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Frederick Funston

(APA-89: dp. 7,000; l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 576; a. 1 5", 2 3"; cl. Frederick Funston)


Former name retained.

Frederick Funston (APA-89) was launched 27 September 1941 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Wash.; sponsored by Miss Barbara E. Funston; acquired from the Army 8 April 1943; and commissioned 24 April 1943, Commander J. E. Murphy in command. She was reclassified T-AP-178 on 28 April 1950.

Frederick Funston sailed from Norfolk 8 June 1943 for rehearsal landings on the coast of Algeria, and on 10 July arrived off the assault beaches of Sicily to land her men successfully through heavy surf. Three days later she sailed to train at Oran for the assault on Salerno, off which she lay from 8 to 10 September, landing soldiers. The transport returned to north Africa to load reinforcements whom she landed at Salerno on 22 and 23 September, then made three voyages from Oran to Naples carrying Army service troops, engineers, and rangers. On 30 November, she cleared Oran for Northern Ireland with paratroopers on board, and after disembarking them, sailed on to New York, arriving 31 December 1943.

After loading men of naval construction battalions at Davisville, R.I., Frederick Funston sailed for the Pacific, arriving at Honolulu 16 March 1944. Hereshe landed the "SeaBees" and embarked Marines for the invasion of Saipan, landing them in the initial assault 15 June. After a week off the beaches offloading cargo and taking casualties on board, she returned to Honolulu. Here the casualties were transferred to hospitals, and soldiers taken on board with whom she reinforced Guam on 24 July. During August, the transport joined in training operations in the Hawaiian Islands, then crossed to Manus, from which she sailed 14 October for the invasion of Leyte. She landed her troops and cargo on 21 October, the day after the initial assault, and the following day cleared for Aitape, New Guinea, to embark reinforcements. These were put ashore at Leyte 14 November.

Training off New Guinea and in Huon Gulf prepared Frederick Funston for the initial landings on Luzon of 9 January 1945. That night a watchful lookout spotted and shot a suicide swimmer only 50 yards from the ship. Completing her unloading the next day, Frederick Funston sailed by way of Leyte and Ulithi to Guam to embark Marines for the assault on Iwo Jima. With her troops held in reserve, she did not land them until 27 February, although she lay off the island throughout the assault. She returned to Guam with casualties 8 March, then replaced her landing craft at Guadalcanal and exercised at Noumea through April.

Returning to the west coast for overhaul in May 1945, Frederick Funston reached the Philippines 3 October for interisland transport duty until 8 December, when she returned to San Francisco. Another voyage was made to carry occupation troops to the Marianas and return veterans to the United States between 22 December and 7 February 1946. She was decommissioned and returned to the Army 4 April 1946. After serving with the Army Transportation Corps Fleet out of Seattle, Frederick Funston returned to naval custody when the Military Sea Transportation Service was formed in 1950, and was placed in noncommissioned status for operations with a Civil Service crew.

Frederick Funston received six battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Thu Jul 09 08:05:05 EDT 2015