Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(APA-59: dp. 7,000; 1. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k.; cpl. 849; a. 1 5", 8 40mm., 10 20mm.; cl. Gilliam; T. S4-SE2-BD1)

A county in Missouri.

Audrain (APA-59) was laid down on 1 December 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1852) at Wilmington, Calif., by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on 21 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur G. Rystrom; acquired by the Navy on 1 September 1944; and placed in commission at San Pedro, Calif., on 2 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. George 0. Forrest in command.

The newly commissioned transport held shakedown training off the southern California coast. In late October, she sailed to San Francisco, Calif., and took on passengers and cargo. On the 21st, Audrain got underway for Manus, Admiralty Islands. While en route the ship developed leaks in the tubes of one boiler and, upon her arrival at Manus on 9 November, began a period ot repair work The transport then proceeded to Noumea, New Caledonia, to embark Army troops for training exercises in preparation for landings on Luzon, Philippine Islands. During December, she held exercises off Noumea as well as at Guadalcanal and Tulagi, Solomon Islands.

Audrain got underway on 2 January 1945 with lask Group (TG) 77.9 with troops embarked for the assault on Luzon. She anchored in the transport area in Lingayen Gulf on the morning of 9 January and landed her troops without opposition. The unloading was completed by the evening of the 12th, and the transport retired with her task unit to Leyte, Philippine Islands. On the 18th, Audrain shaped a course for Biak, Schouten Islands. There, she took on troops and equipment for transportation to Mindoro, Philippine Islands. She discharged these passengers and their gear on secured beaches in the San Jose area of Mindoro on 9 February and retired to Leyte Gulf.

During the next several weeks, Audrain was involved in training exercises in Philippine waters. On 27 March, the vessel got underway with TG 55.1 for the invasion of Okinawa. She arrived off that island on D day, 1 April, began lowering her boats, and sent them to other transports to assist in landing their assault troops. On the morning of the 3d, Audrain began landing her troops and cargo in the Hagushi area.

She experienced several air attacks while in the area. On 6 June, Audrain opened fire on a lone Japanese "Val" but scored no hits. However, two 40-millimeter projectiles fired by neighboring vessels hit her on the forward bulkhead of the navigation bridge, slightly wounding three members of her crew. The landings were completed on 9 April, and the vessel left the Okinawa area bound for Hawaii. The ship paused at Guam on the 14th to transfer casualties from Okinawa to hospitals ashore, and then she continued on to Pearl Harbor.

Audrain arrived there on 1 May and underwent a 10-day period of voyage repairs. She then sailed on to San Francisco, arriving there on 18 May. The ship entered the yards of Hurley Marine Works, Oakland, Calif., for repairs and alterations. After leaving the yard, the ship took on passengers and cargo for transportation to forward areas. She got underway for Pearl Harbor on 31 May. Following a brief layover in that port, Audrain shaped a course for Leyte. She made stops en route at Eniwetok and Ulithi before arriving at Leyte on 30 June.

The ship discharged her cargo ashore and embarked Navy passengers bound for the United States. She shaped a course back to the west coast via Pearl Harbor and reached San Francisco on the 29th. After discharging her passengers, the transport returned to Hurley Marine Works to undergo repairs and alterations. While she was in the yard, the Japanese capitulated on 15 August. The ship returned to duty on 18 August and got underway for Guam. She paused en route at Eniwetok before arriving at Guam on 2 September. Audrain proceeded to Saipan and dropped anchor there on the 10th. She loaded cargo and troops of the 2d Marine Division earmarked for occupation duty in Japan.

The transport sailed for Japan on 18 September. She touched at Nagasaki five days later and landed her forces without incident. On the 26th, Audrain left Japan, via Manila, and sailed to Subic Bay, Philippines. She embarked more troops there and reversed her course to Japan. She put these passengers ashore for occupation of Wakayama. On 1 November, the ship arrived back at Manila. She took on military passengers for return to the United States. Audrain touched at Portland, Oreg., on 27 November. She then entered a shipyard there for repairs.

The vessel commenced another voyage to Japan on 26 December. She arrived at Yokohama on 14 January 1946 and debarked troops and supplies. She left Japanese waters on the 27th and set a course for San Pedro via Pearl Harbor. Audrain left California, sailed back to Hawaii in early April, and remained in port at Pearl Harbor for the duration of her naval career. She was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on 15 May 1946 and was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 25 July 1947 for layup with the National Defense Reserve Fleet group berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 August 1947, and the ship was sold on 11 July 1972 to the National Metal & Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Calif., and was subsequently scrapped. Audrain won one battle star for her World War II service.