USS Pickens (APA-190)
|Ordered:||as type VC2-S-AP5
MCV hull 658
|Laid down:||22 April 1944|
|Launched:||21 July 1944|
|Acquired:||18 September 1944|
|Commissioned:||18 September 1944|
|Decommissioned:||12 April 1946|
|Struck:||1 May 1946|
|Displacement:||14,833 (full load)|
|Length:||455 ft 0 in (138.68 m)|
|Beam:||62 ft 0 in (18.90 m)|
|Draught:||28 ft 1 in (8.56 m)|
|Capacity:||150,000 cu. ft, 2,900 tons|
|Complement:||56 Officers 480 Enlisted|
|Armament:||one 5/38” gun mount,
twelve 40mm mounts,
ten 20mm mounts
World War II service
Pickens (APA–190), built under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 658), was laid down by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Washington, 22 April 1944; launched 21 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Howard Denhart; delivered to the Navy and commissioned 18 September 1944, Comdr. John V. McElduff in command.
Landing troops and their equipment on Iwo Jima
Following shakedown, Pickens steamed west, engaged in amphibious training in Hawaiian waters, and on 27 January 1945, got underway for the western Pacific Ocean with elements of the 4th Marine Division embarked. A unit of TransDiv 45 she arrived off Iwo Jima on the morning of 19 February and despite cold weather and high seas stood off the assault beach, 0730–1800, to land troops and equipment. Retiring at night, she returned daily to continue offloading cargo and to take on casualties. On the 28th she got underway for Saipan, thence, to Guam to disembark her casualty passengers.
Diversionary landings on Okinawa
For the next month Pickens, with 2nd Division Marines embarked, rehearsed for Operation Iceberg. On 27 March she departed the Marianas and on 1 April participated in the diversionary landings on Okinawa’s southeastern coast, during which she assumed duties of Division Commander (TransDiv 44) after USS Hinsdale (APA-120) was kamikazed. She effected the rescue of survivors from that APA, LST-884, and LST-724. On the 2nd she repeated the feint, then swung around to the stand-by area where she remained until the 9th. Pickens then returned to Saipan and on the 14th debarked her troops.
On 4 June Pickens sailed for Noumea, whence she carried cargo back to the Marianas before heading back to California and availability. Arriving at San Francisco, California, 3 August, she completed availability after the end of the war and at the end of the month joined others of her type in carrying occupation troops to the Far East and bringing back veterans. She completed “Operation Magic Carpet” duty at San Francisco 7 January 1946, then got underway for the U.S. East Coast and inactivation.
Decommissioning at Norfolk, Virginia, 12 April 1946, she was redelivered to the United States Maritime Commission 18 April and on 1 May her name was struck from the Navy List. Into 1970 she remained with the National Defense Reserve Fleet, laid up at the James River, Virginia, berthing area. Her ultimate fate is not recorded.