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Comet

 

A luminous astronomical body, commonly with a long nebulous tail, and following a fixed orbit around the sun.

 

III

 

(AP-166: dp. 6,556; l. 459'2"; b. 63'; dr. 23'; s. 17 k.; cpl. 276; a. 1 5", 4 3"; cl. La Salle)

 

The third Comet (AP-166) was launched 21 December 1942 by Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. E. Warren; and commissioned 15 February 1944, Commander V. F. Stieglitz, USNR, in command.

 

Comet cleared San Diego 26 April 1944 carrying Marines to Pearl Harbor, and conducted training in the Hawaiian Islands until 30 May, when she sailed for Eniwetok. On 11 June, combat loaded, she put to sea for Saipan, where she unloaded troops and cargo under heavy fire in the initial assault on 15 June. A week later she sailed for Pearl Harbor to load troops for the invasion of Guam, where she landed her men as reinforcements between 23 and 29 July.

 

Returning to Pearl Harbor for training until 15 September 1944, Comet then sailed to Manus, from which she put to sea 14 October bound for the Leyte landings. She put her troops ashore between 20 October, day of the initial assault, and 22 October, thus clearing Leyte Gulf before the great battle for its possession. After carrying reinforcements from New Guinea to Leyte in November, she trained off Noumea and at Guadalcanal for the assault on Lingayen, where she arrived 11 January 1945 with troops to reinforce those who had made the assault landings 2 days previous. From New Guinea, she brought another group of reinforcements in February, then sailed to carry hospital patients from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.

 

After overhaul, Comet cleared Port Hueneme, Calif., 4 June 1945, carrying construction batallion men and equipment to Okinawa, where she arrived after calling at various ports en route on 12 July. Between that time and 1 August 1946, Comet ranged the Pacific in the redeployment of military men, and returning homeward-bound veterans. She made seven transpacific voyages, calling at such ports as Okinawa, Guam, Saipan, Hollandia, Manus, Sasebo, Tsingtao, and Taku in the western Pacific; Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Adak, and Attu in Alaska; and Seattle, San Francisco, San Pedro, and San Diego. Comet was decommissioned at Seattle 14 August 1946, and transferred to the War Shipping Administration for disposal.

 

Comet received two battle stars for World War II