USS Walter S. Gorka (APD-114)

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Career
Name: USS Walter S. Gorka
Namesake: Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class Walter S. Gorka (1922-1942), a U.S. Navy sailor and Air Medal recipient
Builder: Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Massachusetts
Laid down: 3 April 1945
Launched: 26 May 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. Josephine B. Gorka
Commissioned: 7 August 1945
Decommissioned: January 1947
Reclassified: From destroyer escort (DE-604) to high-speed transport (APD-114) while under construction
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold to Ecuador August 1961 for use as floating power plant
Notes: Laid down as Rudderow-class destroyer escort USS Walter S. Gorka (DE-604)
General characteristics
Class & type: Crosley-class high speed transport
Displacement: 2,130 long tons (2,164 t) full
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Troops: 162
Complement: 204
Armament: • 1 × 5 in (130 mm) gun
• 6 × 40 mm guns
• 6 × 20 mm guns
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Walter S. Gorka (APD-114), ex-DE-604, was a United States Navy high-speed transport in commission from 1945 to 1947.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Walter S. Gorka was laid down as the Rudderow-class destroyer escort USS Walter S. Gorka (DE-604) on 20 March 1945 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., at Hingham, Massachusetts. She was reclassified as a Crosley-class high-speed transport and redesignated APD-114 during construction, and was launched on 26 May 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Josephine B. Gorka. Walter S. Gorka was commissioned on 7 August 1945 with Commander R. G. Werner, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

Walter S. Gorka was still fitting out when the surrender of Japan ended World War II on 15 August 1945. Following fitting out, she conducted shakedown training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 2 September 1945 to 27 September 1945 and subsequently carried some 140 officers and enlisted men from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

Upon her arrival in the United States, Walter S. Gorka was ordered to remain in commission, in reserve, in the St. Johns River with the Florida Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida. She served there as headquarters ship during the deactivation of several of her sister ships.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

Walter S. Gorka herself was decommissioned at Green Cove Springs in January 1947, and remained there, inactive, until stricken from the Navy List on 1 June 1960. She subsequently was sold to the government of Ecuador for conversion and use as a floating power plant.

References[edit]