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Chaumont (AP-5)

1921-1946

A French community, site of the General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Force (AEF), in World War I. Le Ray de Chaumont was a French citizen who made a major contribution to the American Revolution by purchasing, outfitting, and supplying American ships in French ports. He was a good friend and confidant of Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.

(AP-5: displacement 8,300; length 448'; beam 58'3"; draft 26'5"; speed 14 knots; complement 286; armament none)

Chaumont (AP-5) was built in 1920 by American International Shipbuilding Corp., Hog Island, Pa.; requisitioned on 3 November 1921, as a loan from the War Department; outfitted at the Philadelphia [Pa.] Navy Yard; and commissioned there on 22 November 1921, Lt. Cmdr. George H. Emmerson in temporary command; on 1 December 1921, Cmdr. Clarence L. Arnold relieved Lt. Cmdr. Emmerson.

Chaumont got underway and departed Philadelphia on 13 December 1921. Steaming down the Delaware River, she proceeded into the Delaware Bay, then out into the Atlantic, en route to Hampton Roads, where she arrived the next day. After embarking a contingent of marines and their equipment, she cleared Hampton Roads on 16 December, bound for the Canal Zone [C.Z.]. En route she would make visits to the capitals of both nations on the island of Hispaniola, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (19-21 December), and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic [D.R.] (21 December). The transport then proceeded to the Canal Zone, raising Colón on 23 December. Transiting the Panama Canal, she crossed to the Pacific Ocean, then departed from Balboa, C.Z., on 26 December, touching at Corinto, Nicaragua, on 28 December. With the arrival of the New Year, Chaumont was still at sea, making landfall again when she raised San Diego, Calif., on 3 January 1922. Three days later, she departed bound for San Francisco, Calif., via San Pedro, Calif. (6-7 January), and arrived at Mare Island, Calif., entering the yard there, on 8 January. She underwent a brief maintenance period in preparation for the transit to carry marines and sailors to U.S. possessions in the western Pacific. She cleared the yard on 13 January, and shifted to San Francisco (13-17 January). Making her way to Honolulu, Hawaiian Territory [H.T.], she arrived on 23 January, and departing two days later, continued westward to Guam (6-8 February) and Cavite, Philippine Islands [P.I] (13-24 February), having exchanged those embarked for those ashore, the transport got underway to return to the U.S on 24 February. En route she made visits to Guam (2 March) and Honolulu (13-14 March) before steaming through the Golden Gate into San Francisco Bay on 20 March, and mooring at San Francisco. Three days later, she shifted to Mare Island, and departing on 25 March, she returned to San Francisco where she remained until the 28th. Getting underway, she steamed back out into the Pacific and then down the California coast. Stopping at San Pedro (30-31 March) and San Diego (31 March-2 April), she arrived at the Canal Zone on 11 April. Transiting back through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic side, she departed on 13 April, bound for Santo Domingo. Arriving on 16 April, she proceeded to Port-au-Prince (18 April), and arrived back at Hampton Roads on 22 April. Clearing the lower Chesapeake Bay, two days later, she steamed to Philadelphia and entered the navy yard there on 25 April, remaining there undergoing overhaul until 29 May.

Chaumont undocked and cleared the yard on 29 May 1922. Bound for Newport, R.I, she arrived on 30 May, then departed two days later, 1 June. Bound for a return to the Chesapeake Bay, she steamed past the anchorage at Hampton Roads into the upper bay and arrived at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. on 3 June. Departing three days later after embarking a contingent of midshipmen for their summer cruise, she moved to Hampton Roads, where she arrived later that same day. Clearing the Virginia coast on 9 June, she steamed directly to the Canal Zone, and arrived at Cristóbal, on 14 June. Crossing the Isthmus of Panama through the canal, she cleared Balboa, on 17 June en route to San Diego, via Corinto (19 June). Arriving at San Diego on 25 June, she remained two days, then moved on to San Pedro, where she again made a two-day visit. Getting underway on 29 June, she steamed to San Francisco on 30 June, before entering the Mare Island Navy Yard, later that same day. Undocking, Chaumont stood out of the yard on 14 July, and shifted to San Francisco until 18 July. Getting underway again, she steamed to San Pedro (19 July) and San Diego (20-22 July) en route to the Balboa, where she arrived on 31 July. Crossing the isthmus on 1 August, she departed immediately for Hampton Roads and anchored there on 7 August. Departing five days later on 12 August, she set a course for Hispaniola, where she made calls at Port-au-Prince (16 August), Santo Domingo (18-19 August), San Pedro de Macoris (19 August), and Puerta Plata (21 August) to unload supplies and transfer marines, before returning to Hampton Roads on 24 August. That same day she departed for the New York Navy Yard. Arriving the next day, she entered the yard and underwent maintenance until 9 September, when she departed. Bound for Hampton Roads, she arrived that same day. There she took on supplies and embarked marines for transfer at foreign stations. Steaming back into the Atlantic, she turned southward bound for the Canal Zone, and a return to the Pacific. En route briefly stopped at Port-au-Prince (15 September), before continuing on to Colón (18 September). Transiting the canal, she steamed from Balboa on 20 September, for Corinto, where, after unloading supplies and transferring marines on 22 September, she continued on to her routine visits to San Diego (28-30 September) and San Pedro (30 September-1 October) en route to San Francisco (2-3 October) and maintenance at Mare Island (3-14 October). After her yard work, she shifted back to San Francisco (14-17 October), before departing for Honolulu and points west. She arrived in the Hawaiian Territory on 23 October and remained there until the 26th, when she got underway for Guam (6-7 November). Chaumont arrived at Cavite on 11 November, then shifted to Manila, before departing from the latter on 26 November, bound for Guam (30 November) and Honolulu (9-11 December), before arriving at San Francisco, on the 17th. Three days later, she entered the Mare Island Navy Yard, and remained there into the New Year undergoing maintenance.

Chaumont cleared Mare Island on 7 January 1923, and shifted to San Francisco, where she remained until 9 January. Getting underway that same day, she steamed westward for Honolulu (15-18 January), en route to Guam (29-30 January) and on to Manila, where she arrived on 3 February. After two weeks in port, she got underway again on 17 February and began to make her way back eastward for a return to San Francisco. En route, she visited Guam (22-23 February), touched at Midway Island (1 March), and Honolulu (5 March), before reaching San Francisco on 11 March. She shifted to Mare Island on 15 march, and remained docked there undergoing overhaul into June. With her yard work completed, she undocked and shifted back to San Francisco on 2 June. She remained there until the 5th, when she set a course for a return to the east coast. After stops at San Pedro (6-7 June), San Diego (7-9 June), and Corinto (15 June), Chaumont arrived at Balboa on 17 June. Transiting the canal on 20 June, she arrived at Colón that same day, then departed the next for Hispaniola. She briefly touched at Port-au-Prince on 23 June, en route to Hampton Roads. She arrived on 26 June, but after only two days, she got underway and steamed into the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., where she arrived and entered the yard on the 29th.

With her yard work completed, she undocked and cleared New York on 16 July 1923, bound for a return to Hampton Roads. Arriving the next day, she remained until 19 July, when she departed bound for the Caribbean Sea en route to panama. She touched at Port-au-Prince (22-23 July), then stood in to Colón on 25 July. The next day, she passed through the canal to Balboa, where she remained for two days before getting underway for the west coast. She steamed to Corinto (30-31 July) San Diego (6-9 August); San Pedro (9-11 August); and San Francisco (12-16 August). Unlike previous times at San Francisco, Chaumont did not head into the Mare Island yard, nor did she get underway bound for Honolulu. With this departure, she steamed for the Pacific Northwest, and made port visits to Astoria, Ore. (18-20 August); Bremerton, Wash. (21 August); Seattle, Wash. (21-23 August); Tacoma, Wash. (23-25 August); Seattle (25 August); and Port Angeles, Wash. (25-26 August), before she steamed back in to San Francisco Bay on 28 August, and then in to Mare Island, later that same day. Shifting to San Francisco on 31 August, she got underway on 1 September for her return to the east coast. Following her regular routine, she steamed southward and visited San Pedro (2 September), San Diego (2-3 September), Corinto (9-10 September), before arriving at Balboa on the 11th. She cleared the Atlantic coast of the Canal Zone, on 14 September, and raised Santo Domingo (16-17 September) and Port-au-Prince (18 September) before steaming through the Virginia capes on 21 September and mooring at Hampton Roads. The next day, she was underway again; bound for the New York Navy Yard, she arrived on 23 September. Docking that same day, she underwent overhaul until 2 October, when she went to sea and steamed back to Hampton Roads. Arriving on 3 October, she was in port two days, when she weighed anchor and departed bound for Port-au-Prince. Reaching on 8 October, she departed the Haitian capital the next day, and proceeded to Coco Solo, C.Z. (11-12 October). Transiting via the canal on 12 October, she arrived at Balboa, then departed on 14 October. Bound for San Francisco, she proceeded via Corinto (16 October), San Diego (23-24 October), San Pedro (24 October), and reached on 25 October, before shifting to Mare Island, on the 27th. In the yard only briefly, she returned to San Francisco on 1 November, before getting underway again for a return to the east coast. Visiting San Pedro (3 November), San Diego (3-4 November), Corinto (10 November), she made Balboa, reaching on the 12th. After transiting the canal, she stood out of Colón on 14 November, then proceeded to Port-au-Prince (16 November), Hampton Roads (19-21 November), then into the New York Navy Yard on 22 November. Docking at the yard, the transport docked and underwent overhaul, from 22 November to 18 December. Shifting to the naval support base at South Brooklyn, N.Y., she remained there though Christmas. Getting underway again on Boxing Day, she steamed up the Chesapeake Bay, and arrived at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Va., later on the 27th. She remained at Quantico through the end of the year.

Chaumont made turns and got underway again on 2 January 1924, steaming down the bay to Hampton Roads, arriving on 3 January. That same day, she cleared the Virginia capes and steamed for the West Indies, arriving at Culebra Island, off Puerto Rico, on 7 January. The next day, she was again underway, bound for the New York Navy Yard. Arriving on 12 January, she docked and underwent overhaul and repairs into March. With her yard work completed, she undocked and cleared the yard on 2 March. The next day she arrived back at Hampton Roads, then departed the following day for Haiti. She reached Port-au-Prince (7-8 March), then continued her transit to Cristóbal, where she arrived on 10 March. Departing the next day, she transited the Panama Canal to Balboa, then steamed directly to Corinto (14 March). She continued on to San Diego (20-23 March) and San Pedro (23 March). Reaching San Francisco, on 24 March, she entered Mare Island, the next day and underwent maintenance until the 27th. Afterward, she returned directly to San Francisco, from whence she departed on 28 March. The transport was again bound for China. Making her way across the Pacific via Honolulu (2-5 April), Guam (16-17 April), Manila (21 April-1 May), she raised Hong Kong on 3 May. Three days later, she weighed anchor and proceeded to Shanghai (7-14 May). Clearing Shanghai, Chaumont bypassed her regular stops at Manila and Guam, and stood in to Honolulu, on 25 May. Two days later, she was underway again and reached San Francisco on 2 June. The following day, she entered Mare Island, which she cleared on the 8th. On 10 June, she departed San Francisco and proceeded to San Pedro (10 June) and San Diego (11-13 June), en route to Corinto (19 June) and Balboa (22 June). Crossing to Cristóbal, she cleared that port, bound for Haiti. She reached Port-au-Prince (27 June), before shifting to Cap-Haitien (28 June). Clearing Hispaniola, she reached Hampton Roads on 1 July.

