USS Hanover (APA-116)
USS Hanover (APA-116), c. 1945-46
|Namesake:||Hanover County, Virginia|
|Launched:||18 August 1944|
|Commissioned:||31 March 1945|
|Decommissioned:||11 May 1946|
|Renamed:||Hawaiian Wholesaler, Ventura.|
|Notes:||MC Hull No. 878.
Sponsor: Mrs. Stanley M. Bebler.
|Class & type:||Bayfield-class attack transport|
|Displacement:||8,100 tons, 16,100 tons fully loaded|
|Length:||492 ft (150 m)|
|Beam:||69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)|
|Draft:||26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)|
|Propulsion:||General Electric geared turbine, 2 x Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, single propeller, designed shaft horsepower 8,500|
|Boats & landing
|12 x LCVP, 4 x LCM (Mk-6), 3 x LCP(L) (MK-IV)|
|Capacity:||4,500 tons (180,500 cu. ft).|
|Complement:||Crew: 51 officers, 524 enlisted
Flag: 43 officers, 108 enlisted.
Troops: 80 officers, 1,146 enlisted
|Armament:||20mm AA gun mounts.|
Hanover was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi, 18 August 1944, loaned to the Navy and simultaneously commissioned 31 March 1945, Comdr. J. H. Henderson in command.
Operational history 
After conducting a brief shakedown cruise off Galveston, Texas, Hanover arrived Gulfport, Mississippi, 3 May 1945 and began loading Marines and SeaBees for transportation to the Pacific. She got underway 6 May and sailed to Pearl Harbor, carrying out training operations en route. After her arrival 24 May, the ship unloaded her troops for further transfer and until 6 June took part in underway training operations in Hawaiian waters. She then sailed for San Francisco in company with other transports, and just before reaching California was diverted to Portland, Oregon, where she arrived 19 June.
Hanover got underway 1 July for Eniwetok Atoll, an important Pacific staging area, expecting to take part in the final assault on Japan. Arriving 14 July, she sailed in convoy 3 days later, bound for Ulithi. The ship remained at this base briefly, using the rest and recreation at Mogmog island, which is a part of the Ulithi atoll. Troops stayed in bunks that were 6 bunks high. For a few hours a day, a group of troops would exercise on the main deck, then it was back below deck so others could exercise.
She stopped in Manila, Philippines.
She was soon bound for Okinawa, where she arrived 12 August 1945. Hanover unloaded replacement troops on that battle-scarred island, and after the close of the war prepared to take part in the occupation. One of the Army officers that had been exercising his troops a few days before, went into the caves on Okinawa and was killed. Some Japanese refused to surrender at the end of the war.
After hostilities 
After embarking Army units, Hanover sailed 5 September for Jinsen, Korea, to aid in the occupation, and unloaded her troops three days later. The transport returned to Okinawa 14 September but was soon forced to stand out to sea to ride out the great typhoon of September 1945. After the severe weather subsided, Hanover returned to Okinawa and loaded troops for the occupation of China. She arrived Taku 30 September to help stabilize the troubled situation there and aid in the consolidation of the area by Nationalist forces.
Operation Magic Carpet 
Hanover's next assignment was with the Operation Magic Carpet fleet, bringing home American troops from the Pacific.
While traveling alone, a new sailor was assigned to manually adjust the water make up valve to control the water level. However, the valve was overhead, and the handwheel was below an overhead valve. As the water level in the boiler started to go low, the sailor turn the wheel counter-clockwise (intending to open the valve). But instead he shut off the water, and the ship lost all steam power, propulsion, and steerage. It was a completely silent, sunny clear afternoon. It took hour to light off the boiler and develop enough steam to spin the water pumps, fans, and generators to restore operations.
She spent five days and nights in the fog while approaching Seattle, Washington. The ship radioed shore for help in verifying its location. The shore-based radio operators said they could not help. The ship's radio operator instructed the shore operators and the ship's location was established. Later she sailed down the coast and up the river to Portland, Oregon.
She arrived San Francisco on her last voyage 6 February 1946, and was ordered to steam via the Panama Canal. One morning about 4 AM, the Officer of the Deck woke the Captain to show him a crystal clear mirage of a beautiful harbor. The ship steamed on to Norfolk, Virginia, where she arrived 9 March. The ship decommissioned 11 May and was returned to the Maritime Commission the next day.
Operational Dates Summary 
1945 Mar 31 Pascagoula, Mississippi USA
1945 APR 11 New Orleans, Louisiana USA
1945 MAY 01 Galveston, Texas USA
1945 MAY 06 Gulfport, Mississippi USA
1945 MAY 11 Canal Zone, Panama, USA
1945 JUN 01 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA
1945 JUL 01 Portland, Oregon, USA
1945 JUL 17 Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, USA
1945 SEP 09 Okinawa
1945 SEP 11 Jinsen, Korea
1945 SEP 26 Nago Nan Bay, Okinawa
1945 OCT 03 Taku, China
1945 OCT 05 Taku, China
1945 OCT 16 Manila, Philippine Islands
1945 OCT 23 Manila, Philippine Islands
1945 OCT 25 Hong Kong, China
1945 OCT 26 Chinwangtao, China
1945 NOV 02 Taku, China
1945 NOV 10 Hong Kong, China
1945 NOV 26 Tsingtao, China
1945 DEC 01 Okinawa
1945 DEC 28 Seattle, Washington USA
1946 JAN 26 Yokosuka, Japan
1946 FEB 20 San Francisco, California USA
Commercial service 
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- APA-116 Hanover, Navsource Online