USS Pickaway (APA-222)

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Career
Name: USS Pickaway
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Laid down: 1 September 1944
Launched: 5 November 1944
Commissioned: 12 December 1944
Decommissioned: 1 September 1976
Struck: 1 September 1976
Honors and
awards:
1 battle star (World War II)
6 battle stars (Korea)
Fate: Disposed of by MARAD, 1 February 1980, fate unknown
General characteristics
Class & type: Haskell-class attack transport
Displacement: 14,837 long tons (15,075 t)
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draft: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Propulsion: 1 × Westinghouse geared turbine
2 × Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers
1 propeller
8,500 shp (6,338 kW)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Troops: 1,561 troops and heavy equipment
Complement: 536 officers and enlisted
Armament: • 1 × 5"/38 caliber guns
• 4 × twin 40 mm guns
• 10 × single 20 mm guns

USS Pickaway (APA/LPA-222) was a Haskell-class attack transport of the United States Navy. Built and used during World War II, she was of the VC2-S-AP5 Victory ship design type.

Service history[edit]

Pickaway was laid down by the Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California, as a victory cargo ship (MCV hull 570), on 1 September 1944; launched on 5 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William D. Schoning; converted into an APA; acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 12 December 1944, Comdr. H. L. Bixby in command.

World War II[edit]

After shakedown and amphibious exercises at Coronado Beach, California, Pickaway embarked some 1,500 Army troops at Seattle, Washington, departed on 9 February, arrived Pearl Harbor on 16 February, disembarked the troops and headed for Iwo Jima to evacuate Marine forces who were finishing off the remaining Japanese forces on the island. Pickaway reached Iwo Jima on 14 March, received on board the 24th Marine Regiment, sailed on 20 March, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 April.

Pickaway participated in amphibious exercises until sailing for Guam on 4 May with military passengers. Arriving Guam on 17 May, she embarked soldiers, sailors, and marines; departed Apra Harbor on 22 May; and arrived San Francisco on 7 June.

On 2 July she took on board Navy and Coast Guard passengers and departed San Francisco for Noumea, New Caledonia. Following disembarking of personnel in Noumea on 8 July, Pickaway steamed to Espiritu Santo, Russell Island, and Guadalcanal to pick up passengers and sailed on 23 July for San Francisco where she arrived on 6 August.

While preparing for another transpacific voyage, the ship learned of the end of hostilities. During the remainder of 1945, Pickaway shuttled back and forth across the Pacific embarking passengers at bases in the western Pacific and returning them to the United States.

Remaining in the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, Pickaway visited both Japan and China in 1947 and participated in "Operation Sandstone", the second atomic test in the Pacific, early in 1948.

Korean War[edit]

On the summer of 1950, a month after the North Korean forces marched against South Korea, Pickaway began shuttling U.S. Army troops from Japan to Pusan to stem the tide of battle. On 15 September 1950, she saw her first real amphibious invasion at Inchon, when the U.N. forces flanked the North Koreans. During the Korean War, Pickaway was deployed to the Korean area four times. She landed troops on most of the major Korean beachheads.

In March 1955, Pickaway left Korea for the last time, carrying troops of the same brigade she transported to Korea on her first trip. During 1957 and 1958, Pickaway made regular deployments to WestPac. During Pickaway's 1958 WestPac tour, she took part in "Exercise Blue Star", which was the largest amphibious exercise conducted by Pacific Fleet forces since World War II.

Vietnam[edit]

After returning from the Far East in August 1963, Pickaway entered the Willamette Iron and Steel Works shipyard at Richmond, California, for Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM). In January 1964, the ship began extensive underway and amphibious training, and in March, departed San Diego for Hawaii, and large scale amphibious "Operation Westwind". On 18 June she got underway from San Diego for a six month cruise to the western Pacific. Soon after arriving in Yokosuka, she was ordered to proceed at once to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to embark a Marine Battalion for transport to Vietnam to help build up American forces after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

In March 1965, she participated in the Pacific Fleet Exercise "Silver Lance". On 24 May 1965, she again bolstered the Allied military effort in Vietnam. On 7 July 1965 together with other elements of Amphibious Squadron 3, Pickaway landed the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Marine Regiment over the beaches of Da Nang, South Vietnam.

During 1966 she participated in operations "Jackstay", "Osage", "Deck House I", "Nathan Hale", "Deck House II", and "Hastings".

After overhaul and training out of San Diego, Pickaway departed San Diego on 31 May for the western Pacific and after offloading cargo at Da Nang, proceeded to Manila for participation in the SEATO training exercise "Sea Dog." On 19 October Pickaway replenished Oriskany (CVA-34) at sea in the Tonkin Gulf. Pickaway spent 1968 operating out of San Diego, California.

Awards[edit]

Pickaway received one battle star for World War II service and six battle stars for Korean War service.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]