brazil

Ralph Van Horn: Soviet spy fight over the Hermitage

Don Atkinson: Soviets watch our exercises in Turkey

New Photos from Don Phillips

Change of Command booklet from 1987

Jack Pusel on a special storage locker

Gerald Horwitz on the commissioning

Deckplate musings from Gregory Hausler



2015 Reunion in Annapolis, Maryland.

We had an awesome weekend, with visits to the Naval Academy, a cruise on the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay, our banquet, and opportunities for shopping, dining, and remembering old times. Many of us visited the crypt of John Paul Jones, the Naval hero of the Revolution. Special thanks to John Papalia for making the arrangements and taking the above photo, our celebrity auctioneer Jimmy Brumble and our keynote speaker Captain Robert Deegan (CO 1975-1977).

USA_240-animated-flag-gifsHerm ColourUSA_240-animated-flag-gifs

USS HERMITAGE was the seventh THOMASTON - class dock landing ship. Decommissioned on October 2, 1989, the HERMITAGE was leased to Brazil the same day. There, the ship was recommissioned as CEARA. On January 24, 2001, the ship was finally purchased by Brazil.

Awarded: October 14, 1954
Keel laid: April 11, 1955
Launched: June 12, 1956
Commissioned: December 14, 1956
Decommissioned: October 2, 1989
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Propulsion system: two 600 psi boilers, two geared turbines
Propellers: two
Length: 510 feet (155.5 meters)]
Beam: 84 feet (25.6 meters)
Draft: 19 feet (5.8 meters)
Displacement: approx. 11,300 tons full load
Speed: 22 knots
Well deck capacity three LCU or nine LCM-8 or 50 AAV
Aircraft: help platform only
Crew: Ship: 18 officers, 330 enlisted
Crew: Marine Detachment: approx. 330 Marines
Armament: two dual 3-inch/50 caliber Mk-33 gun mounts

Source: Unofficial US Navy Site


Ship's History 1956-1962

Joe Rosa: First days

Robert Bailey: Congo and Cuba

Unofficial Ship's Log 1957-1958



Walt Kabis' 1963 Med Shots

Vietnam 1967 Ship's History

Vietnam Cruise Book

Vietnam 1967 and Robert Stack

David F. Worley, USMC on Vietnam Cruise

People to People Programs 1967

San Diego to Pearl to Danang

Chronology 1968

Basic Narrative 1968

Chronology 1969

Chronology 1970

Chronology 1971

Chronology 1972

Med Cruise In Port Routine

Richard Ray's Carib 2-72 Photos

Rudy Smith's 1969 Med Shots

Jack Pusel's Memorabilia

Hermitized Gator

Smitty's 1973 Photos

Collision by Gregory Hausler

Christmas Menu

Christmas in Rota

MARG 3-84

Michael Sheridan's Photos

Plank Owners

Decommissioning Booklet I

Decommissioning Booklet II

Decommissioning Booklet III

Decommissioning Booklet IV

Decommissioning Booklet V

Decommissioning Booklet VI

High Line


2009 Reunion

2011 Reunion

2013 Reunion

Don Phillips' Med and North Atlantic Cruise Books--Part One

Don Phillips' Med and North Atlantic Cruise Books--Part Two

Third Division 1975 Cruise Book

JFK Remembered


Radio Shack

Thanksgiving 1979-1980 Med Cruise

Documenting Claims of Injury and Disability


Mesothelioma Links

page0_2-2 Collision


Around 1986, an LST hit the Herm off South Carolina, and put a big ding in the her bow.

page0_2 Panama 1964
Where else were we encouraged to wear white and khaki shorts. Photo courtesy  of Mr. Chadwick, the XO. Jim Cullen reports that the

"Panama deployment was known by the famous PA call "Beer on the Pier," as there was no liberty (too dangerous). The pier, on a semi-deserted U.S. Army Special Forces base (surrounded by jungle) was as far as we were allowed. Lots of beer consumed on that pier with basketball court and music (probably all Frankie Valle/Four Seasons) on the PA system."




John Papalia jpapalia@mac.com
Walt Kabis
Ted Waples
Roger Tatum
Aaron Finestone
Steve Mitchell
Jim Cullen


We thank C.J. and Julene DeHart for founding the Reunion and managing it for years and years of dedicated service.

Snail mail: 10097 Cleary Boulevard, No. 174, Plantation, Florida 33324

Join now. For membership email Walt Kabis.

Facebook Groups: USS Hermitage Association / U.S.S. Hermitage (LSD-34)



It was an honor to be able to start the USS Hermitage LSD-34 reunion group as we call it. We have meet so many wonderful people and enjoy seeing so much of the United States. We wish to thank the seven that are taking over and we are sure that they will do a beautiful job. Good job on the website too. All of the group will not be forgotten and we thank each one of the shipmates and wives that have made this USS Hermitage LSD-34 group possible. May God bless each of you and everyone of you!
C. J. and Julene DeHart

Click to
Aaron Finestone's photo collection