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Oyster Bay

(AGP-6: dp. 2,592; l. 310-9-; b. 41-1-; dr. 13-6-; s. 18.2 k.; cpl. 333; a. 2 5-; cl. Barnegat)

An inlet on the northern side of Long Island, N.Y.

Oyster Bay (AGP-6) was laid down as AVP-28 on 17 April 1942 at Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Wash.; launched 7 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. William K. Harrill; reclassified AGP-6 on 1 May 1943; and commissioned 17 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. W. W. Holroyd, USNR, in command.

Oyster Bay departed Seattle 7 December for shakedown at San Diego, and got underway from San Diego 2 January 1944 steaming to Brisbane en route to Milne Bay for tender operations. Oyster Bay serviced 2 squadrons of motor torpedo boats from 28 February and, on 9 March, got underway escorting 15 PT boats to Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands.

The spring was an active one for Oyster Bay. On 14 March, she bombarded the enemy shore installations on Pityilu Island for the Army; on the 20th she was underway for Langemak, New Guinea, with 42 wounded soldiers for evacuation to Base Hospital, Finschhafen. After returning to Seeadler Harbor on the 31st, she bombarded Ndrilo Island to the east of Seeadler Harbor preparatory to the landing there by Army ground forces.

Oyster Bay shifted to Dreger Harbor 19 April. Allied forces moved on Aitape the 22nd, and on the 24th, two days after D-day, Oyster Bay departed for the area with 15 PT boats. Japanese planes attacked the convoy on the 27th, but, while 1 boat was hit, Oyster Bay escaped damage. In May, the ship proceeded to Hollandia, an area of heated Allied action. Air raid alerts were frequent, but no attacks ensued. Oyster Bay got underway to Wakde Island 5 June with 2 squadrons of PT boats. After Allied forces had invaded this island to capture a major Japanese air base 17 May, the Japanese continued to hammer away at the newly acquired airstrip. Later in June, Oyster Bay bombarded shore installations on the Wicki River and at Samar Village, preparatory to Army attacks.

Leaving Mios Woendi Island 12 July, the ship reported to Brisbane for availability. A R.A.F. plane struck the top of the ship's mast, carried away her antennae and damaged her navigation lights 22 July, but hasty repairs permitted Oyster Bay to depart for Mios Woendi 16 August.

The tender then steamed on to Morotai, needed as a staging area for the Philippine campaign. As the beaches were assaulted in October, Oyster Bay set out for Leyte Gulf. The enemy planes let loose but U.S. Navy planes and anti-aircraft fire took a heavy toll.

In November, Oyster Bay went to general quarters 221 times, but was not attacked. She shifted to San Juanico Straits the 21st and three days later, while taking on gas, the ship was attacked by two "Kates" that were driven off by heavy AA fire. Two "Zekes" dived on the ship the 26th, but intense AA fire splashed both.

In January 1945, Oyster Bay got underway for Hollandia, thence returned to Leyte Gulf for tender operations 8 February. Departing for the invasion of Zamboanga 6 March, she arrived two days before D-day and remained with the bombardment group until the landings. Oyster Bay next rendezvoused with PT boats in Sarangani Bay, Mindoro 24 April and supported them during night raids against the Japanese positions in Davao Gulf. In May, Oyster Bay reported to Leyte Gulf, thence steaming to Samar. She departed 18 May for Tawi Tawi, where she continued tender operations until she returned to Guinan Harbor 6 August.

The ship turned homeward 10 November and steamed into San Francisco Bay the 29th. Decommissioning 26 March 1946, the ship was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 12 April 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission 12 August 1946. The ship returned to the Navy 3 January 1949, was re-designated AVP-28, 16 March 1949, and was berthed at Stockton, where she remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until 1957. She was transferred to the Government of Italy 23 October 1957 as Pietro Cavezzale (A-5301).

Oyster Bay received 5 battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Aug 18 09:26:23 EDT 2015