USS Oneida (APA-221)

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Career (United States)
Name: USS Oneida (APA-221)
Namesake: Counties in Idaho, New York and Wisconsin
Builder: Permanente Metals
Laid down: 30 September 1944
Launched: 31 October 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs Victor E. Cole
Acquired: 4 December 1944
Commissioned: 4 December 1944
Decommissioned: 27 December 1946
Struck: 1 October 1958
Honours and
awards:
One battle star for World War II service.
Fate: Unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: Haskell-class attack transport
Tonnage: 150,000 cu. ft, 2,900 tons
Displacement: 6,873 tons (lt), 14,837 t. (fl)
Length: 455 ft
Beam: 62 ft
Draft: 24 ft
Propulsion: 1 x Westinghouse geared turbine, 2 x Combustion Engineering header-type boilers, 1 x propeller, designed shaft horsepower 8,500
Speed: 17.7 knots
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2 x LCM, 12 x LCVP, 3 x LCPU
Capacity: 86 Officers 1,475 Enlisted
Crew: 56 Officers, 480 enlisted
Armament: 1 x 5"/38 caliber dual-purpose gun mount, 1 x quad 40mm gun mount, 4 x twin 40 mm gun mounts, 10 x single 20mm gun mounts
Notes: MCV Hull No. 569, hull type VC2-S-AP5

USS Oneida (APA-221) was a Haskell-class attack transport that saw service with the US Navy in World War II.

Oneida was named after counties in Idaho, New York and Wisconsin (the name "Oneida" itself originates from an Iroquoian Indian tribe living in New York state and its environs).

The ship was approved for construction on 26 May 1944, laid down 30 September 1944 by Permanente Metals Corporation of Richmond, California (MCV Hull No. 569) and launched 31 October 1944. She was acquired by the Navy on a loan-charter basis, and accepted and commissioned on 4 December 1944, Captain Arthur C. Geisenhoff in command.

Operational history[edit]

World War II[edit]

After shakedown, Oneida embarked troops and sailed for Pearl Harbor on 30 January 1945, arriving 6 February. On 13 February, she was underway again, laden with troops en route to Eniwetok. From Eniwetok, she steamed to Ulithi and arrived on 28 February, joining the armada of ships at anchor there. As far as the eye could see, stretched the vast and growing Task Force 58 which was preparing for a drive into the Japanese home islands.

Transport of casualties[edit]

On 27 March, Oneida sailed for Guam carrying survivors of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13). The next day, she discharged the Franklin's marine air groups and picked up casualties of the bloody fight on Iwo Jima and headed back to Pearl Harbor. Leaving the wounded in Pearl, she took on board a large contingent of the 10th Army bound for Okinawa.

Invasion of Okinawa[edit]

Approaching Okinawa on 23 May, Oneida was ordered to stand off as the island came under attack from one of its frequent kamikaze raids. Within the first 24 hours of her arrival, Oneida witnessed 56 separate raids on the island. Finally on 3 June, Oneida was called in and discharged her passengers under continuing Japanese air raids.

Oneida departed Okinawa on 6 June and returned on the 24th with Army replacements and 8th Air Corps personnel. Discharging these, she took on board 1,050 Japanese prisoners, and in company with attack transport USS Grafton (APA-109), also loaded with prisoners, she sailed for Pearl Harbor. The prisoners were transferred to a camp in Pearl 13 July and Oneida was again loaded with Army troops.

After hostilities[edit]

En route to Okinawa, she made a stop at Ulithi and while anchored there received word of Japan's acceptance of unconditional surrender. With the status of her passengers changed to that of "occupation troops", Oneida proceeded to Okinawa, arriving 22 August.

From 5 September to 18 November, Oneida distributed occupation forces throughout the Far East, from Hollandia to Korea and China. From 18 November 1945 to 16 June 1946, Oneida participated in Operation Magic Carpet, returning veterans to the states and taking replacements overseas for occupation duty.

From 16 June to 27 December, Oneida performed services in local operations off the West Coast.

Decommission[edit]

On 27 December 1946, she was placed out of commission, in reserve, at Long Beach, California. Struck 1 October 1958 from the Navy Vessel Register, Oneida was transferred to the Maritime Administration where she was still berthed at Suisun Bay, California as of 1970. Her final disposition is unknown.

Decorations[edit]

Oneida earned one battle star for services in World War II.

References[edit]

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