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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Appling

 

A county in the state of Georgia.

 

(APA-58: dp. 12,450; 1. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k.; cpl. 370; trp. 753; a. 15", 840mm., 1020mm.; cl. Gilliam; T. S4-SE2-BD1)

 

Appling (APA-58) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1851) at Wilmington, Calif., by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on 9 April 1944; sponsored by famed moving picture actress, Claudette Colbert; and simultaneously acquired by the Navy and placed in commission on 22 August 1944, Lt. Comdr. Alexander Lunde Stuart in command.

 

Following shakedown training off the California coast, Appling sailed for Finschhafen, New Guinea, on 17 October. She was forced to stop at Purvis Bay, Florida Island, for engine repairs but finally reached Finschhafen on 14 November. The ship then carried out training exercises in Humboldt Bay.

 

On 25 December, the ship embarked troops of the 6th Army at Hollandia. Appling sortied for the Philippines on 3 January 1945 with Task Group 77.9, a part of the Luzon invasion force. She anchored in the Lingayen Gulf transport area on 11 January and began discharging troops east of San Fabian. Later that evening, the transport joined other ships in splashing an enemy aircraft 2,000 yards off her starboard quarter. The next day, she retired to Leyte Gulf.

 

Appling remained there through the 26th, when she again sailed for Luzon. She arrived in the area off San Antonio and San Felipe on the 29th and began disembarking troops at 0657. After her landing party was safely established on the beach, Appling returned to Leyte Gulf.

 

During the next two months, the ship remained in the waters of Leyte Gulf carrying out training exercises. Late in March, she took on cargo and personnel earmarked for Operation "Iceberg," the assault on the Ryukyus. On 27 March, the ship left with Transport Squadron (TransRon) 13 of the Southern Assault Force, bound for Okinawa.

 

Appling arrived off that island early on 1 April and, at 0605, began lowering her boats, which were used by troops from other vessels. Appling debarked her own troops from 3 to 7 April and then retired to Kerama Retto. She served as a receiving ship there until the 12th when she returned to Okinawa. On the 14th, the ship got underway for Hawaii.

 

Following a brief stop at Saipan, Appling reached Pearl Harbor on 2 May and, the next day, sailed for the United States. The ship arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on the 10th, and began voyage repairs. On 7 June, she proceeded to San Diego, Calif., for refresher training.

 

The ship set sail on 16 June for Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, and continued on to Guam in midjuly. She then reversed her course and returned to the west coast. Appling reached San Francisco on 29 July. After almost a month of repairsóduring which hostilities endedóshe got underway on 27 August and headed, via Eniwetok, for the Marianas. Following a stop at Guam, she moved to Saipan where she took on elements of the 2d Marine Division scheduled for occupation duties in Japan.

 

On 23 September, Appling arrived at Nagasaki in company with other units of TransRon 12. Five days later, the ship sailed to the Philippines and carried troops from Subic Bay and Manila to Sasebo, Japan. Appling left Sasebo on 19 October and set a course back to the United States carrying homecoming veterans.

 

The transport arrived at Portland, Oreg., on 27 November for upkeep. Appling sailed back to the Philippines in early January 1946 to carry more troops home to the United States. The ship left Philippine waters on 4 February and transited to Pearl Harbor. She was assigned to the target fleet for Operation "Crossroads," tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands to determine the effects of atomic-bomb explosions upon ships. Appling arrived at Bikini on 2 June and operated in the area of that atoll through 15 August, but was never utilized as a target.

 

After touching at Pearl Harbor on the 15th, the ship continued on to the west coast for a series of radiological clearance tests held at San Francisco and San Pedro, Calif. She touched at Port Hueneme. Calif.. on 26 September, to take on cargo for transportation to Pearl Harbor. However, before the ship was loaded, she was ordered to proceed to the east coast for deactivation.

 

Appling transited the Panama Canal on 22 November and arrived in Norfolk, Va., on 30 November. She was decommissioned on 20 December 1946 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 4 April 1947, and the ship was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 31 March 1948.

 

The ship was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 9 September 1954, when she was consigned to the Arrow Steamship Co. She was returned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet on 12 December 1954 and was berthed in the James River. The ship was ultimately sold for scrapping.

 

Appling earned two battle stars for her World War II service.

 

 

Appling (APA-58) lies outboard (top) of sister ships Barrow (APA-61), Bride (APA-66) and Gasconade (APA-85), at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, 27 February 1946, as they are readied for Operation "Crossroads." (80-G-361735)