LSD-25 was laid down on September 1st, 1944 (only one year after a more famous LSD-25 was discovered and dropped at Basel, Switzerland) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, launched on January 10th, 1945, and commissioned on April 15th, 1945 as the USS San Marcos.
LSD-25 was a dock landing ship (the acronym stands for Landing Ship, Dock) of the Casa Grande class (the largest LSD ever built), built to transport and launch amphibious assault craft.
Initially, she was to be used for dredging in the Pacific, but as the war ended, she instead brought landing craft to occupation forces in the Tokyo Bay area and later ferried boats from Aomori to Yokohama.
In 1946, San Marcos was assigned to Joint Task Force 1 for Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atoll nuclear tests. After this, she was used for cargo operations such as carrying supplies, boats and vehicles to the Aleutians. On December 19th, 1947, she was decommissioned and berthed in San Diego.
After the Korean War broke out, she was recommissioned on January 26th, 1951 and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet's Amphibious Force. Throughout the 50's and 60's she carried cargo and personnel and participated in various exercises (including NATO exercises in the Mediterranean). She was modernized in 1962 and 1963.
Early in the 1970's, the San Marcos was sold to Spain for an unknown price. On July 1st, 1971, she was decommissioned, transferred, and recommissioned in the Spanish Navy as the TA 31 Galicia. I am sure this was because since the sixties, the designation LSD-25 acquired unwelcome connotations. CINCLANTFLT probably feared that the crew might be tripping all the time. I mean, look at the ship's emblem at http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/10122599.jpg - it's a lion with wings! They ought to print that on a blotter.
- Loaded displacement: 9,375 tons
- Length: 139.5 meters
- Beam: 22 meters
- Draft: 5.5 meters
- Speed: 15 knots
- Complement: 326
- Boats (well deck capacity): 18 LCMs
- Aircraft: modified in 1953 to accommodate 9 helicopters on added flight deck
- Armament: 1 5 inch dual purpose gun mount (although this one was soon removed as firing it damaged the ship), 2 twin 40 mm gun mounts, 2 quad 40 mm gun mounts, 16 single 20 mm gun mounts
- Propulsion: two geared turbines, 2 shafts, 7,400 SHP