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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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General T. H. Bliss

 

Tasker Howard Bliss, born in Lewisburg, Pa., 31 December 1853, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1875. In Spain at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he was assigned to General Wilson as Chief of 'Staff. He fought in all major engagements in Puerto Rico and was breveted a Colonel for outstanding service. After the war, Bliss served as Collector of Customs for Cuba and negotiated the treaty of reciprocity with Cuba in 1902. After several important administrative appointments in the United States and the Philippines, he was named Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army in 1915 and Chief of Staff in 1917. A scholarly yet energetic officer, General Bliss helped greatly to work out plans for American mobilization for World War I. In 1917 he was appointed to the Supreme War Council in Paris and had much to do with the negotiations leading up to the Versailles Treaty. Subsequently, he was a commissioner and a signer of the treaty. During the last years of his life, General Bliss was devoted to historical study, and was awarded many honorary degrees and the Distinguished Service Medal. He died in Washington, D.C., 9 November 1930.

 

(AP-131: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 366; trp. 3,522, a. 4 5", 8 1.1", 16 20mm.; cl. General G. 0. Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

 

General T. H. Bliss (AP-131) was laid down under a Martime Commission contract 22 May 1942 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; launched 19 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Eleanor Bliss Knopf; acquired by the Navy 3 November 1943; and commissioned 24 February 1944, Captain Burton Davis in command.

 

After shakedown, General T. H. Bliss embarked more than 3,600 sailors and marines, sailed from San Francisco 27 March 1944 for New Caledonia, and subsequently returned to San Francisco 1 May with veterans embarked at Efate and Espiritu Santo. Underway again 10 May, she carried 3,500 soldiers to Oro Bay, New Guinea, before sailing via the Panama Canal to New York, where she put in 4 July with over 2,000 men and patients embarked
at Balboa.

 

From 28 July 1944 to 4 September 1945, General T. H. Bliss made 11, round-trip transatlantic, troop-carrying voyages (2 from Newport, 3 from Boston, and 6 from New York) to ports in the United Kingdom (Avonmouth, Plymouth, and Southhampton); France (Marseilles and Le Havre); Italy (Naples); and North Africa (Oran). She sailed from Boston 11 September 1945 for Karachi, India, on her first "Magic-Carpet" voyage and returned to New York 23 October carrying veterans of the Pacific fiighting. Following a similar voyage from New York to Calcutta and back during November and December, she made a round-the-world voyage from New York eastward to Calcutta and thence via Guam to San Francisco, where she arrived 15 March 1946. Departing San Francisco 5 April, she carried occupation troops to Yokohama, Japan; then steamed back to the United States, arriving Seattle 6 May. General T. H. Bliss decommissioned at Seattle 28 June, was returned to WSA 2 July, and was placed in
the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash. She was sold to Bethlehem Steel Corp., Wilmington, Del., in April 1964 and renamed Seamar.