Operation Snowy Beach

Banned from the head---from Ralph Van Horn

Promotions in Vietnam---from Fred Gallagher


The Brazilian Navy salutes the USS HERMITAGE, now proudly serving as NDD CEARA.


December 14, 2016 will be the sixieth 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 As the P.O.D. once stated, "HERMITAGE is your home, be proud of it."


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 Scott Eriksen

New Photos from Don Phillips

Change of Command booklet from 1987

Jack Pusel on a special storage locker

Gerald Horwitz on the commissioning of the HERMITAGE and more

Deckplate musings from Gregory Hausler



We have received unofficial word that the Brazilian Navy decommission NDD Ceara (the former USS HERMITAGE) in 2016. Brazil is making arrangements to purchase a replacement ship from France.

Click for information on present location of NDD Ceara.
Click for report of NDD Ceara breaking down in April 2015.

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Follow Poder Naval Blog for news on the sale of the Siroco from France to Brazil.

Google Chrome browser provides translation.

Click for August 5, 2015 report
Click for April 28, 2015 report.
Click for February 3, 2015 report

Click for Hermitage in Brazil----NDD Ceara Gf-30



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
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