Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Bayfield (APA-33)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Bayfield (APA-33)

USS Bayfield (APA-33) was laid down as under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 275) on 14 November 1942 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Western Pipe & Steel Co.; launched on 15 February; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Schmeltzer; acquired by the Navy on 30 June and placed in reduced commission the same day; got underway from San Francisco on 7 July and arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y., on 29 July; decommissioned and converted by the Atlantic Basic Iron Works to an attack transport; and commissioned on 20 November 1943, Capt. Lyndon Spencer, USCG, in command.

Following shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay and repairs at Norfolk, she conducted amphibious training in January 1944. USS Bayfield (APA-33) then underwent additional repairs, concluding them on 3 February. At that point, she received orders to New York to embark troops for service in Europe. By 5 June, the invasion force completed all preparations and got underway for the Bay of the Seine. Passing along a swept channel marked by lighted buoys, USS Bayfield (APA-33) and the other transports reached their designated positions early on the morning of the 6th and debarked their troops. Once the troops left USS Bayfield (APA-33),  she began service as a supply and hospital ship in addition to continuing her duties as a flagship. 

USS Bayfield (APA-33) departed Pearl Harbor on 27 January and touched at Eniwetok for fuel before arriving at Saipan on 11 February. Following rehearsal off Tinian on 12 and 13 February, the Joint Expeditionary Force (TF 51) got underway on the 16th for Iwo Jima. USS Bayfield (APA-33) debarked troops from the 4th Marines on D day, 19 February; and, while anchored off Iwo Jima for the rest of the month, served both as a hospital and as a prisoner-of-war ship. USS Bayfield (APA-33) went into drydock to prepare for the expected invasion of the Japanese home islands. However, hostilities ended on 15 August while the transport was still undergoing repairs. Ten days later, USS Bayfield (APA-33) departed San Francisco, bound via Eniwetok, Marshall Islands for Subic Bay and Zamboanga in the Philippines.

In March, the attack transport was ordered to Pearl Harbor for Operation “Crossroads,” atomic bomb tests scheduled to take place at Bikini Atoll in July. She set sail from Oahu on 2 April and proceeded via Kwajalein and Eniwetok to Bikini with supplies and equipment. In February 1961, USS Bayfield (APA-33) changed home port from San Diego to Long Beach where she served as the flagship for the Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PhibRon) 7. The transport continued to serve off the coast of Vietnam until 28 May, ferrying troops between points as needed and transporting casualties to hospital ship Sanctuary (AH-17). She was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 28 June 1968. A board of inspection and survey found the transport to be unfit for further service, and her name struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1968.

For a complete history of USS Bayfield (APA-33) please see its DANFS page