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General George M. Randall

 

George Morton Randall, born 8 October 1841 at Conneaut, Ohio, enlisted as a private in the 4th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in the fall of 1861. He served in New York and Washington, and in the field with the Army of Potomac. Brevetted Captain for gallant service in the Battle of Antietam, he was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, then Colonel for gallantry in the attack on Fort Stedman. Va. After fighting Indians on the southwestern frontier, he served with the Big Horn, Yellowstone, and Powder expeditions against Indians in the Rockies. General Randall subsequently was on duty at New York and Knoxville, Tenn., prior to commanding the Department of Luzon in the Philippines from 1903 to 1905. After further duty at St. Louis, General Randall retired 8 October 1905 and died 14 June 1918 at Denver, Colo.

 

(AP-115: dp. 11,828 (lt.); l. 622'7"; b. 75'6"; dr. 25'6"; s. 20.6 k.; cpl. 507; trp. 5,289; a. 4 5", 16 1.1", 20 20mm.; cl. General John Pope; T. P2-S2-R2)

 

General George M. Randall (AP-115) was launched 30 January 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. Robert A. Lovett, wife of the Assistant Secretary of War for Air; acquired and simultaneously commissioned 15 April 1944, Capt. Carl C. von Paulsen, USCG, in command.

 

General George M. Randall sailed from Norfolk 23 May 1944 with nearly 5,000 troops and casuals and put in at Bombay, India, 5 July via Panama and Australia. Underway again 6 days later, she returned to San Pedro, Calif., 12 August to debark over 2,000 wounded veterans. She made two more round-trip voyages from San Pedro to Bombay from 30 August 1944 to 28 February 1945.

 

Following a round-trip voyage from San Francisco to Ulithi and back, the ship stood out under the Golden Gate 8 June 1945 for Norfolk, arriving 20 June. She sailed from that port for Marseille 8 July. There she embarked troops for redeployment in the Pacific theater, and offloaded them at Manila before mooring at San Pedro, Calif., 21 September after the war's end.

 

As part of the "Magic-Carpet" fleet, General George M. Randall made six voyages from San Francisco and San Diego to the Far East, calling at Japan, China, Okinawa, and the Philippines. She sailed from Pearl Harbor 1 December 1946 for the east coast; and, after undergoing peacetime alterations at Philadelphia, stood out of that port 2 April 1947. Reaching San Francisco 25 April, the transport began a series of shuttle runs between West Coast ports and the Far East, completing six voyages to Guam, two to China and Japan, and two to Hawaii before she was assigned to MSTS in October 1949.

 

As an MSTS ship General George M. Randall made scheduled runs between the West Coast and the Orient until fighting erupted in Korea in the summer of 1950. She participated in the amphibious assault at Inchon which routed the North Korean Army and forced Communist evacuation of South Korea. After hordes of Chinese Communist troops poured into Korea and trapped American forces, she served in the evacuation of Hungnam, which saved the embattled G.I.'s enabling them to return to the fight. She moored at New York 26 May 1951, and made four voyages from New York to Bremerhaven and Southampton before returning to Yokohama 24 October 1951 via San Francisco.

 

For the next 3 years this far-ranging ship transported men and equipment across the Pacific between West Coast ports and Japan, Okinawa, and Formoa. In 1955 she shifted operations to the East Coast, arriving New York 8 April 1955 for shuttle runs from New York to Bremerhaven, insuring the continuous flow of troops, dependents, and supplies to American forces in Europe. During first 3 months of 1957 she cruised the Caribbean, calling at Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica before resuming her North Atlantic transport runs out of New York 15 April.

 

These varied duties were highlighted by General George M. Randall's role in the 1958 Lebanon crises. Embarking 1,255 troops of the 35th Tank Battalion at Bremerhaven, and 1,001 other at La Pallice, France, she put them ashore at Beirut, Lebanon, the morning of 3 August 1958, helping to stabilize that strategic country in this swift followup by sea of the 6th Fleet's powerful and effective action with carrier planes, surface warships, and amphibious landing of marines. General George M. Randall then returned to New York, arriving 16 August.

 

Returning to her New York-Bremerton schedule, General George M. Randall visited Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Italy in 1959, and called at ports in Iceland and the Caribbean Islands during the next year as well. On her last voyage, she cast off from Rota, Spain, and moored at New York 13 May 1961. General George M. Randall steamed thence to Bayonne, N.J., where she decommissioned 2 June 1961; she was towed to Norfolk 12 June to join the Maritime Administration National Defense Reserve Fleet 16 August, and is now berthed on James River, Va.