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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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General M. B. Stewart

 

Merch Bradt Stewart, born 24 June 1875 at Mitchell Station, Va., graduated from the Military Academy in 1896. During the Spanish-American War he fought in the Battles of El Caney, San Juan Hill, and the Siege of Santiago. In the years that followed. Stewart served at various posts, including duty in Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone, and the Philippine Islands, and a tour as instructor at the Military Academy. He commanded the 175th Brigade, A.E.F., during World War I, earning the Distinguished Service Medal for his exceptional services both at home and at the front. After his return in May 1919, General Stewart served with the General Staff in Washington and completed his military career as Commandant of the Military Academy. He died 3 July 1934 in St. Augustine, Fla.

 

(AP-140: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 24'; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 3,595; a. 4 5", 4 40mm., 16 20mm.; cl. General G. 0. Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

 

General M. B. Stewart (AP-140) was launched 15 October 1944 under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. M. B. Stewart; acquired by the Navy and simultaneously commissioned at San Francisco 3 March 1945, Captain Minor C. Heine in command.

 

Following shakedown out of San Diego, General M. B. Stewart sailed from San Francisco 2 April 1945 with more than 3,000 troops for Pearl Harbor. After returning to San Francisco 18 April with 1,500 veterans embarked, she made a round-trip voyage out of San Francisco from 26 April to 19 June to transport troops to Pearl Harbor; the Admiralty Islands; and Leyte, Philippine Islands. She then departed San Francisco 26 June for Atlantic operations. Reaching Norfolk 11 July, she sailed the 122d to Leghorn, Italy, where she arrived 5 August to embark troops for redeployment in the Pacifiic. Underway 7 August for the Panama Canal, General M. B. Stewart steamed for the East Coast after the Japanese capitulation and arrived 19 August to debark her passengers.

 

Between late August and early November, General M. B. Stewart made two round-trip "Magic-Carpet" voyages to France and a third voyage to India and Ceylon. Departing New York 7 December, she sailed via the Suez Canal to India where she arrived Karachi 28 December to embark 3,300 returning veterans. She sailed 30 December for the United States and arrived Seattle 25 January 1946. From 5 March to 4 April she sailed to Japan with occupation troops and returned to Seattle with military passengers. Sailing for New York 22 April, General M. B. Stewart arrived 11 May, decommissioned 24 May, and was turned over to WSA for duty in Army Transport Service.

 

The transport was reacquired by the Navy 1 March 1950 for use by MSTS. During the rest of 1950 she made two voyages to the Far East, carrying U.S. troops to Japan and Korea. Between 1951 and 1955 General M. B. Stewart also sailed from New York to Bremerhaven, Germany, transporting thousands of European refugees to the United States under the International Refugee Organization. In 1953 she made another voyage to Korea and transported home veteran troops before returning to her regular Bremerhaven-New York schedule. She maintained this pattern until being placed in Reduced Operational Status at New York 29 April 1955. She was finally transferred back to the Maritime Administration 21 May 1958 and was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River, N.Y., where she remains.

 

General M. B. Stewart received one battle star for Korean War service.