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Gordonia

 

Former name retained.

 

(AF-43: dp. 7,435; l. 338'6"; b. 50; dr. 21'1"; s. 12 k. epl. 79; a. 1 3" ; cl. Adria)

 

Gordonia, a provision stores ship, was launched 30 November 1944 by Pennsylvania Shipyards of Beaumont, Tex. under Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. B. S. Matthews; and commissioned 14 May 1945 at Galveston, Tex., Lt. Ira V. Chapman in command.

 

Gordonia conducted a brief shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico before departing for the Pacific. She loaded refrigerated cargo at Mobile, Ala., transited the Panama Canal, and arrived Pearl Harbor 1 July 1945. There the ship reloaded stores for fleet issue and steamed westward 10 July to bring supplies to the fleet off Okinawa. After stopping at Ulithi she spent 6-23 August in the Okinawa area dispensing much-needed stores then returned to Pearl Harbor, arriving 13 September.

 

In the months that followed, Gordonia made three more voyages to the Far East, carrying precious refrigerated cargo. Her first passage was 23 October to 27 November, and on the second, beginning January 1946, the ship visited Okinawa, Jinsen, and Taku in support of American Marines in China. She arrived San Francisco 4 March. After one more voyage, this time to the Philippines, Gordonia arrived San Francisco 13 June. There she decommissioned 8 July 1946 and was returned to the Maritime Commission the same day. Gordonia was subsequently renamed Whale Knot and is berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay, Calif.