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Callaway

 

A county in Missouri.

 

(APA-35: dp. 8,920; l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 575; a. 2 5"; cl. Bayfield)

 

Callaway (APA-35) was launched 10 October 1942 as Sea Mink by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. W. Manuell; acquired by the Navy 24 April 1943; and commissioned the same day, Captain D. C. McNeil, USCG, in command.

 

Callaway sailed from Norfolk 23 October 1943 for San Diego and training with Marines in preparation for the first of her five assault landings. Joining TF 53 at Lahaina Roads, Hawaii, Callaway sailed for her baptism of fire at Kwajalein, where she landed troops in the assault that overwhelmed the defenders 31 January 1944. After staging at Guadalcanal, she proceeded combat-loaded for the occupation of Emirau where her troops landed 20 March. Transfers of troops and cargo in the Solomons and Ellices, and training at Pearl Harbor continued until 29 May, when Callaway got underway for her third assault invasion, the bloody inferno of Saipan, on 15 June. Laden with casualties, Callaway returned to Pearl Harbor to embark army troops for rehearsal landings at Guadalcanal, for which she sailed 12 August. On 17 September, with battle-tried skill the transport launched her troops in the assault on Angaur in the Palaus, then returned to Manus and New.Guinea to prepare for her assignment to the first reinforcement echelon for the northern Leyte landings. Arriving in Leyte Gulf 22 October, Callaway landed her troops with the speed and ease born of experience, then retired through the raging Battle for Leyte Gulf for a month of operations supporting the Leyte campaign. These brought the transport back to Leyte 23 November, where she joined in driving off enemy air attacks as she disembarked her troops.

 

Preparations in New Guinea preceded in the Lingayen assault, in which Callaway distinguished herself as a member of the Blue Beach Attack Group. As the invasion force sailed north, desperate Japanese kamikaze attacks were launched in a determined effort to break up the landings, and on 8 January 1945, a suicide plane broke through heavy antiaircraft fire to crash on the starboard wing of Callaway's bridge. Cool and skillful work against resulting fires kept material damage to a minimum, but 29 of Callaway's crew were killed and 22 wounded. Despite this loss, the attack transport carried out her mission the next day with her usual competence. Temporary repairs at Ulithi put her back in action by early February, when she carried Marine reinforcements from Guam to Iwo Jima, and wounded from that battle scarred island back to Guam, arriving 8 March.

 

For the next 3 months, Callaway transported men and equipment between the bases and operating areas of the western Pacific, then embarked Japanese prisoners of war at Pearl Harbor, whom she carried to San Francisco, arriving 16 June 1945. After overhaul, she returned to Pearl Harbor 27 August, loaded occupation troops, and sailed to disembark them at Wakayama, Japan. Two transpacific voyages carrying homeward bound veterans ended with Callaway's own return to San Francisco .12 March 1946. The transport then sailed to New York where she was decommissioned 10 May 1946.

For service in World War II, Callaway received six battle stars.