Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(APA-128: dp. 12,450; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17.7 k.; cpl. 536; a. 1 5", 4 40mm., 18 20mm.; cl. Haskell; T. VC2-S-AP5)


A county in Michigan.

Arenac (APA-128) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 44) on 9 July 1944 at Wilmington, Calif., by the California Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 14 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. L. D. Worsham; delivered to the Moore Dry-dock Co., Oakland, Calif., on 24 September 1944 for completion; acquired by the Navy on 8 January 1945; and placed in commission that same day, Comdr. J. H. Carrington in command.

Following shakedown and amphibious training exercises off San Diego, Calif., Arenac took on a load of cargo and shaped a course for Hawaii. She reached Pearl Harbor on 17 March and, during the next two months, operated out of Pearl Harbor carrying personnel and cargo to Eniwetok and Guam.

The vessel reached Ulithi, Caroline Islands, on 12 May; and there embarked troops and took on supplies for support of the invasion of Okinawa. She got underway for that island on 23 May and anchored in waters off Okinawa on the 27th. While awaiting clearance to proceed to the beaches to unload her cargo, Arenac underwent frequent enemy air alerts. She moored off Hagushi beach on 3 June, finished unloading her cargo and passengers by the 5th, and then began taking on personnel for evacuation from Okinawa. The transport left the area on 6 June and set a course for Saipan.

The ship paused at Saipan on the 12th to discharge a few of her passengers, continued on to Guam on the 13th, and remained in port there for six days before returning to Saipan on 20 June. She then began preparations to return to Okinawa. After a stop at Ulithi en route, the vessel arrived back at Okinawa on 5 July.

Following the discharge of her cargo, Arenac got underway on 8 July to return to the west coast of the United States. Port calls at Saipan and Guam preceded the transport's arrival at San Francisco, Calif., on 28 July. Three days later, the vessel entered a shipyard at Richmond, Calif., for an availability. She resumed operations on 11 August and shaped a course for Pearl Harbor. While the ship was en route, she received word of Japan's capitulation ending World War II. Arenac arrived in Hawaiian waters on the 17th and took on personnel for passage to the western Pacific. She set sail for Eniwetok on the 20th and, after a brief pause at that atoll, stood out to sea to rendezvous with a convoy bound for Ulithi.

Arenac reached Ulithi on the last day of August. She got underway for the Philippines four days later and arrived at Manila on 9 September. She debarked her passengers there before moving on to San Fabian, Luzon, on the 18th to take on cargo and embarked troops for transportation to Japan. The ship set sail on 1 October and arrived at Wakayama on the 7th. However, before her passengers went ashore, she was ordered out of the area due to an approaching typhoon. The ship finally put into port at Nagoya, Japan, on 28 October and proceeded to debark her troops for occupation duty. On that same day, the transport was assigned to Service Force, Pacific Fleet, for "Magic Carpet" duty transporting military personnel from Japan and the Philippines to the west coast of the United States.

In March 1946, Arenac completed this assignment and shaped a course, via the Panama Canal, for the east coast. She reached Norfolk, Va., on 8 April and began a preinactivation overhaul. The ship was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 10 July 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1958. The vessel was transferred to the Maritime Administration for layup in the James River.

Arenac earned one battle star for her World War II service.

Published: Thu Jun 18 10:27:41 EDT 2015