USS Pitt (APA-223)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack
Name: USS Pitt
Namesake: A county in North Carolina
Ordered: as VC2-S-AP5 hull, MCV hull 571
Builder: Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California
Laid down: 8 September 1944
Launched: 10 November 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Gwin Fallis
Commissioned: 11 December 1944
Decommissioned: 9 April 1947
Reclassified: LPA-223, 14 August 1968
Struck: 23 April 1947
Honours and
awards:
One battle star for World War II service
Fate: disposed of by MARAD exchange on 1 February 1980
Notes: Pitt was the only U.S. Navy ship to carry that name
General characteristics
Class and type: Haskell-class attack transport
Tonnage: 6,873 tons dockside
Tons burthen: 14,837 tons full load
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (18.9 m)
Draft: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Propulsion: 1 Westinghouse geared turbine, 2 Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 1 propeller, design shaft horsepower 8,500.
Speed: 17.7 knots (33 km/h)
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2 LCM, 12 LCVP, 3 LCPU
Capacity: 150,000 cu. ft. cargo space or 2,900 tons
Troops: 1561 troops
Complement: 536 officers and enlisted
Armament: 1 5"/38 dual-purpose gun mount, 4 twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 single 20mm gun mounts

USS Pitt (APA-223/LPA-223) was a Haskell-class attack transport of the U.S. Navy active during World War II, including the Battle of Okinawa.

Constructed in California[edit]

Pitt was laid down on 8 September 1944 by Permanente Metals Corporation in Richmond, California, as MCV hull 571; launched on 10 November 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Gwin Fallis; and commissioned on 11 December 1944, with Captain Walter S. Mayer, Jr. in command.

World War II service[edit]

Supporting Okinawa operations[edit]

After shakedown off the California coast, Pitt departed 10 February 1945 via Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, for Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, to join 600 other ships preparing for the invasion of Okinawa.

She unloaded half of her ammunition cargo there, and the rest at Leyte. After loading Army troops from damaged attack transport Samuel Chase (APA-26), she steamed for Kerama Retto where her troops cleaned out Zamami Shima, a key island in the small group off the southwest coast of Okinawa.

Caring for the wounded[edit]

She then became "receiving ship" for the Kerama Retto Naval Base, caring for several hundred survivors of Japanese suicide attacks, and shooting down one suicide plane on 6 April. Pitt steamed to Saipan, Tulagi, Noumea, and Guam before returning with passengers to San Francisco, California, for the celebrations of the Japanese surrender.

End-of-war operations[edit]

On 19 August, Pitt sailed via Ulithi to Mindanao and Leyte, where she loaded troops to occupy Aomori, northern Honshū, Japan, on 25 September. Pitt then began a series of Operation Magic Carpet assignments, returning fighting men to the States from such Pacific Ocean locations as Saipan and Tinian, Manila, and Nagoya, Japan.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

She decommissioned and was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 9 April 1947 and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 23 April 1947.

Placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, she was berthed at Suisun Bay in 1970. On 14 August 1968, the designation “attack transport,” APA, was changed to “amphibious transport,” LPA, and APA-223 became LPA-223. Pitt was disposed of by MARAD exchange on 1 February 1980.

Honors and awards[edit]

Pitt received one battle star for World War II service.

References[edit]

See also[edit]