Chaumont quickly got underway that same day, standing out of Hampton Roads, on 1 July 1924; she was bound for the New York Navy Yard. Arriving early the next day, she entered the yard and remained there undergoing maintenance for two weeks. Clearing the yard on 16 July, she steamed back to Hampton Roads. Reaching on 17 July, she departed again the next day, this time for Canal Zone and a return to the Pacific. Raising Cristóbal on 24 July, she transited the Panama Canal to Balboa, from whence she departed on the 26th. Instead of following her routine itinerary up the coast, she crossed directly to Honolulu, and arrived on 9 August.

During this transit the ownership of Chaumont was transferred by Executive Order from the War Department to the Navy Department, on 6 August 1924. After a four-day stay, she left Oahu, on 13 August, and continued westward to Guam (23-26 August) and Manila (30 August-10 September). Steaming out of Manila Bay, on 10 September, she transited the South China and East China Seas to make her first visit to the Republic of China, steaming in to the Yangtze River, and arriving at the Bund at Shanghai, China, on 14 September. Getting underway again on 20 September, she proceeded to Chefoo [Yantai], China, on the Shantung [Shandong] Peninsula. Reaching on 22 September, she remained a day before departing and steaming directly to Honolulu, where she arrived on 5 October. Two days later, she resumed her transit back to the U.S., and arrived at San Francisco on the 13th, before entering the Mare Island Navy Yard, on 16 October. In the yard undergoing maintenance for just short of a fortnight, Chaumont cleared the yard, and returned to San Francisco, on 29 October, before getting underway again on 1 November. Reaching Honolulu on 7 November, she departed the next day and continued her westward transit visiting Guam (19 November) and Manila (25 November-4 December), before proceeding on to Woosung [Wusong], China (6-9 December) en route to Shanghai (9-12 December). Clearing the International Settlement at Shanghai on the 12th, she steamed directly to Honolulu, where she arrived on Christmas Eve. Spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day, in port there, she got underway again on 27 December. Bound for San Francisco, she was en route when the calendar changed to 1925, arriving at her destination on 2 January.

Chaumont steamed across San Francisco Bay, and entered the Mare Island Navy Yard, on 6 January 1925. She docked and underwent overhaul, well into February. Finally, with her yard work completed, she undocked on 28 February, and shifted to San Francisco. She departed three days later, on 3 February, bound for a return to Asia. En route, she made stops at Honolulu (9-11 March), Guam (22-25 March), and Manila (29 March-4 April), before making landfall on the continent, at the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, on 6 April. Departing the next day, she continued on to Shanghai, via Matsu Island (9 April), and reaching on 10 April. Moored "Man of War Row" in the Whangpoo [Huangpu] River, Chaumont remained until 16 April, when she got underway heading eastbound. Briefly visiting at Honolulu (27-28 April), she continued on to San Francisco (4-7 April), then in to Mare Island. She underwent overhaul until 8 June, when she cleared the yard and shifted to San Francisco. Standing out of San Francisco Bay on 11 June, she proceeded to Honolulu (17-19 June) and Guam (29 June-2 July), then to Manila (6-12 July). Departing the Philippines on 12 July, she was initially bound for Hong Kong, but diverted en route to Shanghai, where she arrived on the 17th. Departing that same day, she continued on to Chefoo (19-20 July), then returned to Shanghai (22-27 July). Getting underway, she set a course for a return to the U.S., via Japan. Arriving at Yokohama, Japan, on 28 July, she remained until 1 August, when she resumed her transit home. She arrived at Honolulu on 10 August, then shifted the next day to the island of Hilo, H.T., before completing her last leg to San Francisco, on 17 August. The next day, she entered Mare Island, where she remained until 29 August. Shifting to San Francisco, she remained there until her departure on 1 September, for Honolulu. Reaching on 7 September, she remained until the 10th, then moved on to Guam (21-23 September), Manila (27 September-5 October), and arrived at Shanghai, on 10 October. Getting underway again on 14 October, she steamed directly to Honolulu (27-28 October), en route to San Francisco (3-5 November), and entering Mare Island on 5 November. She remained in the yard until 21 November, when she shifted to San Francisco. Standing out of the Golden Gate on 24 November, she steamed for Honolulu, reaching on the 30th. Departing on 2 December, she made further visits to Guam (11-16 December) and Manila (21-28 December), before arriving at Shanghai on New Year’s Eve.


Chaumont underway during the 1920s. This photograph was part of a Christmas card. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99602)
Caption: Chaumont underway during the 1920s. This photograph was part of a Christmas card. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99602)

New Year’s Day 1926, dawned with Chaumont still at Shanghai. She remained there off the International Settlement, until 6 January, when she got underway and steamed directly to the Hawaiian Territory, arriving at Honolulu, on 17 January. Departing on 19 January, she made her way to San Francisco (25-28 January), before entering the Mare Island Navy Yard, where she underwent overhaul until 10 March. Clearing the yard, she shifted to San Francisco, where she remained until getting underway on 16 March, bound for Honolulu. Arriving on 22 March, she remained until the 25th, when she went to sea bound for Guam (4-7 April), Manila (12-19 April), and on to Shanghai (22-29 April). From the Yangtze, she made a direct return to Honolulu (10-11 May), then continued on to San Francisco (17-20 May), before again returning to Mare Island for maintenance. After a week at the yard, she cleared on 27 May, and shifted to San Francisco. Getting underway again on 2 June, she was a day out to sea, when she was forced to return to San Francisco on 3 June, en route to a return to repairs at Mare Island. After four days, she departed on the 7th, and set a course directly for Honolulu. Reaching on 13 June, she remained two days, then proceeded to Guam, where she arrived on 25 June. Departing on 28 June, she continued her westward passage, and steamed in to Manila Bay on 2 July. Remaining until the 10th, Chaumont departed bound for Shanghai. Arriving on 13 July, she remained until the 19th, then moved on to Chefoo (21-24 July), before leaving Chinese waters and proceeding to Kobe, Japan (27-28 July). Going to sea, the transport charted a direct course to Honolulu, where she reached on 7 August. Two days later, she moved on, touching at Hilo, on 10 August, then continuing her passage to San Francisco (16-19 August), en route to entering Mare Island. She underwent maintenance until 27 August, then clearing the yard, she moved across the bay to San Francisco, where she moored until the 31st.


Chaumont moored to a landing with troops on deck in the 1920s or 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55090)
Caption: Chaumont moored to a landing with troops on deck in the 1920s or 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55090)

Steaming into the Pacific, that same day, 31 August 1926, instead of continuing on a westerly course, she diverted from her recent routine, and turned south for Balboa, C.Z., arriving on 9 September, she transited through the Miraflores and Gatun locks on 11 September, en route to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she arrived on the 13th. Departing the next day, she steamed for Hampton Roads, passing between Cape Henry and Cape Charles; she entered the lower Chesapeake Bay, mooring at Hampton Roads, on 17 September. Getting underway again on 26 September, she moved up the bay to Cedar Point, Md. (26 September) and Kettle Bottom Shoals (27 September), en route to Annapolis. Lying off the Naval Academy, she remained until 29 September, when she got underway bound for Guantanamo Bay, reaching on 3 October. Remaining only briefly, she continued her transit by departing that same day, and arriving at Coco Solo, on 5 October. Passing back through the canal, the next day she arrived at Balboa, from whence, she departed for San Diego, on the 17th. Standing out of the harbor on 19 October, she continued on to San Pedro (20 October), en route to San Francisco (21-22 October), in advance of another yard period at Mare Island (22 October-13 November). Having moved to San Francisco, she got underway again on 17 November, and steamed to Honolulu, where she arrived on 23 November. Sortieing on 26 November, she proceeded westward, making visits to Guam (6-7 December) and Manila (12-21 December). Chaumont raised Shanghai on 23 December, then mooring at the "Man of War Row," she remained off the International Settlement through Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.


Chaumont underway in the 1920s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55089)
Caption: Chaumont underway in the 1920s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55089)

Chaumont singled up lines and got underway again on 1 January 1927. Just short of a fortnight later, on 14 January, she raised Honolulu. The next day, she got underway and continued eastward to San Francisco (21-25 January), before she entered Mare Island (25 January-1 February). Clearing the yard, she steamed directly to San Diego (2-3 February), where she embarked a contingent of marines at the Marine Depot for transportation to the Far East in order to bolster the American presence in China and protect U.S. interests, in light of the political upheaval stemming from Chiang Kai-shek’s National Revolutionary Army (NRA) and its Northern Expedition to defeat the warlord armies and consolidate Kuomintang [Guomindang] rule in China. After a visit to Honolulu (9-10 February), the transport steamed directly to Shanghai, arriving off the Bund on 24 February. She remained there for over two months, finally getting underway again on 25 April, when she shifted to Woosung (25 April-3 May) before returning to the International Settlement, on 3 May. Two days later, she departed for the Philippines, where she spent the next several weeks at Olongapo (8-11 May; 16-17 May), Cavite (12-14 May); and Manila (14-16 May), before returning to Shanghai (21-30 May). She then shuttled back to the Philippines, where she made visits to Cavite (4-7 June) and Olongapo (9-10 June), before transiting back across the South China and East China Seas, to Shanghai, and arriving there on 12 June. Practically the entire Asiatic Fleet was assembled in Chinese waters toward the end of fiscal year 1927. The regularly assigned forces of the Asiatic Fleet were augmented by the temporary assignment of Light Cruiser Division 3 to the Asiatic Fleet. These vessels remained in Chinese waters under orders of the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet. Before the end of June, Chaumont would depart Shanghai on 25 June, and arrived at the Taku Bar (25-1 July). Clearing Tsingtao on 1 July, she returned to Shanghai (2-6 July), before steaming to Cavite (9-12 July), en route to a return to the U.S. Touching at Guam (17-18 July) and Honolulu (27-28 July), she stood in to San Francisco (3-6 August), before docking at Mare Island, for a month of much needed overhaul and repairs (6 August-6 September). Shifting to San Francisco (6-8 September), she proceeded to San Diego (9-11 September), then set a course westward for a return to China. After making her routine visits to Honolulu (17-19 September), Guam (28-30 September), and Manila (4-10 October), she raised Hong Kong (12-13 October), before continuing up the Chinese coast, and arriving at Shanghai on 16 October. After three days, she went to sea, bound for the Taku Bar, she remained there (22-26 October), before she returned to Man of War Row, at Shanghai, where she remained from 28 October, into the New Year.

Having spent the holiday season at Shanghai, Chaumont finally got underway again on 7 January 1928, for a return to the Philippines via Hong Kong (10-15 January). She entered the Navy Yard at Cavite on 16 January, and underwent maintenance until 3 February, in preparation for a return transit to the U.S. Clearing Manila Bay, she made her way to Guam (7-9 February) and Honolulu (18-19 February), en route to San Francisco (25 February-1 March), before entering Mare Island, for much needed repairs on 1 March. Her yard work was completed by 12 March, and she shifted across the bay to San Francisco. The next day, she departed for San Pedro (14-15 March) and San Diego (15-16 March), before setting a course for the western Pacific. The transport made her transit via Honolulu (22-23 March), but, after sailing reported a case of cerebromeningitis, leading to the prompt isolation and quarantine of the 27-man draft who had just arrived in Hawaii. Fortunately, no cases developed, and the distribution of the men to their assigned units proceeded ahead.

Chaumont then steamed to Guam (2-4 April 1928), Olongapo (7 April), and Manila (8-9 April), before arriving at Shanghai on the 15th. Two days later, she was underway, cruising Chinese waters calling at Tsingtao (18-19 April), Chefoo (20 April), and Chinwangtao (21-23 April), before setting a course for the Philippines. After a time at Olongapo (28 April) and Manila (28 April-7 May), Chaumont returned to Hong Kong (9 May), later arriving at Shanghai on 11 May. The transport remained in Chinese waters into July, making multiple port calls to Tsingtao, Chefoo, and Shanghai, before arriving at Hong Kong (21-22 July), en route to the Philippines. After a three-day stay at Manila (24-26 July), she proceeded to Guam (30-31 July), Honolulu (10-11 August), and San Francisco (17-21 August), before entering Mare Island and docking for overhaul from 21 August to 6 October. Undocking, she moved to San Francisco (6-9 October), before steaming to San Pedro (10-11 October) and San Diego (11-13 October), in advance of transiting to Honolulu (19-21 October), Guam (31 October-2 November), and Manila (7-11 November), before touching briefly at Hong Kong (14 November), in advance of her arrival at Shanghai, on 17 November. Two days later, she got underway and shuttled to Taku Bar (21-24 November), before returning to Shanghai (26-28 November), then moving on to Manila (2-10 December). Continuing her eastward passage, she touched at Guam (16 December), before arriving on Christmas Day at Honolulu. Departing on Boxing Day, she stood in to San Diego, on 1 January 1929.

Chaumont, having arrived to spend New Year’s Day at San Diego, got underway again on 4 January 1929, and steamed to San Francisco via San Pedro (4-5 January). Arriving on 6 January, she remained there until entering Mare Island (8-21 January). Returning to San Francisco, on 21 January, she later departed on 23 January, en route to San Pedro (24-25 January) and San Diego (25-28 January) preparatory to steaming back across the Pacific via Pearl Harbor (3-5 February), Guam (15 February), and Manila (19 February-1 March), before arriving at Hong Kong on 4 March. The next day, she made turns and got underway for Shanghai.

On 8 March 1929, as Chaumont was transferring the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet’s motor car to a barge alongside, the boom topping lift broke, and the falling boom killed MM1c William Glasford, Jr., who was detailed as the vehicle’s chauffeur and was assisting in the unloading process. Chaumont remained at Shanghai until 12 March, after which she returned to Hong Kong (14-15 March). From the British Crown Colony, she steamed to Manila (16-20 March), Guam (24 March), and Pearl Harbor (3-4 April), before reaching the continental U.S., at San Diego on 11 April. Remaining only briefly, she departed that same day, and headed to San Pedro (11 April), en route to San Francisco (13-16 April), and docking at Mare Island on 16 April. She remained at the yard until 5 June, when she completed her overhaul and shifted to San Francisco until 10 June. She then continued on to San Pedro (11-12 June), San Diego (12-15 June), and Honolulu (21-24 June) before reaching Guam on Independence Day. Departing the following day, she continued on to Manila (9-15 July) and Hong Kong (16-17 July), before arriving at Shanghai on 21 July. Two days later, Chaumont cleared the Bund, and proceeded to Chinwangtao (28 July) via Tsingtao (24-25 July) and Chefoo (26-27 July), before returning to Shanghai, through those cities in reverse order, (29-31 July and 1 August, respectively). Back at Shanghai on 3 August, she remained until 11 August, when she stood out of the Yangtze, and steamed to Manila (15-16 August). She later continued on to Honolulu (29-30 August), San Diego (5-6 September), San Pedro (7 September), and San Francisco (8-10 September), subsequently entering the yard at Mare Island on 10 September. Undocking on 21 September, she moved to San Francisco. Three days later, she proceeded out of the bay, and began her routine progression across the Pacific, with visits to San Pedro (25 September), San Diego (26-28 September), Honolulu (4-7 October), Guam (17-19 October), and Manila (24-28 October), before reaching the Asian mainland at Hong Kong on 29 October. The next day, she departed for Shanghai, and reached on 1 November. After three days, she was underway again for Chinwangtao (6-7 November), before returning to Shanghai for a ten-day port visit. Returning to sea on 18 November, she cleared the International Settlement and steamed to Manila (21-24 November) and Guam (29 November), before touching at Honolulu (8-9 December). Continuing eastward, she made landfall at San Diego, on 15 December, then moved on the next day bound for San Pedro (16-17 December). Chaumont then proceeded to San Francisco (18-20 December), before she docked at Mare Island, for her routine maintenance availability. She would remain at the yard, undergoing overhaul into the next year.

Chaumont, with her yard work completed, undocked on 6 January 1930, and moved to San Francisco. Getting underway again on 8 January, she initiated another trans-Pacific passage, initially calling at San Pedro (9-10 January), en route to her routine itinerary of several legs, with intermediate stops at San Diego (10-13 January), Honolulu (20-21 January), Guam (31 January-3 February), and Manila (6-11 February), before reaching Shanghai on 14 February. She departed on 17 February, for a shuttle to Chinwangtao (19-20 February), before returning to Shanghai on 22 February. About a week and a half later, on 3 March, she departed and made her way back to San Francisco, touching at Guam (14 March) and Honolulu (23-25 March), and reaching on 31 March. She then shifted to Mare Island, on 2 April, and spent the next week at the yard. Moving back to San Francisco, on 9 April, she was underway again on 12 April. Proceeding to San Pedro (13 April) and San Diego (14-16 April), she continued on a southerly course. Instead of transiting back to China, she was bound for the Canal Zone and a return to the east coast. She touched at Corinto (22-23 April), then raised Balboa on 25 April. The next day, she entered the Panama Canal and having passed through the Gatun Locks, arrived at Colón, that same day. She immediately continued into the Caribbean, and arrived at Guantanamo bay, on 29 April. She remained only briefly, before visiting Port-au-Prince (30 April-1 May), en route to Hampton Roads. Arriving on 4 may, she shifted to the Navy Yard at Norfolk on 7 May, and remained there undergoing overhaul until 9 June. Departing the yard, she shifted to Hampton Roads, where she moored until 14 June. Getting underway, she steamed to Port-au-Prince. Arriving on 18 June, she departed again the next day, and raised Cristóbal on 21 June. Passing back through the Panama Canal to Balboa on 22 June, she departed two days later and made her way to Corinto (26-27 June), before continuing on to California, reaching San Diego, on 2 July. After three days, she got underway for San Pedro (6-7 July) and San Francisco (8-9 July), in advance of entering Mare Island for a week (9-16 July). After moving to San Francisco, she went to sea on 18 July, and after reaching Honolulu (24-26 July), she continued across the Pacific, to Guam (8 August), Manila (12-16 August), and Hong Kong (18 August), before terminating at Shanghai, on 21 August. The next day, she resumed operations cruising Chinese waters with visits to Tsingtao (24 August), Chefoo (25-26 August), and Chinwangtao (26 August), before returning to Shanghai on the 29th. Departing a week later on 6 September, she proceeded to Manila (9-12 September), on the first leg of her return transit to the U.S. continuing on via Guam (16 September) and Honolulu (26-27 September), she stood in to San Francisco, on 3 October, then moved on to Mare Island, 6 October. Clearing the yard on the 11th, she shifted to San Francisco, where she remained until 14 October. Chaumont then proceeded to San Pedro (14-15 October) and San Diego (16-18 October), en route to Corinto (25 October) and Balboa (27-29 October). Crossing to Cristóbal on the 29th, she departed immediately, and raised Port-au-Prince (1-2 November), before continuing on to Hampton Roads, where she reached on 5 November. Remaining until 20 November, she got underway for a return to the Pacific. Steaming via Port-au-Prince (24 November), Colón (27-28 November), Balboa (28-30 November), Corinto (2 December), San Diego (8-11 December, and San Pedro (11-12 December), she arrived at San Francisco on 13 December, and entered Mare Island, on the 15th. She remained there, rather briefly, as she cleared on 19 December, and moved to San Francisco, where she and her crew spent Christmas Day. Underway again on Boxing Day, she set a course for the Hawaiian Territory.


Chaumont in Chinese waters during the 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 76474)
Caption: Chaumont in Chinese waters during the 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 76474)

Chaumont arrived at Honolulu, on New Year’s Day 1931. She remained there two days, then departed for points westward. Visiting her routine waypoints at Guam (14-15 January) and Manila (18-23 January), she steamed in to Hong Kong, on 25 January, then departed that same day for Shanghai, where she remained until 30 January. Moving on she proceeded to Chinwangtao (31 January-2 February), before returning to Shanghai on 4 February. Departing on 12 February, she proceeded to Manila (16-19 February), Guam (24 February), and Honolulu (5-7 March), before reaching San Francisco, on 13 March. The next day, she shifted to Mare Island Navy Yard, where she remained until 19 March, when she shifted to San Francisco. She cleared the bay, on 24 March, and steamed to San Pedro (25-26 March), San Diego (26-28 March), and Corinto (3-5 April), where she embarked refugees from earthquake-torn Managua, Nicaragua, before arriving at Balboa (6-7 April).


Chaumont pierside at Corinto, Nicaragua, in the 1920s or 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55091)
Caption: Chaumont pierside at Corinto, Nicaragua, in the 1920s or 1930s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 55091)

Crossing to Cristóbal on 7 April 1931, Chaumont departed the next day. Initially bound for Guantanamo Bay (10 April), the transport arrived at Hampton Roads, where she moored, on 13 April. Two days later, the ship entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., where she remained until 16 May, undergoing overhaul. With her work completed, she returned to Hampton roads, where she remained until 22 May. On that day, she steamed through the Virginia capes, bound for the Canal Zone, via Port-au-Prince (26 May). She arrived at Cristóbal on 28 May, and then transited the canal on 30 May, to Balboa. Getting underway again on 2 June, she proceeded to Corinto (3 June), San Diego (9-11 June), and San Pedro (11-12 June), before arriving at San Francisco on 13 June, and entering Mare Island, on the 15th. She remained at the yard, until 19 June, when she shifted back to San Francisco. Five days later, on 24 June, she steamed past the Presidio, and out into the Pacific. The transport continued on a westerly course, and arrived at Honolulu on 30 June. Departing on 2 July, she continued westward on to Guam (12-13 July), Manila (17-23 July), Hong Kong (25 July), Woosung (27 July), before arriving at Shanghai, on 27 July. Two days later, she got underway to visit Tsingtao (30-31 July), Chefoo (1 August), and Chinwangtao (2-3 August), before returning to the International Settlement on 5 August. She remained in port until 13 August, when she got underway for a return to the U.S. Making her transit, she made her routine visits to Manila (17-18 August), Guam (23 August), Honolulu (1-3 September), before arriving at San Francisco on 9 September. She shifted to and entered the yard at Mare Island, on 14 September. After her maintenance, she returned to San Francisco, on 19 September, and remained in port there until 30 September, when she got underway for a return to the east coast. After completing the first leg of the transit, by calling at San Pedro (1-2 October), she continued on to San Diego (2-5 October), Corinto (12-13 October), Balboa (16-18 October), Cristóbal (18-19 October), and Port-au-Prince (21-22 October), before arriving at Hampton Roads, on 26 October. Three days later, she shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard, and underwent overhaul and repairs, until 9 November. With her work done, she remained until 17 November, taking on stores and embarking marines. That day, she steamed out into the Atlantic, and began her return to the Pacific. After a brief call at Port-au-Prince (21 November), she touched at Cristóbal (23-24 November), Balboa (24-27 November), Corinto (29 November), San Diego (5-8 December), and San Pedro (8-10 December), before arriving at San Francisco on the 11th. She entered Mare Island, on 14 December, and after ten days of maintenance, she returned to San Francisco, where she spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, in port.

Chaumont raised steam to get underway for the first time in 1932, on 5 January. Standing out of the Golden Gate, she charted a course westward. After a stop at Pearl Harbor (11-13 January), she continued on to Guam (24-25 January) and Manila (29 January-2 February), en route to Shanghai, where she reached on 5 February. She remained there on “Man of War Row” until 15 March, when she got underway and proceeded to Chinwangtao (17-19 March), before returning to Shanghai on 20 March. After three days, she was underway again. Standing out into the East China Sea, she made her regular stops at Manila (26 March-30 March), Guam (4 April), and Pearl Harbor (14-15 April). From the Hawaiian Territory, she headed directly to San Francisco, and arrived there on the 21st. On 25 April, she shifted to Mare Island, where she underwent yard work, until 30 April. Shifting back to San Francisco, she later cleared the bay on 30 April, heading to Honolulu, via San Pedro (4-5 May) and San Diego (5-7 May), and reaching her destination on 13 May. From there, she proceeded to Guam (25-27 May) and Manila (31 May-6 June), before arriving at Shanghai on 9 June. Two days, later, she went to sea and cruised up the Chinese coast to Tsingtao (12-13 June), Chefoo (14-15 June), and Chinwangtao (15 June), before arriving back at the Bund on 18 June. A week later, 25 June, she departed and set a course for a return to the U.S. via Manila (29 June-2 July), Guam (6 July), and Honolulu (15-17 July), before raising San Francisco on 23 July. Shifting to Mare Island on 26 July, Chaumont cleared the yard on 30 July, and after four days at San Francisco, she got underway. Initially bound for San Pedro (5-6 August), the transport continued on to her regular Pacific ports of call at San Diego (6-8 August), Corinto (15 August), and Balboa (17-18 August), before transiting the Panama Canal on 18 August. After clearing the canal, she steamed from Cristóbal that same day to Port-au-Prince (21 August), before finally, steaming into the lower Chesapeake Bay, and mooring at Hampton Roads on 24 August. Two days later, the transport steamed back into the Atlantic, and turning northward, headed for the Boston Navy Yard. Arriving on 28 August, she entered the yard that same day and remained there a month. Clearing the yard on 28 September, she briefly touched at Newport (29 September), en route to Naval Operating Base (NOB) Norfolk, where she arrived on 30 August. Four days later, on 4 October, she was underway again, bound for the Pacific. She steamed to Coco Solo, and arriving on 10 October, she continued almost immediately into the Panama Canal, crossing to Balboa, that same day. She departed three days later. Transiting via Corinto (15 October), San Diego (21-24 October), and San Pedro (24-26 October), she raised San Francisco, on 27 October. The next day, she entered the yard at Mare Island, and remained there until 15 November, when she returned to San Francisco. She cleared two days later and steamed to Pearl Harbor (24-25 November), then on to Guam (5- December) and Manila (11-15 December), before making landfall on the Asian continent at Chefoo on 20 December. That same day, she continued on to Chinwangtao (21 December), then arrived at Shanghai on Christmas Eve. Having spent Christmas Day off the Bund, she was again underway on 27 December, headed for Manila, where she arrived on 30 December.

Chaumont, having welcomed the New Year at the Philippine capital, remained until 12 January 1933, when she departed for Guam (15-18 January) and Pearl Harbor (27-28 January), before reaching San Francisco on 5 February. The next day, she shifted to Mare Island, where she underwent maintenance until the 18th, then shifted back to San Francisco. Departing three days later, she steamed down the California coast to San Pedro (22-25 February) and San Diego (25-27 February) before continuing on to Balboa (8-9 March). Transiting the canal on 9 March, she remained for a day at Cristóbal, before departing on the 10th. She reached Guantanamo Bay on 12 March, where she remained until 13 March, then steamed to Port-au-Prince (13-14 March), en route to NOB Norfolk, where she arrived on 18 March. She later shifted to the Navy Yard at Norfolk on 20 March. She remained there undergoing maintenance for a week. When she cleared on 27 March, she moved back to NOB Norfolk, before getting underway again on 29 March, and steaming back toward the Caribbean and the Canal Zone. En route she stopped at Guantanamo Bay (1-2 April) and Port-au-Prince (2-3 April), in advance of arriving at Cristóbal on 5 April. The next day, she crossed to Balboa, from whence, she departed on 8 April. With the Marine Corps no longer engaged in bolstering the Nicaraguan government, the transport bypassed her long-standing intermediate stop at Corinto, and steamed directly for San Diego, where she arrived on 16 April. Four days later, she was underway again, en route to San Francisco, via San Pedro (20-22 April), she arrived at San Francisco on the 23rd. Two days later, she entered Mare Island, and underwent maintenance until 29 April, when she shifted back to San Francisco. On 5 May, Chaumont departed and steamed to San Pedro (6-8 May), San Diego (8-11 May), and Balboa (19 May) before crossing the isthmus to Cristóbal on the 20th. That same day, she continued on into the Caribbean and sped to Port-au-Prince (23 May) and Guantanamo Bay (24 May). Making a detour from her routine route, the transport arrived at Pensacola, on 27 May, then continued on to Hampton Roads, where she arrived on 31 May. The next day, she steamed up the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis, where she arrived the same day. After embarking midshipmen, she departed on 5 June and arrived that same day at NOB Norfolk. Getting underway again on 10 June after taking on stores and other supplies, she set a course for Guantanamo Bay (13 June) and Port-au-Prince (14-15 June). Chaumont arrived at the Canal Zone at Cristóbal on 17 June, then transited the Panama Canal, two days later to Balboa. She then departed on 20 June, and arrived at San Diego on the 28th. She remained until 1 July, when she went to sea and steamed up the California coast to San Pedro (1-5 July) and San Francisco (6-10 July). Entering Mare Island on 10 July, she underwent her routine maintenance prior to crossing the Pacific. Clearing the yard on 14 July, she shifted to San Francisco, before departing in the 17th, for Oahu. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 23 July, she remained for three days, then got underway westbound for Guam (5-7 August) and Manila (11-16 August). She arrived in Shanghai on 19 August, then departed two days later and cruised up the Chinese coast. She arrived at Chinwangtao (23-25 August), Chefoo (25-26 August), Tsingtao (27-28 August), before returning to the International Settlement on 29 August. The transport cleared the Yangtze on 6 September, and proceeded back to the U.S. via Manila (9-12 September), Guam (16-18 September), and Honolulu (26-28 September), before raising San Francisco on 4 October. Five days later, she shifted to Mare Island, until 17 October. Returning to San Francisco, she departed on 20 October and stood in to Honolulu on 26 October. Proceeding westward, she touched at Guam (7-9 November) and Manila (13-20 November), before arriving at Woosung on 24 November. The next day she steamed to Chinwangtao (25-27 November), before arriving at Shanghai, on 29 November. Remaining in port until 9 December, she went to sea on 9 December, and made her way to Manila (11-16 December), Guam (20-21 December), and Honolulu, where she arrived on 30 December.

Chaumont rang in the New Year in the Territory of Hawaii, before getting underway again on 3 January 1934. Steaming eastward, she stood in to San Francisco on 9 January, and entered Mare Island on the 11th. A week later, she cleared the yard, and after shifting to San Francisco, she cleared the San Francisco Bay, and turned south on 27 January. After visits to San Pedro (28-30 January), San Diego (30 January-2 February), and Balboa (10-12 February), she transited the canal on 12 February. Clearing Colón, the next day, she proceeded to Port-au-Prince (15-16 February) and Guantanamo Bay (17-18 February), before steaming past Cape Henry into Hampton Roads and mooring on 21 February. After six days, she entered the Norfolk Yard on 27 February, and remained there undergoing repairs and overhaul until 2 April. That same day she shifted to NOB Norfolk, from whence she departed on 10 April. Underway again, bound for the Caribbean, the transport called at Guantanamo Bay (13-14 April) and Cristóbal (19-21 April), before transiting the call back to Balboa, and the Pacific on 21 April. She continued on her transit on the 23rd, and stood in to San Diego (1-3 May), before making her way to San Pedro (3-5 May) and San Francisco (6-8 May). After several days at Mare Island (8-12 May), she was at San Francisco, until getting underway on 17 May. Steaming a westerly course, she proceeded to Honolulu (23-26 May), Guam (5-6 June), and Manila (10-13 June), en route to Hong Kong (15-20 June). She continued on to Woosung (22-23 June), Chinwangtao (25 June), Chefoo (25-26 June), Tsingtao (27-28 June), before mooring on Man of War Row at Shanghai, on 29 June. After a week, she cleared the International Settlement on 6 July, and set a course for San Francisco, via Manila (9-12 July), Guam (16 July), and Honolulu (25 July), arriving on 3 August. On the 7th, the transport moved in to Mare Island, and underwent a week of maintenance. Returning to San Francisco on 14 August, she went to sea on 17 August, bound for the Canal Zone. Visiting San Pedro (18-20 August) and San Diego (21-22 August) en route, she arrived at Balboa on 30 August. The next day she steamed to Cristóbal and then on 3 September, she departed for Hampton Roads, via Guantanamo Bay (5 September). She passed through the Virginia capes on 8 September. Chaumont remained at NOB Norfolk until 28 September, when she departed for Guantanamo Bay (1 October), en route to the Canal Zone and a return to the Pacific Ocean. She reached Cristóbal on 4 October, and entered the canal on 6 October, completing the transit to Balboa, that same day.   Two days later, she steamed northward and arrived at San Diego (16-17 October), en route to points north, San Pedro (17-19 October) and San Francisco (20-22 October). Entering Mare Island on 22 October, she remained just five days and returned to San Francisco. Departing on 1 November, she arrived at Honolulu on 7 November, where she remained for two days. Continuing her transit westward, she reached Guam on 20 November, and continued her passage that same day, to arrive at Manila on the 24th. She remained in the Philippines until 30 November, when she got underway for Shanghai. Arriving on 6 December, she departed the next day for Chinwangtao (9-10 December). Returning to the Bund on 12 December, she remained in port until 17 December, when she stood out of port for Hong Kong (19-22 December). She arrived at Manila on 23 December, two days before Christmas, and remained in port for the rest of the year.

Chaumont rang in 1935 in port at Manila. She resumed operations underway on 2 January 1935, when she cleared Manila Bay, and steamed for Guam (7 January), en route to Honolulu (16-19 January) and San Francisco (25-29 January). She entered Mare Island on 29 January and underwent maintenance until 6 February. She returned to San Francisco, and remained there until the 14th, when she got underway bound for NOB Norfolk, with intermediate legs terminating at San Pedro (15-18 February), San Diego (18-20 February), Balboa (27 February-1 March), Cristóbal (1-2 March), and Guantanamo Bay (4 March). She arrived at her terminal destination on 7 March, and entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 15 March. The ship remained there undergoing overhaul and repairs for two months, finally clearing on 15 May. From the lower Chesapeake, she steamed to Guantanamo Bay (18-19 May), Cristóbal (21-22 May), Balboa (24 May), and reaching San Diego on 31 May. She remained there until 4 June, when she continued northward to San Pedro (4-7 June), reaching San Francisco on 8 June. Two days later, 10 June, she entered Mare Island Navy Yard, where she underwent maintenance until 18 June. Shifting to San Francisco, she departed on 20 June and steamed to Honolulu, where she arrived on 27 June. Chaumont departed Oahu on 1 July, and transiting via Wake Island (7 July), arrived at Guam on 11 July and departed that same day. She continued on to Manila (16-20 July), before reaching Woosung (25-26 July), ahead of visits to Chinwangtao (25-29 July), Chefoo (29-30 July), and Tsingtao (31 July-1 August). She arrived at Shanghai on 2 August and remained for a ten-day visit. Departing on 12 August, the ship visited Hong Kong (14-16 August), before striking out to sea for a return to the U.S. via her regular stops at Manila (18-22 August), Guam (27-28 August), and Honolulu (5-9 September), before arriving at San Francisco on 15 September. She entered Mare Island on the 18th, and emerged a week later, shifting back to San Francisco. She remained there until 1 October, when she got underway, sailing down the California coast to San Pedro (2-5 October) and San Diego (5-8 October), en route to Balboa (16-17 October). Transiting the canal on the 17th, she arrived at Cristóbal. Departing the 19th, she touched at Guantanamo Bay (23-24 October), then continued on bound for the Virginia capes. She briefly entered the anchorage at Lynnhaven Roads on 28 October, then shifted to NOB Norfolk later that same day. Two days later, on 30 October, she moved to the Norfolk Navy Yard, where she underwent maintenance until 5 November, then shifted back to NOB Norfolk. Having re-supplied, refueled, and embarked her passengers, Chaumont was underway again on 9 November, bound for Guantanamo Bay, en route to the Canal Zone and the Pacific. After stopping in Cuba (12-13 November), she continued on to Cristóbal (15-16 November), crossing to Balboa on the 16th. She resumed her transit on 18 November, bound for San Francisco via San Diego (26-29 November) and San Pedro (29 November-3 December), reaching on 4 December. Five days later, she entered Mare Island, where she stayed for an additional five days. Clearing the yard on 14 December, she shifted back to San Francisco, where she remained until 18 December. That day she went to sea, and instead of heading westward, she turned south and steamed to San Pedro (19-23 December). She then went to San Diego, arriving on 23 December, she spent Christmas Day in port, then got underway again on Boxing Day. Progressing toward the Canal Zone, she arrived at Balboa on New Year’s Day.

