Naval History and Heritage Command

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Garrard (APA-84)

1945- 

A county in Kentucky. 

(APA-84: displacement 4,247 (light); length 426'; beam 58'; draft 16'; speed 16.9 knots; complement 320; troops 849; armament 1 5-inch, 8 40 millimeter, 10 20 millimeter; class Gilliam; type S4-SE2-BD1)

Garrard (APA-84) was laid down on 28 October 1944 under a Martime Commission contract (M. C. Hull 1877) at Wilmington, Calif., by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd.; launched on 13 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Stephen Royce; acquired by the Navy on 2 March 1945; and commissioned at San Pedro, Calif., on 3 March 1945, Lt. Cmdr. Walter Barnett, Jr., in command.

After shakedown and amphibious training along the California Coast, Garrard embarked sailors and U.S. Army Aviation Engineers and cleared Seattle on 3 May for the western Pacific. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam, she arrived at Ulithi, in the Western Carolines, on 28 May. She sailed on 20 June for Okinawa and reached Hagushi Beach on the 24th. As her gunners helped repel Japanese air attacks, she landed men and cargo of the 854th Aviation Engineers before departing for Leyte, Philippine Islands, on 28 June.

Garrard embarked fleet replacements, loaded cargo and mail, and departed on 8 July 1945 as a logistics support ship to supply the Third Fleet off the Japanese coast. She rendezvoused with the fleet on 17 July , and, after completing transfer of men and cargo by highline,  sailed on 22 July for Eniwetok, reaching the Marshall Islands on the 26th. After serving as a receiving ship, she departed on 13 August to once more carry men and cargo to the Third Fleet.

Hostilities having ended during her voyage, with Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration on 10 August 1945, and the Japanese surrender on 15 August (V-J Day), Garrard''s duties became those of supporting an occupation, not an invasion. Rendezvousing with the fleet on 17 August, she embarked sailors and marines at sea for occupation duty in Japan, then set course for the former enemy homeland on 20 August with Task Force 31. Arriving Tokyo Bay on 27 August, she debarked her troops at Yokosuka on 30 August. Between 10 and 15 September she steamed to Sendai, Japan, and back to transport liberated prisoners of war (POW). After embarking 726 veterans, she departed Yokosuka on 13 October and sailed to the U.S., where she arrived Portland, Ore., on 25 October.

Assigned to Operation Magic Carpet, Garrard departed San Francisco for the Philippines on 19 November. Reaching Manila on 11 December, she embarked 905 homeward bound troops and sailed for San Francisco on 14 December. Arriving at 'Frisco on 3 January 1946, she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Calif., before proceeding on to Seattle on 6 February. After completing an inactivation overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., Garrard was decommissioned at Bellingham, Wash., 21 May.

Transferred by the Navy to the Maritime Commission on 29 June 1946 at Olympia, Wash., as surplus, Garrard entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash., as an asset of the War Department. She remained there, with the exception of a period of repairs carried out under a general agency agreement with the Olympic Steamship Co., Inc. (16 January - 27 March 1956), until sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc., Portland, Ore., on 17 May 1965, being withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet at Olympia on 3 June 1965, to be broken up for scrap.

Garrard received two battle stars for her World War II service.

Published: Fri Aug 12 22:38:45 EDT 2016