USS Frederick Funston (APA-89)
USS Frederick Funston (APA-89)
|Name:||USS Frederick Funston (APA-89)|
|Namesake:||General Frederick Funston|
|Launched:||27 September 1941|
|Sponsored by:||Miss Barbara E. Funston|
|Acquired:||(by the Navy) 8 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||24 April 1943|
|Reclassified:||To T-AP-178 (date unknown)|
|Six battle stars for World War II service, one for the Korean War|
|Class & type:||Frederick Funston-class attack transport|
|Displacement:||7,000 tons (lt)|
|Beam:||69 ft 6 in|
|Draft:||26 ft 6 in|
|Propulsion:||Geared Turbine Drive, 2 x Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, single propeller, designed shaft horsepower 8,000|
|Armament:||1 x 5"/38 caliber dual-purpose gun mount, 2 x 3"/50 cal. dual purpose gun mounts, eight 1.1" AA guns, replaced by 16 x 20mm gun mounts|
|Notes:||MCV Hull No. ?, hull type C3-S-A1|
USS Frederick Funston (APA-89) was a Frederick Funston-class attack transport that served with the US Navy during World War II. Before serving as a Navy APA, she had been the US Army transport USAT Frederick Funston. After World War II, she was returned to the Army and operated as USAT Frederick Funston. Funston was among the seventy-two ships transferred to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) in the 1 March 1950 group and placed in service as USNS Frederick Funston (T-AP-178).
Named after US Army General Frederick Funston a Medal of Honor recipient, the ship was launched 27 September 1941 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation at Tacoma, Washington and acquired by the US Army as a transport ship. She was acquired from the Army by the US Navy on 8 April 1943, reclassified an APA (Auxiliary Personnel Attack, i.e. attack transport), and commissioned 24 April 1943, Commander J. E. Murphy in command.
- 1 Operational history
- 2 Footnotes
- 3 References
World War II
Invasion of Sicily
Frederick Funston sailed from Norfolk, Virginia 8 June 1943 for rehearsal landings on the coast of Algeria, and on 10 July arrived off the assault beaches of Sicily to land her men successfully through heavy surf. Three days later she sailed to train at Oran for the assault on Salerno, off which she lay from 8 to 10 September landing soldiers.
Invasion of Salerno
The transport returned to North Africa to load reinforcements whom she landed at Salerno on 22 and 23 September, then made three voyages from Oran to Naples carrying Army service troops, engineers, and rangers. On 30 November, she cleared Oran for Northern Ireland with paratroopers on board, and after disembarking them, sailed on to New York, arriving 31 December 1943.
Invasion of Saipan
After loading men of naval construction battalions at Davisville, Rhode Island, Frederick Funston sailed for the Pacific, arriving at Honolulu 16 March 1944. Here she landed the Seabees and embarked Marines for the invasion of Saipan, landing them in the initial assault 15 June. After a week off the beaches offloading cargo and taking casualties on board, she returned to Honolulu. Here the casualties were transferred to hospitals, and soldiers taken on board with whom she reinforced Guam on 24 July.
Invasion of Leyte
During August, the transport joined in training operations in the Hawaiian Islands, then crossed to Manus, from which she sailed 14 October for the invasion of Leyte. She landed her troops and cargo on 21 October, the day after the initial assault, and the following day cleared for Aitape, New Guinea, to embark reinforcements. These were put ashore at Leyte 14 November.
Invasion of Luzon
Training off New Guinea and in Huon Gulf prepared Frederick Funston for the initial landings on Luzon of 9 January 1945. That night a watchful lookout spotted and shot a suicide swimmer only 50 yards from the ship.
Invasion of Iwo Jima
Completing her unloading the next day, Frederick Funston sailed by way of Leyte and Ulithi to Guam to embark Marines for the assault on Iwo Jima. With her troops held in reserve, she did not land them until 27 February, although she lay off the island throughout the assault. She returned to Guam with casualties 8 March, then replaced her landing craft at Guadalcanal and exercised at Nouméa through April. She returned to the west coast for overhaul in May 1945
Frederick Funston reached the Philippines 3 October for inter-island transport duty until 8 December when she returned to San Francisco. Another voyage was made to carry occupation troops to the Marianas and return veterans to the United States between 22 December and 7 February 1946.
She was decommissioned and returned to the Army 4 April 1946.
After serving with the Army Transportation Corps Fleet out of Seattle, Frederick Funston returned to naval custody when the Military Sea Transportation Service was formed in 1950, and was placed in noncommissioned status for operations with a Civil Service crew, after which she saw some service in the Korean War.
The ship was scrapped in 1969.
Frederick Funston received six battle stars for World War II. service and one for the Korean War.
- "Ships transferred to Military Sea Transport Service from Army Transportation Service, March 1, 1950". American Merchant Marine at War. 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Major-General Frederick Funston, U.S.V, California Military Museum. Funston was once the object of Mark Twain's satirical wit, see A Defence of General Funston.