< St Croix APA-231

St Croix APA-231


Saint Croix

(APA-231: dp. 14,837; 1. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17.7 k.; cpl. 536; trp. 1,562; a. 1 5", 12 40mm.; cl. Haskell; T. VC2-S-AP5)

Saint Croix (APA-231), was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 677) on 25 September 1944 by the Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash.; launched on 9 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Walter E. Hanawalt; acquired by the Navy on 1 December 1944; and commissioned the same day, Capt. Edmond P. Speight in command.

Following shakedown off the California coast, Saint Croix departed San Diego on 31 January 1945 and headed for the South Pacific. She reached Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 16 February and carried military passengers and equipment between there and Florida Island until 18 March when she sailed for New Caledonia. Proceeding via the New Hebrides, she reached Noumea on the 26th.

On 3 May, the attack transport sailed for the Philippines carrying Army troops whom she disembarked near Tarragona, Leyte, on the 16th for mop-up operations in the Philippines. Next followed three runs to New Guinea to bring more troops, mostly from Finsch-hafen, to Luzon. She debarked the first load at Manila on 17 June and the second and third at San Fernando on 14 July and 8 August. The ship was at Manila when hostilities ended.

Saint Croix embarked Army occupation units there and carried them to Japan, reaching Yokohama on 13 September. At the end of the month, she picked up marines at Guam and delivered them to Tsingtao, China, on 11 October. She then proceeded via Manila to Haiphong, Indochina, to take on Chinese troops for passage to Kaohsiung, Formosa.

Back at Manila on 21 November, she embarked veteran American soldiers, sailed for home on the 21th, and reached San Francisco on 16 December.

Next came service in Operation "Crossroads," the first peacetime testing program for the atomic bomb. Saint Croix got underway from the west coast in February 1946 and served as an advance station ship during the operation which culminated in nuclear explosions at Bikini on 1 and 25 July.

The transport returned to the west coast in August and, except for a voyage to Pearl Harbor in January 1947, remained there until she was decommissioned on 7 April 1947 and transferred to the Maritime Commission. Saint Croix was then placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. On 30 June 1974, she was berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif.