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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Pickaway

 

A county in Ohio.

 

(APA–222: dp. 14,837; l. 455’; b. 62’; dr. 24’; s. 18 k.; Cpl. 536; a. 1 5”, 18 40mm.; cl. Haskell; T. VC2–S–AP5)

 

Pickaway (APA–222) was laid down by the Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif., as a victory cargo ship (MCV hull 570), 1 September 1944; launched 5 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William D. Schoning; converted into an APA; acquired by the Navy and commissioned 12 December 1944, Comdr. H. L. Bixby in command.

 

After shakedown and amphibious exercises at Coronado Beach, Calif., Pickaway embarked some 1500 Army troops at Seattle, Wash., departed 9 February, arrived Pearl Harbor 16 February, disembarked the troops and headed for Iwo Jima to evacuate the victorious Marines who were mopping up remnant Japanese forces. Pickaway reached Iwo Jima 14 March, received on board the 24th Marine Regiment, sailed 20 March, and returned to Pearl Harbor 5 April.

 

Pickaway participated in amphibious exercises until sailing for Guam 4 May with military passengers. Arriving Guam 17 May, she embarked soldiers, sailors, and marines; departed Apra Harbor 22 May; and arrived San Francisco 7 June.

 

On 2 July she took on board Navy and Coast Guard passengers and departed San Francisco for Noumea, New Caledonia. Following disembarking of personnel in Noumea 8 July, Pickaway steamed to Espiritu Santo, Russell Island, and Guadalcanal to pick up passengers and sailed 23 July for San Francisco where she arrived 6 August.

 

While preparing for another transpacific voyage, the ship learned of the end of hostilities. During the remainder of 1945, Pickaway shuttled back and forth across the Pacific embarking passengers at bases in the western Pacific and returning them to the United States.

 

Remaining in the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, Pickaway visited both Japan and China in 1947 and participated in operation “Sandstorm”, the second atomic test in the Pacific, early in 1948.

 

On the summer of 1950, a month after the North Korean forces marched against South Korea, Pickaway began shuttling U.S. Army troops from Japan to Pusan to stem the tide of battle. On 15 September 1950, she saw her first real amphibious invasion at Inchon, Korea, when the U.N. forces flanked the North Koreans. During the Korean conflict, Pickaway was deployed to the Korean area four times. She landed troops on most of the major Korean beachheads.

 

In March 1955, Pickaway left Korea for the last time, carrying troops of the same brigade she transported to Korea on her first trip. During 1957 and 1958, Pickaway made regular deployments to WestPac. During Pickaway’s 1958 WestPac tour, she took part in Exercise Blue Star, which was the largest amphibious exercise conducted by Pacific Fleet forces since World War II.

 

After returning from the Far East in August 1963, Pickaway entered the Willamette Iron and Steel Co. shipyard at Richmond, Calif. for Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM). In January 1964, the ship began extensive underway and amphibious training, and in March, departed San Diego for Hawaii, and large scale amphibious operation “Westwind.” On 18 June she got underway from San Diego for a six month cruise to the western Pacific. Soon after arriving in Yokosuka, she was ordered to proceed at once to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to embark a Marine Battalion for transport to Viet Nam to help build up American forces after Communist torpedo boats had attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

 

In March 1965, she participated in the Pacific Fleet Exercise “Silver Lance”. On 24 May 1965, she again bolstered the Allied military effort in Vietnam. On 7 July 1965 together with other elements of Amphibious Squadron 3, Pickaway landed the 2nd battalion of the 9th Marine Regiment over the beaches of Da Nang, South Viet Nam.

 

During 1966 she participated in operations “Jackstay”, “Osage”, “Deck House I”, “Nathan Hale”, “Deck House II”, and “Hastings”.

 

After overhaul and training out of San Diego, Pickaway departed San Diego 31 May for the western Pacific and after offloading cargo at Da Nang, proceeded to Manila for participation in the SEATO training exercise “Sea Dog.” On 19 October Pickaway replenished Oriskany (CVA–34) at sea in the Tonkin Gulf. Pickaway spent 1968 operating out of San Diego, Calif.

 

Pickaway received one battle star for World War II service and six battle stars for Korean War service.