(AP-110: dp. 11,450 (lt.) ; l. 622'7" ; b. 75'6" ; dr. 25'6" ; s. 21 k.; cpl. 466; trp. 5,289; a. 4 5", 16 1.1", 16 20mm.; cl. General John Pope; T. P2-S2-R2)
John Pope, born 18 March 1822 at Louisville, Ky., graduated from the Military Academy in 1842 and joined the Topographical Engineers. After serving in Florida and helping survey the northeastern (boundary line between the United States and Canada, he fought gallantly at Monterey and Buena Vista during the war with Mexico. At the beginning of the Civil War he served as mustering officer at Chicago but was soon appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers. In May 1861 General Pope assumed command of the District of North and Central Missouri and forced the Confederates to retreat southward. He cooperated with Flag Officer Foot in taking New Madris and Island No. 10. Subsequently he commanded the Army of the Mississippi during the siege of Corinth, winning a promotion to Major General. He headed the newly formed Army of Virginia after the collapse of the Peninsular Campaign. He was relieved after the Second Battle of Bull Eun. Following the Civil War, he served with distinction in the Indian wars. General Pope retired in 1886 and died 23 September 1892 at the Ohio Soldiers' Home near Sandusky, Ohio.
General John Pope (AP-110) was launched under a Maritime Commission contract 21 March 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N. J.; sponsored by Mrs. Charles P. Gross; acquired by the Navy 2 July 1943; placed in ferry commission the same day for transfer to Baltimore for conversion to a transport by Maryland Dry dock Co., and commissioned in full 5 August 1943, Captain George D. Lyon in command.
After shakedown General John Pope sailed for Newport News 5 September 1943 with over 6,000 troops and civilians bound for Greenock, Scotland; and, after disembarking her passengers there, returned to Norfolk 25 September. From 6 October to 19 November she made a troop-carrying voyage to Brisbane, Australia ; and, after touching Townsvine and Milne Bay, put in at San Francisco on the latter date. Underway again 10 December with over 5,000 troops for the Pacific fighting, General John Pope debarked them at Noumea 23 December and returned via Pago Pago to San Francisco 10 January 1944 with 2,500 veterans.
In the months that followed, General John Pope sailed in support of the giant amphibious offensive on New Guinea's northern coast, spearheaded by Rear Admiral Barbey's famed VII Amphibious Force. On a 3-month round trip voyage out of San Francisco, beginning 23 January, she took troops to Guadalcanal, Auckland, and Noumea, and brought 1,300 men back to San Francisco 9 March. General John Pope then embarked another full complement of troops, including the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, and sailed 6 April for Noumea and Oro Bay, New Guinea. Returning via Noumea to embark casualties, the ship reached San Francisco 18 May 1944. During the summer of 1944,the far-ranging transport made two round-trip voyages from San Francisco: on the first she got underway 27 May for New Guinean ports, Guadalcanal, and the Russell Islands, debarking 3,800 men of the famous 1st Marine Division at San Diego before returning to San Francisco; and on the second she departed 26 July for Honolulu and returned 8 August.
In the early fall, another voyage out of San Francisco 14 August brought General John Pope on a troop rotation run to New Guinean ports; and subsequently, after embarking 5,000 Army troops at San Pedro, Calif., she sailed via Melbourne for Bombay. Nearly 4,000 fighting men, mainly troops of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, were embarked and delivered safely to Melbourne and Wellington before the ship moored again at San Pedro 16 January 1945.
The spring of 1945 saw a round-trip troop-carrying voyage begin in San Francisco 26 March, which took her to Manila, Leyte, and Biak before returning 21 May. General John Pope next stood out from the Golden Gate once more 2 June 1945, this time bound for Marseilles, where 5,242 troops were embarked and taken to Manila. The transport returned to Seattle 17 August following this long voyage, but she was underway again 11 days later via Ulithi, Cebu, and Leyte for Yokohama, returning to San Francisco 8 October with over 5,000 veterans.
From 19 October 1945 to 7 May 1&46, four more "Magic Carpet" and troop-rotation voyages were made, two from San Francisco and two from Seattle, to the Philippines and Yokohama. Finally, missions accomplished, General John Pope departed San Francisco 15 May bound for New York, where she decommissioned 12 June 1946 and was returned to WSA.
Reinstated on the Navy List 20 July 1950, General John Pope was assigned to MSTS 1 August. During the Korean fighting she carried American troops to Japan and Korea to take part in the giant effort to hold back Communist aggression. Following the war, General John Pope continued to sail to Japanese and Korean ports on troop rotation duties, finally being placed in reduced operational status at Seattle 14 May 1955. The veteran transport was returned to the Maritime Administration and entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash., 5 September 1958.
General John Pope reactivated 17 August 1965 to serve again as a civilian-manned ship of MSTS, operating from San Francisco. She carries troops to bases in the Pacific and Far East, supporting the fight to stop Communist aggression in Vietnam. Mid-1967 found this veteran transport still performing this vital duty, and scheduled to continue to support the fight for freedom in southeast Asia.
General John Pope received six battle stars for Korean service.