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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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General W. C. Langfitt

 

William Campbell Langfitt, born in Wellsburg, Va., 10 August 1860, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1883 and until May 1898 served with the Corps of Engineers in New York, Texas, and Ohio. During the Spanish-American War he organized the 3d Battalion at San Francisco and served as Commanding Officer of American Forces in Hawaii. General Langfitt served in Oregon and Cuba before sailing for France in July 1917. During World War I he was Chief of Staff, Lines of Communications; Chief of Utilities; and Chief Engineer; and he participated in the Cambrai Operations, Somme Defensive, and St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Upon his return to the United States in July 1919, he served as Division Engineer at New York until retiring 31 May 1920. General Langfitt died in Washington, D.C., 20 April 1934.

 

(AP-151: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 24'; s. 16 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 3,343; a. 4 5", 8 1.1", 16 20mm.: cl. General G. 0. Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

 

General W. C. Lang flit (AP-151) was launched under Maritime Commission contract 17 July 1944 by the Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. William E. Lynd; acquired by the Navy and simultaneously commissioned 30 September 1944, Captain Kenneth O. Ekelund in command.

 

After shakedown, General W. C. Langfitt embarked marines and departed San Diego 10 November 1944 for Eniwetok and Saipan via Pearl Harbor. Returning to San Francisco 5 January 1945, she embarked troops and sailed 19 January for the Western Pacific where she shuttled troops to Finschhafen and Hollandia, New Guinea; Leyte, Philippines; Ulithi, Carolines; and Kossol Roads, Palaus. Loaded with medical patients and returning veterans, she departed Hollandia for the United States 22 March and arrived San Francisco 10 April. On the 21st, the busy ship again sailed for the Western Pacific; and, after steaming via Pearl Harbor to the Admiralties, the Philippines, and the Marshalls, she returned 2,302 passengers to San Francisco, arriving 11 June. Having contributed so much to the rising tide of victory in the Pacific, she sailed 15 June for Norfolk, reaching there 30 June.

 

General W. C. Langfitt departed 16 July for France, where on the 26th she embarked troops at Marseilles for redeployment to the Pacific. She departed 28 July and sailed via the Panama Canal to Hollandia and points in the Philippines. As a unit of the "Magic-Carpet" fleet, she departed Leyte 18 September, arriving Seattle 3 October. The transport departed again for the Western Pacific 25 October; carried occupation troops to Nagoya, Japan; and steamed to the Philippines before returning to San Francisco 10 December. Between 22 December and 16 April 1946 General W. C. Langfitt made two more "Magic-Carpet" voyages to the Philippines and back bringing home thousands of veterans. After returning to San Francisco 16 April, she steamed to New York where she arrived 20 May. She decommissioned there 6 June 1946 and was returned to WSA for use by the Army Transport Service.

 

General W. C. Langfitt was reacquired by the Navy 1 March 1950 for assignment as an overseas transport under MSTS. She undertook the job of carrying troops, dependents, and even refugees to the far corners of the world, making round-the-world voyages in 1952 and 1953. Between 24 November 1954 and 30 April 1957 she made 32 voyages from New York to Bremerhaven, Germany, and back, carrying European refugees to the United States under the Refugees Relief Act. Following the valiant, but abortive, Hungarian Revolution, she operated with MSTS transport General Harry Taylor and brought over 45,000 Hungarian refugees to the United States.

 

After carrying additional refugees from Europe to Australia during May and June 1957, General W. C. Langfitt arrived New York 13 July and was inactivated there 30 September. Transferred to the Maritime Administration 13 May 1958, at present she is berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Va.