Chaumont made her passage through the Panama Canal to Cristóbal, on 6 January 1936. The following day, she got underway and charted a course to Guantanamo Bay (9-10 January), en route to NOB Norfolk, where she arrived on 13 January. After a fortnight in port, she was underway again on 27 January, bound for Panama, via Guantanamo Bay (30-31 January). She reached Cristóbal on 2 February, and crossed to Balboa the next day. On 5 February, she cleared Panama’s Pacific coast and steamed northward, arriving at San Diego on 13 February. Departing on 17 February, she touched at San Pedro (17-20 February), before reaching San Francisco on 21 February. She entered the yard at Mare Island (24-28 February), then returned to San Francisco, from whence she departed on 5 March, for another visit to China. En route, the transport stopped at Honolulu (11-16 March), Guam (26-27 March), and Manila (31 March-3 April), before reaching the Chinese coast at Hong Kong on 5 April. Three days later, she went to sea and arrived at Woosung (12-13 April), before heading to Chinwangtao (15-16 April), en route to Shanghai, where she moored on 19 April. She remained there until 28 April, when she got underway for Manila. Arriving on 1 May, she remained until 5 May, then resumed her eastward passage via Guam (10-11 May) and Honolulu (20-23 May) before standing in to San Francisco on 29 May. She shifted to Mare Island, on 2 June, for a week of maintenance, after which she returned to San Francisco. On 15 June, she was again underway, steaming to San Pedro (16-19 June), San Diego (19-24 June), and Balboa (2-4 July). She crossed to Cristóbal on Independence Day, and the transport remained there until resuming operations underway on 6 July. She touched at Guantanamo Bay (8-10 July), then continued on to Hampton roads, arriving on 13 July. After a week, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard on 20 July, and remained there into September undergoing refit and overhaul. On clearing the yard on 22 September, she shifted to Lynnhaven Roads, in advance of going to sea for trials the next day. Afterward, she returned to NOB Norfolk and remained there preparing to get underway. On 1 October, she weighed anchor and steamed out into the Atlantic, turning south, she arrived at Guantanamo Bay (4-6 October), before continuing on to Cristóbal, where she reached on 8 October. She crossed to the Pacific the next day and departed Balboa on 10 October. Proceeding northward, the transport made stops at Coronado Roads, Calif. (18 October), San Diego (18-22 October), San Pedro (22-26 October), and San Francisco (27-29 October). She entered Mare Island on 29 October, and cleared on 2 November, returning to San Francisco. A week later, on 9 November, she steamed out of the bay bound for Honolulu and points west. She visited Honolulu (15-20 November), Guam (30 November-1 December), and Manila (5-10 December), before continuing on to China and reaching Woosung on 13 December. The next day, she was underway again, grounding off Chinwangtao, on 15 December. She next made landfall at Chinwangtao on Boxing Day. Remaining there until 28 December, she then moved on to Shanghai, where she arrived on the 29th.

Chaumont spent New Year’s Day 1937, in the Whangpoo River off the International Settlement. Getting underway again on 5 January, she made a brief visit to Hong Kong (8-9 January), then continued on to Manila (11-13 January), Guam (15-19 January), and Honolulu (27-30 January), before arriving at San Francisco, on 5 February. The next day a naval court of inquiry was convened aboard the ship to investigate the ship’s grounding off Chinwangtao. She made her entrance to Mare Island (9-15 February), and entered drydock so that her hull could be inspected by the board to assess the damage and complete the necessary repairs, before returning to San Francisco (15-23 February). Getting underway, she steamed to San Pedro (24-27 February) and San Diego (27 February-3 March), en route to the Canal Zone. She arrived at Balboa, on 11 March, and transited the Panama Canal to Cristóbal, on the 15th. Standing out the next day, she proceeded to Guantanamo Bay (18-19 March), before reaching Hampton Roads, on 22 March. She entered the Norfolk Navy Yard on 24 March, but only remained for two days. Shifting to NOB Norfolk on 26 March, she remained there, until 8 April. Clearing the capes on that day, she steamed to Guantanamo Bay (10-12 April), en route to Cristóbal, reaching on 14 April. Two days later, she passed through the Gatun and Miraflores Locks to Balboa. From there, she departed on 19 April, and proceeded to San Diego (29 April-3 May) and San Pedro (4-5 May), in advance of standing in to San Francisco on 6 May. Entering Mare Island (10-15 May), she returned to San Francisco before clearing on 21 May, bound for Honolulu. Arriving on 28 May, she remained until 1 June, when she departed for Guam (12-14 June) and Manila (19-26 June), before making a visit to the British Colony at Hong Kong (27-28 June). She moved on to Woosung (1 July), Chinwangtao (3-5 July), Chefoo (5-7 July), and on to Tsingtao, where she arrived on the 8th. While Chaumont was making this transit to Tsingtao, the Japanese and Chinese clashed at the Marco Polo Bridge just outside of Peking [Beijing] on 7 July. This was the initial battle in what came to be called the Second Sino-Japanese War. This conflict was to cause greater diplomatic friction between the United States and Japan and contribute to the outbreak of war between the two countries in 1941. After her time at Tsingtao (5-10 July), Chaumont continued on to Shanghai.


Cartoon reflecting a sailor's view of life on a Navy transport, in passage to or from the Asiatic Fleet, circa the late 1930s. From the album of PH1c Harold Gerwien, USN (Ret.), 1986. So pervasive was her transport of marines during this period that an oft-cited reference to her, stemming from her name, also arose in the U.S. Marine Corps – “Christ Help All Us Marines On Navy Transports.” (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 101148)
Caption: Cartoon reflecting a sailor's view of life on a Navy transport, in passage to or from the Asiatic Fleet, circa the late 1930s. From the album of PH1c Harold Gerwien, USN (Ret.), 1986. So pervasive was her transport of marines during this period that an oft-cited reference to her, stemming from her name, also arose in the U.S. Marine Corps – “Christ Help All Us Marines On Navy Transports.” (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 101148)

Chaumont arrived at Shanghai on 11 July 1937, and remained at the International Settlement until 14 July. She then departed and stopped at Manila (22-24 July), Guam (29-30 July), and Honolulu (10-13 August), before arriving back at San Francisco on 19 August. Two days later, she entered Mare Island (21-25 August), and upon her exit, she steamed directly to San Diego. Upon her arrival on 27 August, she began embarking the Sixth Marines at the Marine Depot, for transport to Shanghai’s International Settlement to reinforce the Fourth Marine Regiment. Upon her departure on 29 August, with light cruiser Marblehead (CL-12) as her escort and carrying additional marines, she steamed to Pearl Harbor, where she refueled on 5 September. Departing that same day, she set a direct course to Shanghai. Bypassing her usual waypoint stops at Guam and Manila, Chaumont arrived at the entrance to the Yangtze River on 18 September. While she had been en route to the U.S., Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-shek had laid siege to the Japanese concession of the International Settlement. On 13 August 1937, Kuomintang soldiers and warplanes attacked the positions of the Japanese Special Naval Landing Force units in Shanghai, leading to the Battle of Shanghai. The next day, Chinese planes accidentally bombed the International Settlement, which led to more than 3,000 civilian deaths. Amidst these hostilities, Chaumont landed the Sixth Marines on 19 September, and remained there until 22 September.


Chaumont arriving at Shanghai with the Sixth Marine Regiment on 19 September 1937. Assisted by the tugs St. Sampson and St. Dominic, she is preparing to moor in “Man of War Row” in the Whangpoo [Huangpu] River off the Bund. The ships moored in the row include the British light cruiser Danae and sloop Falmouth, the French sloops Dumont d'Urville and Tahure, and the Italian light cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli. The Dutch destroyer Van Galen lies astern of Chaumont. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77893)
Caption: Chaumont arriving at Shanghai with the Sixth Marine Regiment on 19 September 1937. Assisted by the tugs St. Sampson and St. Dominic, she is preparing to moor in “Man of War Row” in the Whangpoo [Huangpu] River off the Bund. The ships moored in the row include the British light cruiser Danae and sloop Falmouth, the French sloops Dumont d'Urville and Tahure, and the Italian light cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli. The Dutch destroyer Van Galen lies astern of Chaumont. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77893)

Departing Shanghai, Chaumont steamed to Chefoo (24-26 September 1937) and Tsingtao (27-28 September). Returning to Shanghai (30 September-1 October), she then moved on to Hong Kong (4 October), before clearing the Chinese coast and making her way to Manila (12-17 October). She returned to Shanghai on 17 October, then departing three days later, continued up the Chinese coast to visit Tsingtao (21-22 October) and Chefoo (23 October), before crossing the Sea of Japan to visit Yokohama, Japan (27 October-2 November). Returning to China, she touched at Chefoo (6 November) and Tsingtao (7 November), before calling at Hong Kong (12-13 November). Finally clearing the Chinese coast, the transport steamed to Manila (14-24 November), Honolulu (7-8 December), then on to San Francisco, arriving on 15 December. The next day she shifted to Mare Island. Docking she underwent maintenance until New Year’s Eve. With her yard work completed, she shifted back to San Francisco in time to ring in the New Year there.

Chaumont, underway again on 5 January 1938, steamed to San Pedro (6-7 January) and San Diego (8 January), before steaming for Honolulu (16-17 January). From the Hawaiian Territory, she continued westward to Guam (29-31 January), Manila (5-7 February), and Shanghai (11-18 February). While at Shanghai, Adm. Harry E. Yarnell, Commander in Chief, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, came on board Chaumont. With the admiral’s disembarkation, the ship departed for Manila (22-25 February).


