A 19th century clipper ship in the Pacific trade.
(AP-169: dp. 13,910 (trial); l. 459'; b. 63'; dr. 23'; s. 16k.; a. 15", 43")
Golden City (AP-169), was launched under Maritime Commission contract 28 October 1943 by Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Roger Lapham. She was transferred to the Navy on a bareboat charter and commissioned 29 May 1944, Captain C. M. Furlow, Jr., commanding.
After a brief shakedown cruise, Golden City departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor. Arriving there 23 June, the ship prepared to take part in the Navy's giant sweep across the Pacific. As the Marianas campaign was then underway, she sailed via Eniwetok to Guam and upon her arrival 21 July disembarked much-needed reserves for the Marine Brigade helping to lead the assault on that island.
Golden City returned to Eniwetok 1 August 1944, and from there sailed to Pearl Harbor. She steamed into that port 10 August and took part in amphibious exercises until 15 September, exercises which would make her a more effective fighting unit in the upcoming invasion of the Philippines. Sailing 15 September, she stopped at Eniwetok and Manus and arrived off Leyte 20 October 1944. By this time the initial landings had begun and Golden City put ashore units of the 7th Division to consolidate the successful assault. She then departed 22 October to bring in more troops, arriving Oro Bay, New Guinea, via Manus 4 November, and discharging another load of troops at Leyte Gulf 18 November.
With the conquest of the Philippines continuing apace, Golden City arrived Manus 24 November and sailed to Aitape, New Guinea, where she arrived 6 days later. There she loaded for the important landings in Lingayen Gulf, western Luzon. She departed 28 December 1944 with Admiral Barbey's San Fabian Attack Force and made her way through the Philippines under severe kamikaze attack, helping to fight off raids every day from 5 to 9 January 1945. Golden City arrived off Lingayen Gulf 9 January and discharged her troops during the initial assault. The Japanese were so unprepared for this quick deep penetration by sea on the west side of the archipelago that the only important defense they could quickly assemble was by kamkikaze. Hence the landing was virtually unopposed on the beaches. Surprise is not the least of the advantages of the swift mobility and long reach of attack by sea.
Next day Golden City departed for Leyte Gulf, loaded troops and supplies there 12-26 January, and got underway little more than 2 weeks from D-day at Lingayen for a secondary invasion in the Luzon campaign, in Zambales. Arriving off San Narciso and San Antonio, in Zambales province, 29 January, Golden City and the other ships of Amphibious Group 9 landed 30,000 troops to secure the Japanese escape route from Manila to the Bataan peninsula.
After the successful conclusion of the Luzon operation, Golden City sailed on a troop-ferrying voyage to Ulithi, Iwo Jima, Eniwetok, and finally Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 12 April 1945. From there the transport sailed for the United States, arriving 22 April, and loaded more troops for the Pacific fighting, then nearing its climax. Golden City sailed again 1 June, stopping at Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Okinawa, bringing troops out of the forward areas. She sailed into Guam 14 July and continued next day to San Francisco, where she arrived 29 July. The ship then made another similar voyage to and from the Pacific, returning to San Francisco 22 September with a load of veterans, after which she sailed to Pearl Harbor.
The war over, Golden City departed 23 October 1945 to support the landings of American forces in China, aiding in the occupation and helping to stabilize the volatile situation there. Arriving 10 November, she discharged cargo and passengers and sailed for Jinsen, Korea, where she loaded troops bound for the United States. They were disembarked at Seattle 19 December 1945.
Subsequently, Golden City made two voyages from the West Coast to Japan and the Pacific islands, stopping at Manus, Truk, Guam, Saipan, and other islands to embark returning soldiers and sailors. She arrived Seattle after the second of these "Magic-Carpet" voyages 27 June 1946, decommissioned 10 August 1946, and was returned to the Maritime Commission. She later became Ocean Eva in 1955 and Overseas Eva in 1961 while in commercial service.
Golden City received four battle stars for World War II service.