USS General William Mitchell (AP-114)

For other ships of the same name, see USS Mitchell.
Russell Islands, November 1944
Career (USA)
Name: USS General William Mitchell
Namesake: General William "Billy" Mitchell (1879–1936), proponent of an independent air force
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock
Launched: 31 October 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs William Mitchell, widow of General Mitchell
Acquired: 15 January 1944
Commissioned: 19 January 1944
Decommissioned: 1966
Reclassified: AP-114
Identification: MC hull type P2-S2-R2,
MC hull no. 672
Honors and
awards:
Four service stars for the Korean War
Fate: Scrapped at Taiwan, 1988
General characteristics
Class & type:
Type: troopship
Displacement: 11,450 tons (lt)
Tons burthen: 20,175 tons fully laden
Length: 622 feet 7 inches (189.76 m)
Beam: 75 feet 6 inches (23.01 m)
Draft: 25 feet 6 inches (7.77 m)
Installed power: 17,000 shp
Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, reduction gearing, twin screw
Speed: 20.6 knots (38.2 km/h)
Capacity: 5,289
Complement: 452
Armament: 4 x single 5"/38 caliber dual purpose guns, 4 x quad 1.1" guns, 20 x single 20mm guns

USS General William Mitchell (AP-114) was a troopship that served with the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War.

General William Mitchell was launched 31 October 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company of Kearny, New Jersey; acquired 15 January 1944 and commissioned 4 days later, Captain Henry Coyle, USCG, in command.

World War II

From 3 March to 20 August 1944 General William Mitchell made five round trip transport voyages out of Norfolk, Virginia and New York to Casablanca and Liverpool, carrying fighting men to the North African Theater and participating in the buildup prior to the Allied invasion of Northern France. On the return leg of these frequent voyages, she carried casualties and rotation troops home to the United States, ensuring a steady flow of men and equipment between America and war-torn Europe.

During the autumn of 1944 and through the spring of 1945, General William Mitchell called twice at Bombay, India, as she redeployed and rotated troops in the China-Burma-India theater. On the first of these voyages she sailed from New York via Panama and Australia, putting in at Bombay 7 October and embarking veterans for passage to Australia and America, and finally mooring at San Diego, California 17 November 1944. Her second passage to India took her from San Pedro via Tasmania to embark Allied troops and Italian prisoners of war at Bombay; she subsequently off-loaded the POW's at Melbourne and returned to San Pedro 3 March 1945.

The ship then brought troops from San Francisco to Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, Manus, and Leyte as the European war neared conclusion and the Pacific Theater gained priority, General William Mitchell sailed to Livorno and Naples, Italy, to transport seasoned fighting men and redeploy them for the anticipated assault on Japan's homeland. These troops debarked at Ulithi and the Philippines in the summer of 1945, and the ship returned to San Francisco 6 December 1945 at war's end filled with homeward-bound warriors.

As part of the Magic Carpet fleet, this busy transport carried sailors from San Francisco to the Philippines, returning servicemen from Hollandia to Seattle, and troops from the Philippines and Guam to San Francisco, through the spring of 1946.

Postwar service

Subsequently, from April 1946 until 1949 General William Mitchell sailed from West Coast ports and shuttled troops and supplies to and from Japan, China, Guam, and Hawaii. She underwent alterations for peacetime service at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in March 1947 and then returned to San Francisco and her transpacific schedule.

In October 1949 she was transferred to the Military Sea Transport Service (later known as the Military Sealift Command) and in 1950 continued her West Coast-Orient travels. In that year, too, two round trip voyages from New Orleans and New York were made to Bremerhaven to rotate and supply troops in Europe.

Korean War

She made an around-the-world cruise out of New York in the summer of 1951, visiting Germany, North Africa, Ceylon, Indochina, Korea, and Japan before mooring at San Francisco 26 September 1951.

General William Mitchell continued to transport men and material from West Coast ports to Japan and Korea, supporting the United Nations forces in the latter country.

Final years

Her frequent shuttle runs followed this pattern with the addition of numerous calls at Formosa and Pacific Islands until returned to the Maritime Administration 1 December 1966.

General William Mitchell entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet and was berthed in Suisun Bay, California. She was sold for scrapping on 29 June 1987 for the sum of $1,270,000, and scrapped in Taiwan in 1988.

She continued her service during the early years of the Vietnam War ferrying servicemen to stations in Japan, Korea, Midway, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Guam, the largest staging station for the war.

Awards

General William Mitchell received four service stars for Korean War service.

References

  • AP-114 - DANFS Online.
  • (AP-114), Navsource Online.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.


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