Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(APA-175; dp. 6,873; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17.7 k: cpl. 536; a. 1 5", 12 40mm., 1 20mm.; el. Haskell)

A county in Texas.

Karnes (APA-175) was launched 7 November 1944 by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., for the Maritime Commission; sponsored by Miss Nora Clancy; acquired and commissioned by the Navy 3 December 1944, Captain R. B. Miller in command.

After shakedown along the California coast Karnes arrived Pearl Harbor 13 February 1945 with passengers and cargo from the West Coast. Six days later she sailed in convoy to land troops at Saipan and other staging areas in the Pacific. At Saipan she embarked 406 Marines wounded in the Iwo Jima campaign and returned Pearl Harbor 17 March.

With the Okinawa invasion well underway, Karnes departed Pearl Harbor 7 April with troops and supplies to reinforce Americans fighting on that bitterly contested island. She arrived Okinawa 3 May and unloaded troops and equipment while under heavy kamikaze attack. She departed the battle zone 8 May with 866 survivors of ships damaged by kamikazes. Karnes discharged some survivors at Saipan and arrived San Francisco 27 May with the remaining group.

She returned to the embattled Pacific islands, arriving Manila 1 July with troop replacements and cargo. Following this mission, the transport returned Pearl Harbor 23 July to begin training for the anticipated invasion of the Japanese home islands and maneuvers.

Upon the cessation of hostilities 14 August Karnes began preparing for the occupation of Japan, arriving Sasebo 22 September. She was then assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty returning men eligible for discharge, and arrived San Francisco 11 November with her first group of veterans. Karnes ended a second "Magic Carpet" cruise 12 January 1946, returning American fighting men from China. On 13 February she departed San Francisco and arrived Norfolk 2 March where she decommissioned 11 April 1946. Karnes was returned to the WSA 24 April 1946. She entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet and is berthed in James River, Va.

Karnes received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Tue Jul 28 09:18:13 EDT 2015