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Geiger (T-AP-197)

Roy Stanley Geiger, born 25 January 1885 in Middleburg, Fla., enlisted in the Marine Corps 2 November 1907 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant 5 February 1909. After serving with Marine detachments in Wisconsin (BB-9) and Delaware (BB-28), he preceded in August 1912 to Nicaragua, where he participated in the bombardment, assault, and capture of Coyotepe and Barrancas. He then went to the Far East serving in the Philippines and Peking, China, where from 1913 to 1916 he was assigned to the American Legation. Returning to the United States in March 1916 for naval aviation training at Pensacola, he was designated a naval aviator in June 1917, the fifth flyer in Marine Corps history.

He travelled to France in July 1918, commanded a squadron of the 1st Marine Aviation Force, and received the Navy Cross for distinguished service in leading bombing raids against the enemy. During the next two decades he was assigned a variety of duties, which included service in Haiti; Quantico, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and London, England.

He assumed command of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in August 1941 and led the Wing at Guadalcanal from 3 September 1942 to 4 November. As commander of all Guadalcanal-based aircraft, he received a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross for heavy losses that American planes inflicted upon the enemy, including 268 planes shot down and 28 ships sunk or damaged.

He became Director of Marine Corps Aviation in May 1943; then he returned to the Solomons in November to command the I Marine Amphibious Corps at Bougainville. During 1944 he led the III Amphibious Corps in the capture of Guam and the Southern Palaus. He commanded this corps during the Okinawa campaign and also assumed command of the 10th Army 18 June following the death of Lieutenant General Buckner. From July 1945 to November 1946 he commanded Marine Force, Pacific Fleet.

Then he returned to the United States for duty at Marine Corps Headquarters. While on active duty, Major General Geiger died 23 January 1947 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of General by the 80th Congress.

(T-AP-197: dp. 11,225 (lt.); l. 533'9"; b. 73'3"; dr. 27'1"; s. 19 k.; cpl 219; cl. Barrett; T. P2-S1-DN3)

Geiger (T-AP-197) was laid down as President Adams 1 August 1949 under Maritime Commission contract for American President Lines by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; launched 9 October 1950; sponsored by Mrs. Edward J. Hart, wife of Congressman Hart of New Jersey; renamed Geiger 2 January 1951 while under conversion for MSTS; acquired by the Navy 13 September 1952; and placed in service the same day.

Acquired for transport service during the Korean conflict, Geiger has operated under MSTS since 1952. Over the years she has made numerous runs in support of peace-keeping operations throughout the world. She has crossed the Altantic dozens of times, deploying troops to European bases and returning troops and refugees to the United States.

Operating out of New York, Geiger has provided valuable support for the mighty 6th Fleet on station in the turbulent Middle East. In response to the pro-Soviet takeover of the Syrian Army in August 1957, she steamed in the Mediterranean while the 6th Fleet deployed to protect independent nations in the Middle East, including the pro-Western government of King Hussein in Jordan. In July 1958 she carried troops from European bases to Lebanon to thwart an attempted Communist coup against the government of President Chamoun.

Between 1959 and 1965 Geiger continued operations out of New York, steaming to Bremerhaven, Germany; Mediterranean ports in North Africa, Italy, Greece, and Turkey; and American bases in the Caribbean. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, she made three runs between New York and Cuba to return military dependents to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base during December 1962 and January 1963. Between 6 October and 23 November 1964, she participated in the massive amphibious exercise, Operation "Steel Pike I," the largest peacetime amphibious exercise ever conducted in the Atlantic. She supported the movement of combat-ready troops from the United States to the southwest coast of Spain and took part in the largest American military landing operation since the Korean war.

After returning to Charleston, S.C., 23 November with 768 Marines embarked, she resumed transport runs between New York and Bremerhaven. Arriving New York 1 June 1965, she departed the next day for the Caribbean, where from 6 to 17 June she operated off Santo Domingo to support naval forces engaged in ending civil war in the Dominican Republic.

Following two more runs to Bremerhaven, Geiger departed New York 16 August for the Pacific. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she arrived Quin Nhon, South Vietnam, 19 September to bolster the Navy's transportation capabilities during the struggle to halt Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. Between 23 September and 1 October she sailed via Yokahama, Japan, to Pusan, South Korea, where she embarked Republic of Korea troops bound for Vietnam. She returned to Qui Nhon 8 October; steamed to Cam Ranh Bay the 9th; then departed the next day for the United States, arriving San Francisco 27 October. Sailing for the Far East 5 November, she reached Qui Nhon the 23d and resumed duty as a troop transport. Between 30 November and 13 December she rotated ROK troops from Vung Tau, South Vietnam, to Inchon and back. She departed Vietnam from the United States 13 December; and, steaming via Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal, she arrived New York 13 January 1966. Geiger resumed transatlantic service to Bremerhaven 1 February and during the next 6 months made six runs between the United States and Europe. Departing Bremerhaven 8 August, she steamed via the Panama Canal and San Francisco to resume troop-carrying duty in the Far East. During 1967 Geiger shuttled between San Francisco and Vietnam carrying U.S. troops to bolster Allied forces in southeast Asia.

Published: Sat Aug 13 00:33:28 EDT 2016