USS Oneida (APA-221)

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USS Oneida (APA-221) approaching the station tanker USS Signal (IX-142) for refueling at Ulithi during one of three periods that Oneida was in the anchorage, 23 February to 30 March, 12 to 23 May or 5 to 18 August 1945.
USS Oneida (APA-221), approaching the station tanker Signal for refueling at Ulithi during one of three periods that Oneida was in the anchorage, 23 February to 30 March, 12 to 23 May or 5 to 18 August 1945.
History
United States
Name: Oneida
Namesake:
Ordered: as a Type VC2-S-AP5 hull, MCE hull 569[1]
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Yard number: 569[1]
Laid down: 30 September 1944
Launched: 31 October 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs Victor E. Cole
Commissioned: 4 December 1944
Decommissioned: 27 December 1946
Struck: 1 October 1958
Identification:
Honors and
awards:
1 × battle star for World War II service
Fate:
Status: sold, 8 October 1975, withdrawn, 9 July 1975
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Haskell-class attack transport
Type: Type VC2-S-AP5
Displacement:
  • 6,873 long tons (6,983 t) (light load)
  • 14,837 long tons (15,075 t) (full load)
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draft: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed: 17.7 kn (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Capacity:
  • 2,900 long tons (2,900 t) DWT
  • 150,000 cu ft (4,200 m3) (non-refrigerated)
Troops: 86 officers, 1,475 enlisted
Complement: 56 officers, 480 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of: TransRon 23
Operations: Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto (3–28 June 1945)
Awards:

USS Oneida (APA-221) was a Haskell-class attack transport that saw service with the US Navy in World War II. She was of the VC2-S-AP5 Victory ship, built as SS Oneida Victory, design type and named after Oneida County, Idaho, Oneida County, New York and Oneida County, Wisconsin (the name "Oneida" itself originates from an Iroquoian Indian tribe living in New York state and its environs).

Construction[edit]

The ship was approved for construction on 26 May 1944, laid down 30 September 1944, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MCV hull 569, by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2, Richmond, California; and launched 31 October 1944. She was acquired by the Navy on a loan-charter basis, and accepted and commissioned on 4 December 1944, Captain Arthur C. Geisenhoff in command.[3]

Service history[edit]

World War II[edit]

The US Navy battleship New Jersey with other ships of the US Task Force 58. The only ship identifiable is Saratoga. Therefore, the photo was eihter taken at Majuro Atoll, c. in March 1944, or Ulithi Atoll between 8 and 10 February 1945.

After shakedown, Oneida embarked troops and sailed for Pearl Harbor on 30 January 1945, arriving 6 February. On 13 February, she was underway again, laden with troops en route to Eniwetok, from Eniwetok, she steamed to Ulithi and arrived on 28 February, joining the armada of ships at anchor there. As far as the eye could see, stretched the vast and growing Task Force 58 which was preparing for a drive into the Japanese home islands.[3]

Transport of casualties[edit]

On 27 March, Oneida sailed for Guam carrying survivors of aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13). The next day, she discharged the Franklin's Marine air groups and picked up casualties of the bloody fight on Iwo Jima and headed back to Pearl Harbor. Leaving the wounded in Pearl, she took on board a large contingent of the 10th Army bound for Okinawa.[3]

Invasion of Okinawa[edit]

Approaching Okinawa on 23 May, Oneida was ordered to stand off as the island came under attack from one of its frequent kamikaze raids. Within the first 24 hours of her arrival, Oneida witnessed 56 separate raids on the island. Finally on 3 June, Oneida was called in and discharged her passengers under continuing Japanese air raids.[3]

Transport of POWs[edit]

Oneida departed Okinawa on 6 June, and returned on 24 June, with US Army replacements and 8th Air Corps personnel. Discharging these, she took on board 1,050 Japanese prisoners, and in company with attack transport Grafton, also loaded with prisoners, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, the prisoners were transferred to a camp in Pearl 13 July, and Oneida was again loaded with Army troops.[3]

Post-war service[edit]

En route to Okinawa, she made a stop at Ulithi and while anchored there received word of Japan's acceptance of unconditional surrender. With the status of her passengers changed to that of "occupation troops", Oneida proceeded to Okinawa, arriving 22 August.[3]

Operation Magic Carpet[edit]

From 5 September to 18 November, Oneida distributed occupation forces throughout the Far East, from Hollandia to Korea and China. From 18 November 1945 to 16 June 1946, Oneida participated in Operation Magic Carpet, returning veterans to the states and taking replacements overseas for occupation duty.[3]

From 16 June to 27 December, Oneida performed services in local operations off the West Coast.[3]

Decommission[edit]

On 27 December 1946, she was placed out of commission, in reserve, and placed in the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, she was struck 1 October 1958, from the Naval Vessel Register. On 8 October 1958, Oneida was transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) where she was laid up at in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Benecia, California.[2]

Fate[edit]

On 8 May 1975, Oneida was sold to General Metals of Tacoma, Inc., under a "non-transportation use" (NTU) or scrap contract, for $256,000. She was withdrawn from the fleet on 9 July 1975.[4]

Awards[edit]

Oneida earned one battle stars for services in World War II.[3]

Notes[edit]

Citations

Bibliography[edit]

Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Oneida (APA-221) at NavSource Naval History