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Oneida

 

Counties in Idaho, New York and Wisconsin. Name originates from an Iroquoian Indian tribe (Oneida) living in New York state and its environs.

 

V

 

(APA–221: dp. 12,450; l. 455’; b. 62’; dr. 24’; s. 17.7 k.; cpl. 536, trp. 1562; a. 15”, 12 40mm; cl. Haskell; T. VC2–S–AP5)

 

Oneida (APA–221), approved 26 May 1944, was laid down 30 September 1944 by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif, as MCV Hull no. 569; launched 31 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Victor E. Cole; acquired by the Navy on a loan—charter basis, she was accepted and commissioned 4 December 1944, Captain Arthur C. Geisenhoff in command.

 

After shakedown, Oneida embarked troops and sailed for Pearl Harbor on 30 January 1945, arriving 6 February. On 13 February she was underway again, laden with troops, enroute to Eniwetok. From Eniwetok she steamed to Ulithi and arrived on 28 February, joining the armada of ships at anchor there. As far as the eye could see, stretched the vast and growing Task Force 58 which was preparing for a drive into the Japanese home islands.

 

On 27 March, Oneida sailed for Guam carrying survivors of Franklin (CV–13). The next day she discharged the Franklin’s marine air groups and picked up casualties of the bloody fight on Iwo Jima and headed back to Pearl Harbor. Leaving the wounded in Pearl, she took on board a large contingent of the 10th Army bound for Okinawa.

 

Approaching Okinawa on 23 May, Oneida was ordered to stand off as the island came under attack from one of its frequent kamikaze raids. Within the first 24 hours of her arrival, Oneida witnessed 56 separate raids on the island.

 

Finally on 3 June Oneida was called in and discharged her passengers under continuing Japanese air raids.

 

Oneida departed Okinawa on 6 June and returned on the 24th with Army replacements and 8th Air Corps personnel. Discharging these, she took on board 1,050 Japanese prisoners, and in company with Grafton (APA–109), also loaded with prisoners, she sailed for Pearl Harbor.

 

The prisoners were transferred to a camp in Pearl 13 July and Oneida was again loaded with Army troops. Enroute to Okinawa she made a stop at Ulithi and while anchored there, received word of Japan’s acceptance of unconditional surrender. With the status of her passengers changed to that of “occupation troops”, Oneida proceeded to Okinawa, arriving 22 August.

 

From 5 September to 18 November Oneida distributed occupation forces throughout the Far East, from Hollandia to Korea and China.

 

From 18 November 1945 to 16 June 1946 Oneida performed “Magic Carpet” services, returning veterans to the states and taking replacements overseas for occupation duty.

 

From 16 June to 27 December Oneida performed services in local operations off the West Coast. On 27 December 1946 she was placed out of commission in reserve at Long Beach, Calif.

 

Struck, 1 October 1958, from the Naval Register, Oneida was transfered to the Martime Administration and remains berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif. into 1970.

 

Oneida earned one battle star for services in World War II.