USS Brule (APA-66)

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Career (USA)
Name: USS Brule (APA-66)
Namesake: A county in South Dakota
Builder: Consolidated Steel
Laid down: 10 April 1944
Launched: 30 June 1944
Sponsored by: Miss Patricia Moreell
Acquired: 31 October 1944
Commissioned: 31 October 1944
Decommissioned: 29 August 1946
Struck: 28 May 1948
Fate: Sunk as a target off Kwajalein 11 May 1948 after use as a target in Operation Crossroads
General characteristics
Class & type: Gilliam-class attack transport
Tonnage: 85,000 cu. ft., 2,600 t.
Displacement: 4,247 tons (lt), 7,080 t.(fl)
Length: 426 ft (130 m)
Beam: 58 ft (18 m)
Draft: 16 ft (4.9 m)
Propulsion: Westinghouse turboelectric drive, 2 boilers, 2 propellers, Design shaft horsepower 6,000
Speed: 16.9 knots
Capacity: 47 Officers, 802 Enlisted
Crew: 27 Officers, 295 Enlisted
Armament: 1 x 5"/38 caliber dual-purpose gun mount, 4 x twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 x single 20mm gun mounts
Notes: MCV Hull No. 1859, hull type S4-SE2-BD1

USS Brule (APA-66) was a Gilliam-class attack transport that served with the US Navy during World War II. Arriving late in the war, she took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 26 March 1945, and carried out subsequent transport missions.

Construction[edit]

Brule was named after a county in South Dakota. She was launched 30 June 1944 by Consolidated Steel at Wilmington, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss Patricia Moreell, daughter of Vice Admiral Ben Moreell.

Brule was acquired by the Navy on 31 October 1944, and commissioned the same day, Commander E. Fluhr, USNR, in command.

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

Brule joined Transport Squadron 16 and departed San Pedro 26 November 1944 for Pearl Harbor. In December 1944 was in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, in preparation for the assault on Iwo Jima. As the task force left for the assault, Brule lost one of her new turbine engines as was forced to return to Pearl Harbor for rapid repair; Brule caught up with the invasion force on D-plus-4, 24 February, and remained off the island through the remainder of the battle, taking some of the few surviving Japanese prisoners off the island and carrying them in her brig to custody. From April 1945 until the cessation of hostilities Brule carried troops and supplies between various bases in the Bonins, Marianas, Marshalls, Philippines, and Solomons.

After hostilities[edit]

After the war's end, Brule operated with the 7th Fleet during the occupation of Korea and China.

In November 1945 Brule became a unit of the Operation Magic Carpet fleet, tasked with bringing returning servicemen home from the war.

Operation Crossroads[edit]

While at Yokosuka, during one of her voyages, Brule was ordered to prepare for assignment to the target fleet for Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. She completed her run from Yokosuka to Pearl Harbor and then commenced preparation for the operation.

Brule survived the atomic bomb tests at Bikini and following the test period was decommissioned and maintained for radiological and structural studies. She was destroyed by sinking 11 May 1948.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.