Adm. Harry E. Yarnell, Commander in Chief, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, (middle, white cap cover) on board Chaumont at Shanghai on 18 February 1938. With him are: Brig. Gen. John C. Beaumont, USMC, commanding the Second Marine Brigade, (left); Cmdr. Lemuel E. Lindsay, Commanding Officer, Chaumont, (second from left); and Col. Thomas S. Clarke, USMC, Commanding the Sixth Marines (right). Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, from the Yarnell-Thomas Collection. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99605)
Caption: Adm. Harry E. Yarnell, Commander in Chief, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, (middle, white cap cover) on board Chaumont at Shanghai on 18 February 1938. With him are: Brig. Gen. John C. Beaumont, USMC, commanding the Second Marine Brigade, (left); Cmdr. Lemuel E. Lindsay, Commanding Officer, Chaumont, (second from left); and Col. Thomas S. Clarke, USMC, Commanding the Sixth Marines (right). Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, from the Yarnell-Thomas Collection. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99605)

Chaumont continued on to Guam where she arrived on 2 March 1938. Departing the next day, she continued on to Honolulu (14 March-4 April) and San Francisco (10-13 April). After going to sea, she visited San Pedro (20-21 April) and San Diego (22-26 April) en route to the Canal Zone. Arriving 6 May at Balboa, and having crossed the isthmus, she departed from Cristóbal on 9 May, bound for Hampton Roads, via Guantanamo Bay (12 May). She arrived at NOB Norfolk, on 16 May, and two days later, docked for overhaul at the Norfolk Navy Yard. Having completed her refit, she cleared the lower Chesapeake on 19 August, and steamed south to Guantanamo Bay, where she arrived on 23 August. Departing that same day, she continued on to Cristóbal (26 August), before clearing Balboa (27 August), and reaching San Diego on 8 September. Two days later, she was underway again for San Pedro (11-13 September), en route to San Francisco, where she stood in to the bay on 15 September. She went to sea again on 27 September. Steaming for points west, she visited Honolulu (4-6 October), Guam (18-20 October), Manila (25-27 October), and arriving at Hong Kong on 29 October. She remained there for two days, then departed for Woosung (3 November), Chinwangtao (5-7 November), and Shanghai (11-19 November), before departing for a return to the U.S. After stops at Manila (23-26 November), Guam (1-2 December), Honolulu (13-15 December), she reached San Francisco on 21 December, and entered Mare Island, the next day. She remained there through the end of the year, then shifted back to San Francisco at the completion of her yard work.

Chaumont stood out of San Francisco on 9 January 1939, bound for a return to the east coast. After intermediate stops at San Pedro (11-13 January) and San Diego (14-17 January), she arrived at Balboa on 27 January. After crossing to the Atlantic shore of the isthmus, the transport cleared Cristóbal, on 30 January, and steamed to Guantanamo Bay (2 February), on her way to NOB Norfolk, where she arrived on 6 February. Having loaded stores and supplies and embarked marines, she cleared NOB Norfolk on 23 February and steamed to Culebra, for the conduct of an amphibious training exercise as part of Fleet Landing Exercise No. 5 commanded by Brig. Gen. Richard P. Williams, USMC, and Fleet Problem XX. The transport remained in the waters around Culebra from 28 February to 3 March. After a brief return to Guantanamo Bay on 5 March, she steamed for the Canal Zone. Arriving at Cristóbal on 8 March, she cleared Balboa on 11 March, en route to San Francisco. After visits at San Diego (21-23 March) and San Pedro (24-25 March), she moored at San Francisco on 27 March. Aside from a time at Mare Island (28-31 March), she remained at San Francisco until 11 April, when she steamed out of the Golden Gate on a westerly course. She arrived at Honolulu (18-20 April), before proceeding to Guam (2-3 May) and Manila (8-11 May), before arriving at Shanghai on the 15th. Departing that same day, she cruised up the Chinese coasts to make visits to Chinwangtao (18-19 May) and Tsingtao (21-22 May), then returned to Shanghai on 23 May.


“Man of War Row” in the Whangpoo River, Shanghai, probably photographed in late May or early June 1939. Chaumont is moored in the most distant row, ahead of the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni and astern of the French light cruiser Lamotte-Picquet. The merchantman moored in the nearer offshore row include the British Shantung (left) and the Italian Enderia (center). The British merchantman Yingchow is moored in the distance, beyond Chaumont’s bow. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 81988)
Caption: “Man of War Row” in the Whangpoo River, Shanghai, probably photographed in late May or early June 1939. Chaumont is moored in the most distant row, ahead of the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni and astern of the French light cruiser Lamotte-Picquet. The merchantman moored in the nearer offshore row include the British Shantung (left) and the Italian Enderia (center). The British merchantman Yingchow is moored in the distance, beyond Chaumont’s bow. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 81988)

Chaumont remained until 2 June 1939, when she got underway for Hong Kong (5-6 June), before continuing on to Manila (8-10 June), Guam (15-16 June), and Honolulu (27-29 June), before reaching San Francisco on 6 July. After a fortnight in San Francisco Bay, the transport was again underway, bound for Asia. Transiting via Honolulu (27-29 July), Guam (10-11 August), and Manila (16-18 August), she raised Shanghai on 22 August. Departing that same day, she visited Chinwangtao (25-26 August and 27-30 August), Taku Bar (26-27 August and 30 August), Chefoo (1 September), Tsingtao (2 September), then returning to Shanghai, on 4 September. Remaining until 12 September, she shifted to Hong Kong (15-16 September), before steaming to Manila (18-20 September), en route to the U.S., via Guam (25-26 September) and Honolulu (7-9 October), reaching San Francisco, on 14 October. She remained in the San Francisco area, until 30 October, when she departed and steamed down the California coast to San Pedro (1-2 November) and San Diego (3-6 November), en route to the Canal Zone, arriving at Balboa, on 16 November. Four days later, she cleared Cristóbal, and steamed to Guantanamo (23-24 November), from whence, she progressed to NOB Norfolk, reaching on 28 November. The ship remained there in port well into 1940.

Finally, getting underway again on 3 April 1940, Chaumont steamed to Charleston, S.C., en route to Guantanamo Bay (8-9 April) and the Canal Zone (12-15). She continued on to San Diego (24 April) before heading to Pearl Harbor (7-14 May). Steaming back to California, the transport arrived at San Pedro (22 May-5 June), before continuing on to San Francisco (6-21 June). From there she returned to Hawaii, raising Honolulu, on 28 June. Three days later, on 1 July, she got underway again for China. Transiting via Guam (13-15 July) and Manila (20-22 July), she arrived at Shanghai on 27 July. The next day, she was again underway, cruising Chinese waters bound for Chinwangtao (31 July), Chefoo (1 August), and Tsingtao (5 August), before returning to Shanghai (7-8 August). Departing for a return to the U.S., she first stopped at Hong Kong (11 August), then continued on to Manila (13-14 August), Guam (19 August), Honolulu (28-29 August), before raising San Francisco on 5 September. Without entering the yard at Mare Island, Chaumont departed San Francisco on 16 September, and steamed to Honolulu (22-23 September), before returning via San Pedro (29-30 September), on 1 October. She remained at San Francisco, until 12 October, when she went to sea to return to China. En route she touched at Honolulu (18 19 October), Midway (25 October), Guam (31 October), and Manila (5-6 November), before raising Chinwangtao on 12 November. That same day, she departed for Shanghai. Arriving on 14 November, she remained until the 19th, when she got underway and steamed to Hong Kong (21-23 November). Continuing her homeward-bound transit, she called at Manila (25-27 November), Guam (1-2 December), Wake (6 December), and Honolulu (11-12 December), before reaching San Francisco, on 18 December. She would remain in port in the bay through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Chaumont got underway for the first time in 1941, on 10 January. Steaming to San Pedro (11-13 January) and San Diego (13-15 January), she then set a course westward for a return to Asia amidst ever-heightening tensions with the Japanese over their continuing aggression with the Chinese. On her westward transit, she first stopped at Honolulu (21-23 January), then made intermediate stops at Wake Island (30 January) -- where she dropped off contractors assigned to the ongoing construction projects there and rendezvoused with the light cruiser Concord (CL-10); Guam (5-6 February), and Manila (10-11 February), before standing in to Chinwangtao (16-19 February). She then proceeded to Shanghai (19-20 February) and Hong Kong (22-24 February), before initiating her return to the U.S. via Manila (26 February-10 March) -- where she took on board a cargo of Philippine gold bullion and was convoyed homeward by Trenton (CL-11); Guam (14-15 March), Wake (19 March), and Honolulu (24-25 March), before arriving back at San Francisco, on 31 March. Just over two weeks later, on 15 April, she got underway for a return to the east coast. She made the transit via San Pedro (16-17 April), San Diego (17-19 April), the Canal Zone (28 April-1 May), Guantanamo Bay (3 May), and back into NOB Norfolk, on 7 May. She remained in port there until 5 June, when she got underway for the Caribbean, via the British Crown Colony of Bermuda (7-9 June). Steaming southward, she visited St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (12 June); San Juan (12 June); Guantanamo Bay (16-18 June); Kingston, Jamaica (19 June); and Colón (21-23 June), before returning to Guantanamo Bay (25 June), en route to a return to Norfolk on 29 June. Entering the Norfolk Navy Yard, Chaumont docked and underwent much needed overhaul into the fall.


Chaumont at the Norfolk Navy Yard, 4 October 1941. Texas (BB-35) is in the background to the right with Dickerson (DD-157) and another flush-decker. The British aircraft carrier in the foreground is HMS Illustrious, under repair under Aid Short of War. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph 19-N-25845, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Chaumont at the Norfolk Navy Yard, 4 October 1941. Texas (BB-35) is in the background to the right with Dickerson (DD-157) and another flush-decker. The British aircraft carrier in the foreground is HMS Illustrious, under repair under Aid Short of War. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph 19-N-25845, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

With her yard work completed, Chaumont cleared Norfolk and made her way back to the west coast via the Panama Canal. On 29 November 1941, the transport departed Pearl Harbor, carrying sailors, civilian workmen, and cargo for Manila. After the wide-ranging Japanese attacks across the Pacific and Far East on 7 December 1941 [8 December west of the Date Line], she was diverted to Suva, Fiji, then to Brisbane and Darwin, Australia, where she landed her passengers and discharged her cargo on 5 January 1942. Chaumont returned to Brisbane at the end of the month, then sailed to Sydney, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand, and Balboa, before returning to San Francisco on 29 March 1942. She made two voyages from the west coast to Pearl Harbor carrying men to aid in the buildup of that base, which became the nerve center for the U.S. forces fighting the Pacific War, then was assigned to runs between Seattle, Wash., and Alaskan bases, bringing men and supplies to the forces resisting the Japanese on the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska.

Decommissioned on 28 August 1943 for conversion to a hospital ship, Chaumont was renamed Samaritan on 2 September and reclassified as AH-10. Despite having been renamed and redesignated, however, she was recommissioned as simply AP-00 on 1 March 1944, Cmdr. Charles W. Scribner, USNR, in command.


AP-00, 6 March 1944, following her conversion but prior to her being painted in the colors that would clearly identify her as a hospital ship. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-64450, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: AP-00, 6 March 1944, following her conversion but prior to her being painted in the colors that would clearly identify her as a hospital ship. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-64450, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

AP-00 carried out pre-acceptance trials in Puget Sound (6-7 March 1944), then ran her official trials with representatives of the Pacific Coast section of the Board of Inspection and Survey (Capt. Willis W. Bradley, senior officer). She then sailed as part of Task Unit (TU) 14.5.7 on 18 March, mooring alongside Pier 56, San Francisco, on the 21st. The next day, a representative of the Fleet Operational Training Command reported on board and inspected the ship.

On 25 March 1944, AP-00 cleared San Francisco for Oahu as a unit of Convoy 2376, in company with the U.S. Registry War Shipping Administration (WSA) troopships President Tyler and Cape Meares, screened by the high speed minesweeper Howard (DMS-7) [ocean escort commander] and the minesweepers Caravan (AM-157) and   (AM-322). One before the start of morning watch on 30 March, destroyers Norman Scott (DD-690) and Patterson (DD-392) made rendezvous with the convoy, Norman Scott assuming the duty of ocean escort, with Howard and Spear released to proceed “on duty assigned.” AP-00 reached Honolulu on 1 April.

