Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Catoctin (AGC-5)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Catoctin (AGC-5)

USS Catoctin (AGC-5) was launched as SS Mary Whitridge 23 January 1943 by Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss A. H. Morton; acquired by the Navy 31 August 1943; and commissioned as Catoctin the same day, Commander H. B. Olsen, USNR, in command.

Between 14 September and 11 October 1943, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) sailed from Long Beach, Calif., to Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned upon arrival. Converted to a combined operations and communications headquarters ship, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) was recommissioned 24 January 1944, Commander C. O. Comp in command, and reported to Atlantic Fleet. Shakedown complete, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) cleared Norfolk 5 March 1944 for Algiers, where she reported on 19 March as flagship for Commander, 8th Fleet. 

At early dawn of 15 August 1944, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) arrived in position off the assault beaches, and began her historic role as heart of one of the most painstakingly planned, carefully coordinated, and magnificently executed amphibious assaults of the war.  On 25 September, she cleared Toulon for Naples, her base for the remainder of the year. USS Catoctin (AGC-5) left Naples 15 January 1945, and after a brief repair period at Palermo, Sicily, sailed to Sevastopol, Russia. Arriving 26 January, she served as communications ship and as headquarters for the advance party planning the Yalta Conference.

Underway once more on 10 August, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) arrived at Jinsen, Korea, 8 September to accept the surrender of Japanese forces there. She sailed to Okinawa to embark Marines whom she transported to Taku, North China. USS Catoctin (AGC-5) stood out of Shanghai, China, 25 November 1945 for Norfolk, where she arrived 28 December. She served from this port as flagship for Commander Amphibious Force, Atlantic, until 18 September 1946, then underwent inactivation. On 26 February 1947, she was decommissioned at Philadelphia, and placed in service in reserve. On 30 December 1959, USS Catoctin (AGC-5) was transferred to the Maritime Administration.

For a complete history of USS Catoctin (AGC-5) please see its DANFS page.