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General S. D. Sturgis (AP-137)

(AP-137: 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-A2)

General S. D. Sturgis

Samuel Davis Sturgis, born 1 August 1861 at St. Louis, Mo., graduated from the Military Academy in 1884 and served in the Artillery. Following duty in San Francisco, New York, Missouri, Maryland, and Kansas, he served in the Philippines, Dakota Territory, and Cuba. He returned to the Philippines in 1901 and subsequently was on duty in Utah, Wyoming, Texas, and Hawaii. General Sturgis served with the AEF in France during World War I commanding in turn the 87th and 80th Divisions. He participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and in the occupation of the 1st Army Defensive Sector. After the war he served in Georgia, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, Panama, and Maryland before retiring 1 August 1925. General Sturgis died 6 March 1933 at Washington, D.C.

General S. D. Sturgis (AP-137) was launched under Maritime Commission contract 12 November 1943 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Rio Ivanhoe; acquired by the Navy 31 March 1944; placed in ferry commission 24 April 1944 for transfer to Portland, Oreg.; decommissioned 25 May 1944; converted to a transport by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash.; and placed in full commission at Portland, Oreg., 10 July 1944, Comdr. D. S. Baker in command.

After shakedown calls at San Francisco and Los Angeles, General S. D. Sturgis arrived Seattle 10 August 1944 to embark cargo, troops, and passengers before getting underway 8 days later. She debarked troops and supplies at Honolulu 24 August and returned to San Francisco 2 September with hospital patients. From 27 September to 6 November the ship made one round-trip voyage from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor and one from Seattle before returning to San Francisco. She sailed from that port 16 November with troops and supplies bound for the Southwest Pacific. Touching Eniwetok 4 December and arriving at Ulithi 5 days later, she assumed duty there as a station receiving ship. General S. D. Sturgis carried part of Admiral Halsey's 3d Fleet staff via Eniwetok to Pearl Harbor, finally reaching Seattle 19 February 1945. From 6 April to 2 June she made a round-trip, troop-carrying voyage from San Francisco to Langemak Bay and Hollandia, New Guinea; and San Pedro, Leyte as the Pacific campaigns reached a climax.

She now headed for Europe, departing San Francisco 16 June for France. After embarking troops at Marseilles 9 July, she departed the next day to redeploy them in the Pacific.

Debarking her passengers at Manila 20 August, General S. D. Sturgis sailed from that port 6 days later with officers and officials of the United States, Australia, Canada, Netherlands East Indies, China, and the Philippines, delivering them to Tokyo Bay 31 August to witness the historic Japanese surrender ceremonies there 2 September. The ship got underway 26 September for Seattle, arriving there 8 October. She then made three round-trip voyages from the West Coast to Japanese ports, supporting occupation troops before departing San Francisco on an around-the-world voyage calling at Manila, Singapore, Calcutta, and Port Said, and arriving New York 10 May 1946. She decommissioned 24 May 1946 and was delivered to WSA for peacetime operation as an Army transport.

Reacquired by the Navy 1 March 1950, she was assigned to MSTS and manned by civilians. As war broke out in Korea, General S. D. Sturgis took up the vital job of carrying U.N. troops to and from the Korean fighting. For the Korean War period, she sailed from New York to Bremerhaven and Mediterranean ports, embarking allied troops, and transported them to Pusan.

Following the Armistice, the transport rotated Greek, Turkish, Ethiopian, and Philippine troops in Korea, helping to maintain the high state of readiness among U.N. forces in that volatile land. During 1955, the ship made three voyages from New York to Bremerhaven, supporting American troops in Europe. She was placed in reduced operational status at New York 28 May 1955. General S. D. Sturgis was later returned to the Maritime Administration and was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, Tex., 22 August 1958, where she remains.

General S. D. Sturgis received three battle stars for Korean War service.

Published: Fri Jul 10 10:15:46 EDT 2015