AP-00 returned to the U.S. with 242 patients embarked, clearing Hawaiian waters on 4 April 1944. Following her arrival and the disembarkation of the 242 patients, she underwent voyage repairs (11-21 April). She then embarked women and children (415 souls in all) to transport to Hawaii. Underway on 23 April, AP-00 moored alongside Pier 11, Honolulu, on 30 April, and debarked her passengers. Embarking 499 U.S.-bound patients on 4 May, she got underway at 1503 that day and sailed for San Francisco. Escorted by Revenge (AM-110), AP-00 moored at Pier 56 at 1109 on 11 May and debarked patients.

The next day, AP-00 embarked 442 passengers, then sailed for Hawaiian waters in company with the escort vessel Hilbert (DE-794). Mooring at Pier 18, Honolulu, at 0859 on 20 May 1944, the ship disembarked the people brought from the West Coast soon thereafter. That same day [20 May 1944], AP-00 formally reported to Commander, Service Force, Pacific Fleet, formally assuming the name Samaritan (AH-10). On 21 May, Samaritan steamed to Pearl Harbor, mooring to Buoy X-18, where she remained until the last day of May, when she shifted to the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard to begin an availability.

Following that period of repairs at Pearl (1-8 June 1944), Samaritan got underway for the Marshall Islands on the 9th. She dropped anchor in the lagoon at Kwajalein at 2020 on 17 June, and remained there until the morning of the 19th, when she sailed for Eniwetok shortly before the beginning of the forenoon watch (0755). She reached her destination on 20 June, anchoring at 1234.

Underway for the Marianas on 21 June 1944 in accordance with orders from Commander Task Force (CTF) 57, Samaritan dropped anchor off Saipan on the afternoon of the 24th, where she spent the five hours following her arrival embarking 704 patients. Between 1245 and 1745, the hospital ship took on board 130 stretcher cases and 574 ambulatory patients. Eight minutes into the first watch that day [2008], Samaritan sailed to return to the Marshalls.

Dropping anchor in Kwajalein lagoon on 29 June 1944, Samaritan debarked ambulatory patients between 1800 and 1925 that day, and the stretcher cases the following morning between 0819 and 1100. She then got underway for Eniwetok at 0645 on 1 July, and reached her destination at 1130 the following morning.

Samaritan sailed for the Marianas a half hour into the second dog watch [1830] on Independence Day [4 July 1944], and dropped anchor off Saipan on 8 July, beginning the embarkation the wounded almost immediately and continuing through the night and into the next morning, completing the process shortly before mid-day on the 9th, receiving 254 stretcher cases and 260 ambulatory patients. Underway later that same day [9 July], in compliance with CTF 51 orders, Samaritan set course for the Marshalls, but received orders from CTF 57 that changed the ship’s destination to Nouméa, New Caledonia, instead of Kwajalein.

Altering course, Samaritan reached Nouméa at 1438 on 21 July 1944, completing the process three minutes into the second dog watch [1803]. Commander South Pacific Force (ComSoPacFor) having ordered the ship to proceed to the Marshalls, the hospital ship got underway for Eniwetok at 1530 on the 22nd. The following day, however [23 July], CTF 57 diverted the vessel to Saipan, where she dropped anchor at 1100, an hour before the end of the forenoon watch, on 1 August. After serving as a receiving hospital there (2-13 August), Samaritan got underway for Guam on the afternoon of 14 August with 298 patients embarked, standing in and anchoring in Agana Harbor the next morning (0943), where she soon began embarking patients. Ultimately, she got underway for Kwajalein at 1806, six minutes into the second dog watch, on 18 August, with a patient census of 272.

After CTF 57 changed her destination to the Russell Islands one day into her passage [19 August 1944], ComSoPacFor altered it to the Solomons on the 20th. Arriving off Guadalcanal on 26 August, the ship moored to the Santa Cruz Dock at 1418 and debarked the 272 patients brought from Guam in a few minutes shy of two hours. She got underway for the Admiralty Islands late the next morning [27 August]. Standing in to Seeadler Harbor, Manus, on 1 September, she remained anchored there for almost a fortnight [1-13 September] before being ordered by Commander TG 30.9 to get underway. She sailed at 1502, “destination unknown” a little over three hours into the afternoon watch.

Steaming “on duty assigned” (15-16 September 1944), Samaritan received dispatch orders from CTF 32 on the 17th to proceed to the Palau group. She hove-to off Peleliu on 18 September, and at 1558 completed the embarkation of 607 patients, then got underway upon the conclusion of that process at 1616, setting course for the Russell Islands.


Stretcher bearers bring a wounded man up Samaritan’s accommodation ladder off Peleliu, 18 September 1944. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-48345, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Stretcher bearers bring a wounded man up Samaritan’s accommodation ladder off Peleliu, 18 September 1944. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-48345, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

While en route to her destination, however, Samaritan grounded during the mid watch on 24 September 1944, when she fouled the submerged Tauu Reef at 0325. The mishap resulted in the crumpling of her “stem and forefoot up to the 16 foot water line,” and rupturing the forward peak tank, cofferdam A-501-A and fuel tanks A-901-F and A-902-F. Clearing reef a little over a half hour later, at 0400, Samaritan fixed her position by celestial sights at daylight (0538), then crept ahead, resuming the voyage at reduced speed.  About half-way into the mid watch on 25 September, the escort vessel Osmus (DE-701) reached the scene, a company of attendants that would eventually include Whitehurst (DE-643), the oceangoing tug Yuma (AT-94), the Dutch-registry WSA troopship Poelau Laut, and three U.S. motor torpedo boats. Ultimately, the damaged hospital ship reached Renard Sound, Russell Islands, at 1849 on 27 September, a little over three-quarters of an hour into the second dog watch, and debarked ambulatory patients in a little under two hours. Debarking the stretcher cases at 0801 on the 28th, shortly after repairs to the crumpled bow began, Samaritan completed temporary repairs an hour before the end of the first watch (2300).

Underway on 29 September 1944, Samaritan set course for the New Hebrides, accompanied by Yuma, and reached her destination on the morning of 1 October, dropping anchor in Pallikulo Bay, Espiritu Santo [Vanuatu], at 0702. Underway a little over three hours later, the hospital ship lay resting on keel blocks in a little shy of three hours’ time in the advanced base sectional dry dock ABSD-1, and remained there until undocked at 1500 on 13 October. Underway early the next morning (0603) for Segond Channel, Samaritan fueled from the station tanker Celtic (IX-137), upon completion of which, at 1506, she sailed for Ulithi, in the Western Carolines, dropping anchor in the lagoon on the morning of 22 October, becoming the base hospital for Commander Service Squadron (ComServRon) 10, a role she would fulfill into February 1945.


Samaritan anchored at Ulithi, 30 October 1944. Painted white, with red crosses and green bands on her hull, she also carries her full designation: U.S. NAVY HOSPITAL SHIP U.S.S. SAMARITAN in black, painted on both sides of her bow and stern. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-288176, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Title: Samaritan anchored at Ulithi, 30 October 1944. Painted white, with red crosses and green bands on her hull, she also carries her full designation: U.S. NAVY HOSPITAL SHIP U.S.S. SAMARITAN in black, painted on both sides of her bow and stern. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-288176, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Ordered by ComServRon 10 to proceed to Iwo Jima “to evacuate casualties from the Marine Force landing on that Island,” Samaritan got underway at 0700 on 17 February 1945, taking departure from Ulithi from the seaward end of the Mugai Channel, “and set course in accordance with routing instructions.” Friendly planes, some of which challenged the ship by signal light, evidently showed that “the majority of aviators do not realize that a hospital ship does not hold the code for a challenge or a reply.”

Coming to within sight of Iwo Jima at 0805, Samaritan reported for duty to CTF 51 on 20 February 1945 (D+1 Day) at the midpoint of the forenoon watch (1000), then hove-to in the transport area 3.5 miles from the beach one hour later (1100). “A moderate sea running,” wrote the ship’s war diarist, “made taking patients from small craft exceedingly slow and difficult.” Ordered to retire to seaward by CTF 51 at 1800, to return at 0800 the following morning, Samaritan headed out to sea having embarked 251 patients.

Returning the next morning as ordered, Samaritan immediately embarking patients at 0800 on 21 February 1945, her war diarist observing: “The sea is still a little too rough to expedite embarking stretcher cases.” Less than an hour into the process of receiving the wounded, at 0855 a 5-inch shell “hit on the port side of the engine room fiddly hatch” but failed to explode. The ship reported the incident to CTF 51, after which a bomb disposal officer came on board from the battleship Tennessee (BB-43) “and removed the projectile…a 5 [-inch] A.P. [armor-piercing] of the type used by the U.S. Navy.” Given the high angle from which the projectile fell, investigators believed “that the shell was fired from one of our ships on the far side of the Island.” Later that morning (1100), Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal came on board. As the ship’s chronicler reported, “[Forrestal] stayed about an hour, evidently to see how things were going.” Underway at 1828 the same day, Samaritan sailed for Saipan having received 606 patients in the two days she lay off the bitterly contested island. One day into the passage toward the Marianas, the ship hove-to at 1600 and buried eight men at sea.

Samaritan sighted Saipan at 0533 on 24 February 1945, took a pilot on board and entered Tanapag Harbor. As the hospital ship stood down the channel, however, the pilot “ordered a left rudder and the wheelsman gave a right rudder,” a mix-up that resulted in the vessel grounding “just out of the right side of the channel.” Several tugs and small craft towed the ship “off the high spot” and moored her alongside Pier 2-A, Tanapag Harbor, the ship having suffered no damage in the mishap. That afternoon, Samaritan began transferring the 598 remaining wounded men brought from Iwo Jima ashore, a process completed early that evening.

Ordered by the Port Director, Saipan Island, to return to Iwo Jima, Samaritan stood out of Tanapag Harbor at 1500 on 25 February 1945. She arrived in the transport area at 0800 on the 28th, and dropped anchor in Berth 22 as instructed by CTF 51. After embarking 553 patients between 1100 and 1800, she retired seaward for the night, and returned during daylight to embark a further 57 casualties from the beach the following morning [1 March]. Reporting herself ready to depart from the area to CTF 51, Samaritan, relieved by Solace (AH-5), cleared Iwo Jima for the Marianas. Sadly, eight of the wounded men died, and, as had happened previously, the ship hove-to at 1600 on 2 March and committed the remains of the eight to the deep.

Sighting lights on Guam a half an hour into the morning watch (0430) on 4 March 1945, Samaritan disembarked the wounded brought from Iwo to the Naval Hospital Activity, then “having fueled ship and received orders,” again set out for Iwo.  Sighting the island at around 0730 on 7 March, she dropped anchor in her assigned berth a little over two hours later, then began embarking casualties at 1100. As in her two previous operational periods, the ship proceeded to sea as ordered by CTF 53 during darkness. Ready to bring casualties on board at 0845 the next morning [8 March], she ultimately cleared Iwo Jima with 606 wounded later that day, as ordered by CTF 51.

