USS Guilford (APA-112)

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USS Guilford (APA-112) at anchor
Career
Name: USS Guilford
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Launched: 14 July 1944
Commissioned: 14 May 1945
Decommissioned: 29 May 1946
Fate: Sold into merchant service, May 1947
Scrapped, 1973
General characteristics
Class and type: Bayfield-class attack transport
Displacement: 8,100 long tons (8,230 t) light
16,100 long tons (16,358 t) full
Length: 492 ft 6 in (150.11 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draft: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Propulsion: General Electric geared turbine, 2 combustion engineering "D"-type boilers, single propeller
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Boats and landing
craft carried:
12 × LCVPs
4 × LCMs (Mk-6)
3 × LCPLs (Mk-IV)
Capacity: 180,500 cubic feet, 4,500 tons cargo
Troops: 80 officers, 1,146 enlisted men
Flag Accommodation: 43 officers, 108 enlisted men
Complement: 51 officers, 524 enlisted men
Armament: • 2 × single 5"/38 caliber guns (fore and aft)
• 2 × single 40 mm AA guns
• 2 × twin 40 mm AA guns
• 18 × single 20 mm AA guns

USS Guilford (APA-112) was a Bayfield-class attack transport built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Guilford County, North Carolina, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Guilford was laid down (date unknown) as a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 873) by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation of Pascagoula, Mississippi; launched on 14 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Lowry Bailey, wife of the Governor of the State; converted to an attack transport by Waterman Steamship Corporation of Mobile, Alabama; and commissioned there on 14 May 1945 with Captain E. R. Gardner in command.

Service history[edit]

1945–1946[edit]

After shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico, Guilford sailed for Newport, Rhode Island. Arriving on 22 June 1945 she served as a training ship for pre-commissioning crews until 30 July. Guilford then took on board cargo and troops at Norfolk, Virginia and sailed for the Pacific via San Diego. After off-loading troops at Iwo Jima and in the Japanese home islands, Guilford was attached to "Operation Magic Carpet" on 18 October. In two round trips from San Diego to Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, and Japan, she transported over 5,000 veterans back to the United States for discharge as well as carrying out troops for the occupation of Japan. Returning to San Diego on 6 March 1946 from her final Pacific voyage, Guilford embarked passengers for the East Coast and sailed for Norfolk via the Panama Canal on 15 March. Guilford reached Norfolk on 31 March and decommissioned there on 29 May 1946. She returned to the Maritime Commission on 31 May 1946.

In mercantile service, 1947–1973[edit]

Guilford was sold in May 1947 to Pope and Talbot Lines, and was renamed SS P&T Navigator. In 1963 she was resold to the American Foreign Steamship Company and renamed SS American Oriole. The ship was scrapped in 1973.

USS Guilford (APA-112) moored pierside, c. 1945, in the western Pacific, possibly the Marianas or Okinawa. Guilford appears to be embarking passengers, most likely during "Operation Magic Carpet." In the foreground is US Army Transport FS-288, which will be acquired by the Navy in 1950 and redesignated T-AKL-23.


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