USS Balduck (APD-132)
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USS Balduck, USN Photo National Archives #80-6-6371218
|Namesake:||Remi A. Balduck|
|Builder:||Defoe Shipbuilding Company, Bay City, Michigan|
|Laid down:||17 June 1944|
|Launched:||27 October 1944|
|Commissioned:||7 May 1945|
|Decommissioned:||31 May 1946|
|Recommissioned:||5 November 1953|
|Decommissioned:||28 February 1958|
|Reclassified:||LPR-132, 1 January 1969|
|Struck:||15 July 1975|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 1 December 1976|
|Class and type:||Crosley-class high speed transport|
|Displacement:||1,450 long tons (1,473 t)|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)|
|Speed:||23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)|
|Boats & landing
|4 × LCVPs|
|Complement:||204 (12 officers, 192 enlisted)|
USS Balduck (APD-132) was a Crosley-class high speed transport of the United States Navy, named after Marine Corporal Remi A. Balduck (1918–1942), who was killed during the Battle of Guadalcanal. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Balduck's keel was laid down on 17 June 1944 at the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan as a Rudderow-class destroyer escort, designated DE-716. She was re-designated as APD-132, a fast transport, on 17 July 1944, and launched on 27 October 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Mary Verhougstraete, mother of Corporal Balduck. Builders trials before her pre-commissioning cruise were done in Lake Huron.
After completion, Balduck sailed from the builder's yard at Bay City to Chicago, Illinois. From there, they went through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and down the Chicago River to Joliet, Illinois, where pontoons were attached to the ship so it could be pushed down the Des Plaines River, Illinois River, and Mississippi River as part of a barge train. After arriving at the Todd Johnson Shipyard in Algiers, Louisiana, on the west bank of the Mississippi at New Orleans, the rest of the crew reported aboard, and Balduck was commissioned at New Orleans on 7 May 1945, with Lieutenant R. T. Newell, Jr., USNR, in command.
As an APD, her primary role was to land raiding parties on enemy beaches and Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) personnel on beach obstacle clearance operations. APDs also retained the sound gear and some anti-submarine weapons of destroyer escorts, and served as escorts to amphibious groups. Because they could take on extra personnel, they were often designated as rescue ships if a transport went down.
Departing Oceanside, California, on 16 August 1945, Balduck steamed to Okinawa, arriving there on 3 September. She participated in the occupation of Korea and Tsingtao, China, until 12 October 1945. She departed on 19 October for San Diego, arriving there on 7 November. As a member of Transport Division 112, she conducted five voyages between San Diego and San Pedro, California, carrying personnel, before commencing her pre-inactivation overhaul. She went out of commission in reserve at San Diego on 31 May 1946.
Balduck was recommissioned on 5 November 1953, and assigned to Amphibious Control Division 12. Between 8 December 1953 and 25 March 1954, she was at San Francisco Naval Shipyard undergoing repairs and overhaul. Upon return to San Diego, Balduck joined Amphibious Control Division 11. She exercised in the area with Underwater Demolition Teams and on anti-submarine warfare training.
On 1 September 1954, Balduck departed San Diego and steamed to Yokosuka, Japan, reporting to Amphibious Transport Division 31. She arrived on 14 October 1954 at Hai Phong, Indochina, and assisted in the evacuation of Vietnamese. She then steamed to the Tachen Islands, arriving there on 9 February 1955, where she operated with units of Task Force 77 during the evacuation of Nationalist Chinese soldiers and civilians. Between 1 March and 17 March, Balduck steamed with a task unit between Yokosuka and San Diego. Following repairs, she operated out of San Diego on anti-submarine, amphibious, and air defense training exercises.
Arriving at Yokosuka, Japan, on 15 September 1955, Balduck cruised in Japanese and Philippine waters, and participated in amphibious landing exercises until returning to San Diego on 23 March 1956.
Decommissioning and sale
Balduck was decommissioned on 28 February 1958. While in reserve, her designation changed to Amphibious Transport, Small, LPR-132, on 1 January 1969. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 July 1975 and sold for scrapping, 6 December 1976, for $60,000, to National Metal and Steel Corp., Terminal Island, California.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.
- Photo gallery of USS Balduck at NavSource Naval History