Returing to Guam on 11 March 1945, Samaritan moored at Pier No. 2, Apra Harbor, shortly after 0900 and began transferring patients ashore. Completing that process by mid-afternoon that same day, the ship sailed for Iwo Jima once more, on that occasion under orders from Commander Forward Areas. During the mid watch on 13 March, however, the ship received dispatch orders from CTG 51.21 “to proceed to Saipan and await further instructions.” Consequently, Samaritan “reversed course and reduced speed” to enable her to arrive at her destination at daylight. She sighted Saipan at 0500 on the 14th, and dropped anchor in her assigned berth at 0822, where she remained until ultimately sailing for Ulithi at 1600 on the last day of the month “in obedience to [the] orders of [the] Port Director,” NOB Saipan.

Steaming independently “under full hospital ship procedure,” Samaritan reached Ulithi, on 2 April 1945, standing in to the lagoon and anchoring to await further orders of Commander Forward Areas. ComServRon 10, on 9 April, ordered Samaritan to proceed to the Ryukyus in company with Hope (AH-7), with the latter as officer in tactical command (OTC).

On 13 April 1945, Samaritan sighted starshells 50 miles distant, 20 minutes after the end of the mid watch (0420), and Hope, as OTC, assumed the pyrotechnics to be over Okinawa, so accordingly assumed guide and set course “to comply with routing instructions.” Eventually Kerama Retto came into view 15 miles away at 0710, after which the ships proceeded to Hagushi, reporting for duty to CTF 51 and being assigned a berth in the transport area. They soon began to receive casualties from the beachhead. As she had done off Iwo Jima, Samaritan retired seaward for the night and returned to an assigned berth off the beach the next morning. She followed that routine for the period 14-17 April, ultimately weighing anchor during the first dog watch on the 17th to proceed independently to Guam as ordered by CTF 51, having a patient census of 578.

Ordered on 19 April 1945 to proceed directly to Saipan, Samaritan changed course to comply with the new instructions, and she proceeded first to the anchorage and then moored at Pier A-6, Tanapag Harbor, to commence debarking wounded at 1851 on 22 April. Commander Forward Area ordered the hospital ship to return to the Ryukyus, so Samaritan sailed for Okinawa at 1500, an hour before the end of the afternoon watch, on 23 April. Five days later, the ship sighted flares over Okinawa a little over a quarter of an hour into the mid watch (0018) on 28 April. Later that same morning, Samaritan reported to CTF 51 in the amphibious force flagship Teton (AGC-14), and anchored off Hagushi (0820), where she soon began receiving patients “from the beach and various ships present for treatment and evacuation.”

Underway at 1030 on 1 May 1945, Samaritan steamed to Kerama Retto in accordance with orders from CTF 51, reaching her destination at 1416. She then received patients there until ordered to clear Kerama Retto and set course for Guam. Underway at the end of the morning watch (0800) on 4 May with a patient census of 409, Samaritan received orders from Commander Forward Areas while en route to Guam, changing her destination to Saipan. Entering Tanapag Harbor on the morning of 8 May, she moored to Pier A-8 at noon and began debarking patients to the U.S. Army Hospital Unit ashore.

Underway from Pier A-8 two hours into the morning watch (0600) the next day (9 May 1945), Samaritan fueled from Flambeau (IX-192), then moved to an anchorage in Tanapag Harbor in accordance with orders from the Port Director, NOB Saipan. She cleared Saipan and set course for Okinawa during the early afternoon of 12 May, steaming independently. She encountered a cyclonic storm on the 14th, experiencing heavy winds and seas, as the ship’s war diarist noted, “to the extent of losing four (4) hours[s] time in set and drift.”

Samaritan anchored off Hagushi at 1600 on 16 May 1945, “ready to receive patients.” She remained there until 0800 on the 20th, when the ship sailed for Guam pursuant to CTF 51 orders, but as in the previous voyage, Commander Forward Areas [21 May] redirected her to Saipan, and she ultimately returned to Tanapag Harbor, anchoring at 1500 on 24 May. She shifted to a pier to disembark the casualties brought from Okinawa the following day [25 May], transferring them to the U.S. Army Hospital Unit ashore as in the previous trip.

The hospital ship cleared Saipan on 26 May 1945, Samaritan anchored off Hagushi and reported herself “ready to embark patients” late in the afternoon watch on the 30th. She embarked patients “from various commands for treatment and evacuation” as before (2-7 June), then, in accordance with orders from CTF 31, cleared Okinawa for Guam, arriving at her destination on 12 June and mooring at Pier No. 7, debarking patients to the U.S. Navy Hospital ashore commencing at 1910.

The next morning, the ship departed Pier No. 7 for an anchorage in Guam’s harbor, then sailed for Okinawa under orders from Commander, Marianas, about one hour into the afternoon watch (1250).

Samaritan arrived off Okinawa on 17 June 1945 and dropped anchor off Hagushi Beach “ready to embark patients.” On this deployment, the hospital ship remained in those waters for nearly a week, shifting berths once (18 June). CTF 31 ordered her to proceed to Guam, and she cleared Okinawa at 0800 on 24 June. Re-routed during the passage to the Marianas, Samaritan stood in to Tanapag Harbor on the afternoon of the 28th and moored at Pier A-1 at 1822, debarking 412 patients to the care of the U.S. Army Hospital Unit.  She retained 171 on board for further transportation. On the afternoon of 30 June, Samaritan set sail for Pearl Harbor.

Crossing the International Date Line on 7 July 1945 (retaining the date during the west-to-east crossing), Samaritan sighted Koko Head, Oahu, at 0520 on 12 July, 12.5 miles distant. She stood in to Honolulu Harbor at 0840 and moored, starboard side-to, to Pier No.10. The following morning, she embarked patients from the 218th, 219th, 147th and 318th General Hospitals “for transportation and further disposition upon arrival in a West Coast Port, United States.” By noon, she had completed the embarkation of 203 patients from those four medical units. Underway at 0700 the next morning [14 July], Samaritan sailed for home.

As Samaritan neared the Golden Gate on 21 July 1945, she began sounding fog signals at 0640 when she encountered dense fog that limited visibility to one mile. Ultimately, she passed under the span of the Golden Gate Bridge at 1435, then, a little less than two hours later (1532), moored starboard side-to, Pier 15, San Francisco. She then disembarked patients (1555-1801) to various hospitals in the San Francisco area.  She shifted berths the next morning, standing out into San Francisco Bay, eventually dropping anchor in the northwest corner of anchorage no.12 shortly after noon.

Samaritan took departure for Portland, Ore., on the morning of 23 July 1945, and eventually sighted the Columbia River light ship late in the mid watch on the 25th. Conforming to the Columbia River buoyed channel, she entered the Willamette River at 1444 and a little less than two hours later moored to Terminal One, Pier “B,” Kaiser Repair Division, Portland. After a drydocking at that facility (27 July-8 August), Samaritan was towed from the dock by tugs James W. and Portland, and was moored port side-to Municipal Terminal No.1, Pier “C,” Kaiser Repair Division. She shifted to Pier “A” on 11 August, and lay moored there when the war against Japan ended on 15 August (V-J Day), with the articles of surrender being signed on 2 September in Tokyo Bay.

Samaritan ran her post-repair trials on 4 September 1945, then was depermed the following morning at Swan Island, after which she moored to the McCormack Pier. She remained there until the morning of 10 September, when she got underway under Commander Western Sea Frontier orders. Standing down the Columbia River, Samaritan put to sea and took departure from the West Coast.  

The hospital ship stood in to Pearl Harbor on the morning of 18 September 1945, pausing there for three days, moored to Berth C-3 (18-21 September), after which she sailed for Japan, taking departure from Hawaiian waters at 0837. She crossed the 180th Meridian at 0937 on the 25th, advancing the date to the 26th. On 2 October, she encountered a “floating horned mine” at 0943 at 34°53"N, 144°09"E, then, less than an hour later, experienced a brief failure of electrical power, compelling her to heave-to until she could get underway three minutes later.

Samaritan stood in to Tokyo Bay on 3 October 1945 and anchored in Berth E-12. She spent over a week in those waters (3-12 October) until she sailed for Sasebo on 12 October, in company with McClelland (DE-750), arriving there on the 15th. She lay “moored as before” into November, underway only to fuel from Mattaponi (AO-41) and receive fresh water from Tamalpais (AO-96) on the 26th.  Stationed at Sasebo into the New Year, she provided afloat hospital facilities to U.S. occupation forces until 15 March 1946, when she sailed for Shanghai.


Samaritan at Shanghai, a place she had often visited as Chaumont, alongside the newer hospital ship Repose (AH-16), 25 March 1946.  This would be the converted hospital ship’s last port call at that fabled city. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-365987, PhoM2c M. Cvitanovich, Seventh Fleet, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Samaritan at Shanghai, a place she had often visited as Chaumont, alongside the newer hospital ship Repose (AH-16), 25 March 1946. This would be the converted hospital ship’s last port call at that fabled city. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-365987, PhoM2c M. Cvitanovich, Seventh Fleet, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Samaritan provided medical care afloat at Shanghai for over a week (19-27 March 1946), before setting course to return to the U.S., pausing briefly at Okinawa (30 March) and Pearl Harbor (15-16 April) en route. She returned to San Francisco on 23 April, and was decommissioned there on 25 June 1946.

Stricken from the Navy Register on 31 July 1946, ex-Samaritan was transferred at noon on 29 August 1946 to the Maritime Commission for disposal, and entered the Reserve Fleet berthing area at Suisun Bay. Acquired for scrapping by the Kaiser Co., Inc., on 31 December 1947 for $58,300, the ship was delivered to her purchaser at 0900 on 19 January 1948, to be broken up.

Samaritan received four battle stars for her World War II service in the following operations: Marianas, Saipan (24 June-14 August 1944) and Guam (15-18 August 1944); Western Carolines, (6 September-14 October 1944); Iwo Jima (20 February-7 March 1945); and Okinawa Gunto (13 April-25 June 1945).

Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Lt. Cmdr. George H. Emmerson 22 November 1921 – 1 December 1921
Cmdr. Clarence L. Arnold 1 December 1921 – 16 May 1922
Cmdr. John M. Enochs 16 May 1922 – 3 July 1924
Capt. Frederick L. Oliver 3 July 1924 – 21 November 1925
Cmdr. John H. Blackthorn 21 November 1925 – 1 September 1927
Capt. Daniel T. Ghent 1 September 1927 – 16 August 1928
Capt. William D. Puleston 16 August 1928 – 1 June 1929
Capt. Samuel C. Loomis 1 June 1929 – 9 May 1931
Capt. Ferdinand L. Reichmuth 9 May 1931 – 19 April 1933
Capt. Walter F. Jacobs 19 April 1933 – 12 September 1934
Capt. John W. Lewis 12 September 1934 – 11 June 1935
Capt. Louis F. Thibault 11 June 1935 – 31 August 1936
Lt. Cmdr. Albert E. Freed 31 August 1936 – 23 September 1936
Capt. Robert A. White 23 September 1936 – 27 March 1937
Lt. Cmdr. Albert E. Freed 27 March 1937 – 1 April 1937
Cmdr. Lemuel E. Lindsay 1 April 1937 – 6 June 1938
Capt. William D. Chandler, Jr. 6 June 1938 – 26 January 1940
Cmdr. Oliver O. Kessing 26 January 1940 – 7 November 1941
Cmdr. Davenport Browne 7 November 1941 – 28 August 1943
   
Cmdr. Charles W. Scribner, USNR 1 March 1944 – 23 December 1944
Cmdr. William A. McCreery, USNR 23 December 1944 – 10 December 1945
Lt. Arthur J. Myers, USNR 10 December 1945 – 25 December 1945
Capt. Eliot Olsen 25 December 1945 – 25 June 1946

 

Christopher B. Havern Sr. (Chaumont), Robert J. Cressman (Samaritan)
Memorial Day, 28 May 2018

Published: Thu May 31 14:24:58 EDT 2018