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Burleigh

A county in south central North Dakota. The state capital, Bismarck, is located within its boundaries.

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Burleigh (APR-3)--one of a projected class of 11 rescue transports--was never constructed because the class was canceled on 12 March 1943 before any construction had begun.

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(APA-95: dp. 11,760 (tl.); l. 492'0"; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6" (lim.); s. 18.4 k. (tl.); cpl. 535; trp. 1,577; a. 2 5., 8 40mm., 18 20mm.; cl. Bayfield; T. C3 S A2)

Burleigh (APA-95) was laid down on 6 July 1943 at Pascagoula, La., by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Co. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 862); launched on 3 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Dallas H. Smith; acquired by the Navy on 1 April 1944; placed in reduced commission for the voyage to her conversion yard in New York; placed out of commission at New York on 13 April 1944; converted to naval service by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; and placed in full commission on 30 October 1944, Comdr. David C. Greenlee in command.


In mid-November, Burleigh moved south to Hampton Roads, Va., for shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay. On 24 November, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for post-shakedown availability. The attack transport loaded troops on 3 December and, the following day, got underway for the Canal Zone. She arrived at Cristobal on the 9th and transited the canal on the 10th, continuing on toward Hawaii that same day. The ship reached Pearl Harbor on 23 December. After disembarking troops and unloading her cargo on the 26th, Burleigh took hospital patients and other passengers on board on the 28th and got underway for the west coast. She arrived in San Francisco on 3 January 1945 and spent three weeks there before setting out for Hawaii once again on 22 January. The ship arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 28th and, after disembarking passengers, began taking on others for transportation to Guadalcanal. On 5 February, Burleigh stood out of Pearl Harbor and shaped a course for the Solomon Islands. She arrived at Guadalcanal on 14 February and, on the 15th, moved north to the Russells. The attack transport then steamed to Ulithi in the Western Carolines to stage for the Okinawa invasion. She departed Ulithi on 27 March in convoy bound for the Ryukyu Islands.


She and her task organization arrived off the Okinawa invasion beaches early on the morning of 1 April 1945. The attack transport disembarked marines and unloaded essential combat cargo before retiring that evening to the transport area east of Okinawa. The next day, Burleigh returned to Okinawa to unload general cargo. The ship remained in the vicinity of Okinawa until the 10th, during which time she endured one air attack--on the 6th--and claimed to have downed a kamikaze "Val" dive bomber. On 10 April, she departed the Ryukyus in company with Task Unit (TU) 51.29.12 en route to the Marianas. The attack transport arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, on 14 April and took on board casualties the following day for tranportation to Hawaii. She weighed anchor that same day and, in company with Audrain (APA-59) and Corvus (AKA-26), shaped a course for Oahu. The three ships arrived in Pearl Harbor on 27 April, and Burleigh began an availability. After completing repairs, the attack transport conducted amphibious training at Maui, getting back to Pearl Harbor on 26 May. On the 29th, the ship got underway to return to the United States as a unit of TU 13.11.23 and arrived in San Francisco on 4 June.


On 7 June, Burleigh set out for Seattle, Wash., where she underwent repairs at the Todd Shipyard. She put to sea again on the 27th bound for the Mariana Islands. Along the way, the ship made stops at Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok; and, once in the Marianas, paused briefly at Saipan before moving on to Guam where she disembarked troops and remained until 21 July. On that day, Burleigh departed Guam on her way back to the west coast. The ship entered port at San Francisco on 3 August after a non-stop voyage and stayed there for three weeks. On 25 August, she headed for Pearl Harbor and arrived on the 30th. After embarking occupation troops and their equipment, she returned to sea on 7 September bound for Japan. The ship made a three day stop at Saipan in the Marianas before arriving at Wakayama, Japan, on the 27th. Between 27 September and 1 October, Burleigh disembarked troops and distributed provisions and fuel to some of the smaller ships operating in the vicinity. She also took on board servicemen for the return voyage to the United States, upon which she embarked on 1 October.


Such "Magic-Carpet" duties occupied her time for the next five months. On 15 March 1946, following the conclusion of her last "Magic-Carpet" voyage, Burleigh departed the west coast bound for Norfolk, Va. The attack transport reached her destination on 3 April. She was decommissioned there on 11 June 1946 and was turned over to the Maritime Commission's War Shipping Administration for disposal on 12 June 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 3 July 1946.


Burleigh earned one battle star during World War II.

Raymond A. Mann


21 November 2005