Salvatore John Cavallaro, born 6 September 1920 in New York City, enlisted in the Naval Reserve 6 January 1942, and was commissioned ensign 28 January 1943. After training in landing craft, he joined Lyon (AP-71). In the invasion of Sicily, he was assigned to guide the landing of the waves of assault boats, and with skill and courage, under repeated strafing and bombing attacks, carried on throughout the night and early daylight hours of 10 July 1943. Assigned similar duty in the invasion of Salerno Gulf 9 September 1943, he was killed in action when his LCT was struck by shellfire. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his gallant service at Sicily.
(APD-128: dp. 1,450; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'; s. 24 k.; cpl. 256; a. 1 5"; cl. Crosley)
Originally DE-712, Cavallaro was reclassified APD-128 on 17 July 1944 and converted to a high speed transport during construction. She was launched 15 June 1944 by Dpfoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; sponsored by Mrs. A. Cavallaro; and commissioned 13 May 1945, Lieutenant Commander E. P. Adams, USNR, in command.
Arriving for training at Pearl Harbor 30 May 1945, Cavallaro sailed 13 June for convoy escort duty out of Ulithi to the Philippines and Okinawa until 20 September, when she arrived at Sasebo, Japan. She carried men 'between Japanese ports and on 12 October departed Tokyo Bay, bound for San Francisco. After operating along the west coast, she was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego 17 May 1946.
Cavallaro was recommissioned 4 September 1953, and after intensive training, sailed for Japan 12 March 1954. She served as primary control ship in several large amphibious exercises during this tour of duty in the Far East, and transported underwater demolition teams in day and night practice reconnaissance missions. In the fall of 1954, she was stationed at Haiphong and Saigon, Vietnam, as headquarters for those supervising the debarkation of refugees from Communist North Vietnam carried south by the U.S. Navy in Operation "Passage to Freedom." She returned to San Diego 23 November.
From March 1955, Cavallaro was homeported at Long Beach, conducting operations along the California coast and exercising with marines. Between 12 January 1956 and 4 October, she served again in the Far East, joining in a reenactment of the assault on Iwo Jima made for training purposes, and visiting ports in Japan and the Philippines, as well as Hong Kong. Her final cruise to the Orient, between 10 February 1959 and 23 May, found her exercising with both Korean and American Marines. Cavallaro returned to Long Beach to prepare for transfer to the Republic of Korea, and was decommissioned and transferred 15 October 1959. She serves in the Korean Navy as Kyung-Nam (APD-81).