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General E. T. Collins

 

Edgar Thomas Collins, born 7 March 1873 at Williams-port, Pa., graduated from the Military Academy in 1807. In the Spanish-American war he fought with the 1st Brigade in the battles of El Caney and San Juan Hill, and during the siege of Santiago. In the years that followed Collins served at various American and foreign posts, often as an instructor. He went to France in 1917 as an observer on the British and French fronts and returned in 1918 to become Chief of Staff, 85th Division. Later Collins rose to the post of Chief of Staff, 6th Corps, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Following the war, staff and infantry-instructor assignments led to his commanding the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga., in 1926. Retired as Assistant Chief of Staff 31 May 1932, Major General Collins died 10 February 1933 at Washington, D.C.

 

(AP-147: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 24'; s. 16 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 2,173 a. 45", 81.1", 1620mm.; cl. General G. O Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

 

General E. T. Collins (AP-147) was launched 22 January 1944 under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Allison J. Barnet: acquired by the Navy and commissioned 20 July 1944, Comdr. E. J. Milner in command.

 

Following shakedown training out of San Diego, General E. T. Collins departed 14 August 1944 with over 3,000 troops for the Pacific fighting, as America's island campaign increased in momentum. The ship debarked troops at Pearl Harbor, Einiwetok, Saipan, Guam, and Kwa-jalein before returning to San Francisco 15 October 1944. After a round-trip voyage to Pearl Harbor with additional troops, General E. T. Collins sailed once more 22 December bound for the islands of Micronesia. She carried troops to Eniwetok, Saipan, and Guam to support amphibious operations in the Pacific before returning to Seattle 7 February 1945.

 

General E. T. Collins returned to the western Pacific in April and for the remainder of the war operated out of Fremantle, Australia, carrying troops to the Pacific islands and India. Following the Japanese surrender, the ship arrived San Pedro 22 September with returning veterans, and joined the "Magic-Carpet" fleet in the giant task of bringing home the thousands of troops from the Pacific islands. She made four such voyages in the months to come, stopping at Yokohama and Manila, and arrived San Francisco after the last passage 14 May 1946. General E. T. Collins decommissioned there 17 June 1946 and was turned over to the Maritime Commission for transfer to the Army Transportation Service.

 

The veteran transport was reacquired by the Navy 1 March 1950 for use by the MSTS with a civil service crew. At the outbreak of the war in Korea, the ship began transporting American troops to that stricken land for the struggle to thwart Communist aggression. She was at Pusan 12 December 1950 when orders came to sail to Hungnam for the famous evacuation of U.N. troops from that port. General E. T. Collins arrived 14 December and, under an umbrella of naval gunfire provided by Missouri and other ships, took on more than 6,000 exhausted troops, three times her troop-carrying capacity. After these fiighters were safely debarked at Pusan, the ship returned to Hungnam Christmas Eve to bring out. another load of troops to Pusan.

 

Following this dangerous but successful operation, the transport resumed her vital troop carrying duties between the United States and the Far East. She remained on this service until late 1952; when, during October and November, she was part of the support task unit for Operation Ivy, the atomic tests at Eniwetok.

 

After the Korean armistice General E. T. Collins continued to rotate troops in Korea and Japan, keeping strong America's presence in the critical Far East. She arrived San Francisco after her final passage 6 October 1954 and was inactivated. General E. T. Collins was returned to the Maritime Administartion 30 June 1960 and was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Calif., where she remains.

 

General E. T. Collins received five battle stars for Korean War service.