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Gemini

 

(AP-75: dp. 3555 (lim.); l. 261'; b. 43'6"; dr. 15'9" lim.) s. 8.5 k.; cpl. 365; trp 265; a. 2 3"; cl. Gemini)

 

Gemini (AP-75) a lake-type freighter, was built as Coperas by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Go., Manitowoc, Wis. Subsequently renamed Aetna and then Saginaw around 1937 while in merchant service, she was acquired by the Navy 27 September 1941. Originally designated Matinicus (AG-38), she was reclassified AK-52 7 January 1942 while undergoing conversion at Bethlehem Steel Company, Boston, Mass. Commissioned as Matinicus (AK-52) 4 August 1942, Lt. Comdr. W. L. Cain in command, she was redesignated and renamed Gemini (AP-75) 15 August 1942.

 

Gemini sailed 16 August for New York to load troops and sortied 24 October with convoy SC-107 bound for Ireland and United Kingdom ports. This, her first voyage, was also the most difficult, for the convoy ran into German submarine wolfpacks in mid-Atlantic and from 1 to 4 November no less than 15 ships, nearly half the convoy, were torpedoed and sunk in a running battle. Gemini arrived safely at Reykjavik, Iceland, and spent the next 10 months as a transport for troops and cargo between Icelandic ports.

 

The ship put in at Boston 3 September 1943 for overhaul, and then embarked troops at New York, departing 9 October bound for the west coast via Panama. After touching at San Pedro, Calif., for repairs, she reached Honolulu 11 December and commenced duty as an inter-island transport in Hawaiian waters.

 

In July 1944 Gemini shifted her operations to the Marshalls and Gilberts, carrying men and cargo to and from Kwaljalein, Apamama, Tarawa, Makin, Majuro, Roi, and Eniwetok. She continued these essential transport duties in support of the allied advance until 1 June 1945 when she got underway for San Francisco via Pearl Harbor. Gemini remained in drydock at San Francisco until the end of the war.

 

Gemini sailed 28 August 1945 for the Pacific Ocean again, resuming her earlier transport runs in the Marshalls-Gilberts area and continuing the assignments until her return to San Francisco. She decommissioned at Oakland, Calif., 8 April 1946 and was turned over to the Maritime Commission 10 September 1946. Subsequently sold to Oly Fenno S.S. Co. Lid., she operated under Finnish papers as Ramsdal out of Abo, Finland.