General Simon B. Buckner
Former name retained.
Simon Bolivar Buckner, born 18 July 1886, in Munford-Fille, Ky., attended the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Infantry 14 February 1908. From 1908 to 1918 he served both in the United States and the Philippines, then assumed administrative demobilization duties following World War I. During the next two decades he served as instructor and administrator at various posts throughout the United States, including the U.S. Military Academy. In October 1939 he was assigned to the 6th Division as Chief of Staff, and appointed Brigadier General 1 September 1940. During World War II he commanded American troops in Alaska, with headquarters at Fort Richardson, Anchorage. He was promoted to Lieutenant General 4 May 1943 to assume command of the 10th Army August 1944. With overall command of the landing forces on the doorstep of Japan, General Simon B. Buckner was killed in action on Okinawa 18 June 1945.
Admiral E. W. Eberle (AP-123) (q.v.) was reacquired by the Navy from the Army Transport Service as General Simon B. Buckner 1 March 1950 and assigned to MSTS. With a civilian crew on board, the transport1 steamed across the Pacific throughout the Korean conflict, transporting troops and equipment to Japan and other, staging areas. General' Simon B. Buckner continued operations in the Pacific until February 1955, departing San Francisco on the 15th for New York.
Upon arrival 2 weeks later, she was assigned to the New York-Bremerhaven runs. During the next. 10 years General Simon B. Buckner made over 130 Atlantic cruises from New York to Bremerhaven, Southampton, and the Mediterranean.
Departing New York 11 August 1965, she returned to the West Coast, arriving Long Beach on the 27th to assist in the movement of troops and equipment to Southeast Asia. After two cruises to Vietnam, the veteran transport resumed operation in the Atlantic, arriving New York 3 December.
During the next 8 months, she steamed across the Atlantic 10 times, making stops at Bremerhaven and Southampton. Returning to the West Coast in August 1966, General Simon B. Buckner was once again pressed into service to carry war material to Vietnam. She departed San Francisco 8 September and reached Da Nang, Vietnam, 20 days later. Following her return to San Francisco 16 October, she made another round-trip voyage to Vietnam before returning to the Atlantic and entering ready reserve status.