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General J. H. McRae (AP-149)

(AP-149: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 24'; s. 16 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 3,343; a. 4 5", 8 1.1", 16 20mm.; cl. General G. O. Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

Major General James H. McRae, born 24 December 1863 at Lumber City, Ga., was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1886. He was awarded Silver Stars for gallantry in the Spanish-American War and in the Philippine Instruction; and received the Distinguished Service Medal as Commander of the 78th Division in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. Later service included command of the V Corps, the Philippine Department at Manila, the IX Corps and the II Corps. General McRae died 1 May 1940 at Berkeley, Calif.

General J. H. McRae (AP-149) was launched under Maritime Commission contract 26 April 1944 by the Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Doris May Stallingo of San Francisco; acquired by the Navy 19 June 1944; and commissioned 8 August 1944 at Richmond, Calif., Comdr. T. R. Cowie in command.

After shakedown out of San Francisco and Los Angeles, General J. H. McRae sailed from Seattle 20 September 1944 with more than 2,800 fighting men for Honolulu. She returned to San Francisco with veterans 7 October and made another voyage to Honolulu, returning to San Francisco on the 29th with 3,000 passengers, of whom 240 were Japanese prisoners of war.

General J. H. McRae departed San Francisco 19 November with fighting men bound for Finschhafen, New Guinea, arriving there 7 December and returning to San Pedro, Calif., the 31st with more Pacific veterans. General J. H. McRae departed Long Beach 11 January 1945 for India via Melbourne, Australia, and reached Calcutta 20 February. Departing Calcutta 1 March with more troops, she proceeded at full speed to Melbourne and Townsville, lifted a contingent of RAAF troops to Madang Harbor, New Guinea; thence sailed via the Admiralty and Caroline Islands to the Marianas, reaching Saipan 10 April 1945.

The busy transport returned to Townsville, Australia, for 3,100 Australian troops, landing a small contingent at Biak Island and the remainder at Morotai Island 1 May and returned to San Francisco 30 May. General J. H. McRae sailed 19 June 1945 and transited the Panama Canal for Le Havre, France, where she embarked more than 4,000 troops and returned with them to Newport News. She made one subsequent voyage to France, which ended at Hampton Roads 28 August 1945.

Standing out from Norfolk 1 September 1945, General J. H. McRae transited the Suez Canal for Karachi, India, where she embarked 3,000 troops and returned them to New York 15 October. Departing New York 26 October General J. H. McRae made subsequent voyages to Khorramshahr, Iran, and Karachi, India, the latter termininating at New York on Christmas Eve of 1945. She decommissioned at New York 27 February 1946 and was returned to WSA for peacetime operations as an Army transport.

General J. H. McRae was reacquired 1 March 1950 and assigned to MSTS. Manned by civilians, she operated between New York and the United Kingdom until February 1953, then shifted her base to San Francisco for runs to Japan. On 29 October 1954 General J. H. McRae was inactivated at San Diego and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was transferred to the Maritime Administration 30 June 1960 and entered the Rational Defense Reserve Fleet. At present she is berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif.

General J. H. McRae received four battle stars for Korean war service.

Published: Fri Jul 10 09:36:38 EDT 2015