Ignoring the obvious danger of such a reckless mission, Lieutenant William B. Cushing and 13 other sailors crammed into a small launch armed with a single spar torpedo and headed upriver on a dark, drizzling night to take on the iron monster in her lair. For eight miles, the little launch made its way past enemy guard posts on shore and picket boats in the river.
At about 0300, Cushing saw a large black silhouette looming out of the darkness. As he maneuvered closer, sentries on the Albemarle spotted the craft and sounded the alarm. Cushing charged at the ironclad at full speed. Bullets whipped and cracked all about the men in the launch, several passing through Cushing's clothing, as they continued to close.
The defenders had rigged a floating fence of chained logs around the Albemarle to protect her from exactly what Cushing had in mind. Surmising that the logs had been in the water for quite some time and probably were slippery, Cushing plunged ahead, driving the launch right onto the logs.
Perched there, the Union sailors were staring point blank into the muzzle of one of the Albemarle 's big guns as her crew frantically loaded the weapon. Undaunted by the harrowing sight, Cushing lowered the boom and drove the torpedo into the side of the ship, just below the waterline. Union torpedo and Confederate gun went off nearly simultaneously.
Miraculously, Cushing and another sailor survived, escaping into the river. The other men perished or were captured. But the ironclad Albemarle sank to the bottom of the river, never to rise again. On hearing of this daring exploit, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles called William Cushing "the hero of the war." Since that October night in 1864, five ships have been named USS Cushing (TB-1, DD-55, DD-376, DD-797, and DD-985).
The tank landing ship LST-1157 was built by Bath Iron Works of Maine and launched on 6 December 1952, commissioning into service on 14 March 1953. She did not receive her name, the Terrell County , until 1 July 1955. Her home port in Yokosuka, Japan, enabled her to take part in a large number of operations with Asian allies.
In March 1965, the Terrell County sailed for South Vietnam, arriving at Da Nang to unload her cargo of personnel. She continued transport operations between Japan and South Vietnam during the summer of that year. In November 1965, while off Tuy Hoa, she ran aground. It took two ships to get the vessel off the beach and the LST subsequently was towed to Japan for hull repairs.
In the spring of 1968, the Terrell County joined Amphibious Ready Group One, operating off My Thuy, Vietnam. On 10 December of that year, she became support LST for Task Force 115 participating in Market Time interdiction operations. In January 1969, she was chosen as support ship for Swift boats operating off the lower Ca Mau Peninsula. That month, the LST launched her landing craft and, along with Swift boats and regional forces, returned fire on Viet Cong gunners.
The Terrell County continued operations against Viet Cong forces, attacking enemy units and positions along the Song Bo De and Duong Koe riverbanks. Many of these attacks were in close cooperation with U.S. aircraft and riverine forces. These efforts minimized enemy activity in this region for some time. After a brief transfer to Subic Bay, she returned to the lower Ca Mau Peninsula, ready for the increased operational tempo. She was equipped with a 50-member mobile strike force, an underwater demolition team detachment, and an Army scout helicopter.
In 1970, the Terrell County again served as a support ship for smaller boats operating around Vung Tau, supplying ammunition, food, and other support to small riverine craft operating in the area.
She was decommissioned on 25 March 1971 and remained in the Reserve Fleet until sold to Greece in 1977. She serves with the Greek Navy as the Oinoussai (L-104).