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Burleigh (APA-95)


A county in south central North Dakota. The state capital, Bismarck, is located within its boundaries.

(APA-95: displacement 11,760 (trial); length 492'0"; beam 69'6"; draft 26'6" (limited); speed 18.4 knots (trial); complement 535; troops 1,577; armament 2 5-inch, 8 40 millimeter, 18 20 millimeter; class Bayfield; type C3-S-A2)

Burleigh (APA-95) was launched on 3 December 1943 by Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., Pascagoula, Miss., under a Maritime Commission contract (M. C. Hull 862); sponsored by Mrs. Dallas H. Smith; delivered to the Navy on 31 March 1944 at her builders’ and placed in reduced commission on 1 April 1944. She was taken to New York and placed out of commission on 13 April 1944 for conversion by Bethlehem Steel Co., 56th St. Yard, Brooklyn, N. Y. The ship was placed in full commission on 30 October 1944, Cmdr. D. G. Greenlee in command.

On 3 December 1944, Burleigh departed Hampton Roads Va., and proceeded to the Pacific arriving at Pearl Harbor, T.H., on 23 December. She became flagship of Transport Squadron (TransRon) 18 at San Francisco on 3 January 1945. During January and February 1945, Burleigh transported passengers and supplies to Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, and the Russell Islands. She spent March 1945 at Ulithi, Caroline Islands, in preparation for the assault on Okinawa. Burleigh departed Ulithi, in company with TransRon 18 on 27 March 1945 and arrived off Okinawa on1 April. She remained in the area disembarking Marines and supplies until 10 April when she got underway for Pearl Harbor. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 27 April, after stopping at Guam to embark casualties.

Returning to San Francisco on 4 June 1945, Burleigh embarked troops and supplies and steamed to Guam via Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Saipan. She returned to San Francisco on 2 August. With the cessation of hostilities, Burleigh was assigned to the Magic Carpet fleet, returning veterans from the Pacific until March 1946. On 15 March 1946, she departed the west coast for Norfolk, where she arrived on 3 April. She was decommissioned on 11 June 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission the following day, entering the reserve fleet berthing area at Lee Hall, Virginia.

Removed from Maritime Commission custody on 26 November 1946 and taken to the Blair Shipyard in Yonkers, N.Y., by the Morgan Towing & Transport Co., arriving there on 29 November, Burleigh underwent reconversion to a merchant vessel. Acquired by the Matson Navigation Company on 15 May 1947 from the Maritime Commission under a general agency agreement, and renamed Hawaiian Pilot, the ship underwent further reconversion at the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken, N.J., beginning on 16 May 1947. Purchased outright by Matson on 26 June 1947, Hawaiian Pilot operated under the Matson house flag until sold to the Oceanic Steamship Co. on 8 May 1961 and renamed Sonoma. The former attack transport was sold on 21 January 1971 to Pacific Far East Line, Inc., then to Excelsior Marine Corp., on 17 March 1972, the latter shipping concern renaming her Noma. Ultimately, the veteran of the Okinawa landings was sold to the Dah Yung Manufacturing Co., Ltd., on 12 June 1973 to be broken up for scrap in Taiwan.

Burleigh received one battle star for her World War II service.

Raymond A. Mann and Robert J. Cressman

Updated 29 June 2016


Published: Wed Jun 29 21:34:17 EDT 2016