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General W. H. Gordon (AP-117)

(AP-117: dp. 11,450 (lt.); l. 622'7"; b. 75'6"; dr. 25'6"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 533; trp. 5,244; a. 4 5", 16 1.1", 20 20mm.; c. General John Pope; T. P2-S2-R2)

Walter Henry Gordon, born at Artonish, Miss., 24 June 1863, graduated from the Military Academy and was commissioned in the infantry in 1886. During the early part of this century, after fighting in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection, Gordon served on the General Staff and in the Philippines. In 1917 he commanded the 15th Infantry in China, and, following America's entry into World War I, he commanded the 10th Brigade in France. General Gordon participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and ended the war as commanding officer, 6th Division. Following the war, for which he received the Distinguished Service Medal, Gordon commanded Infantry units in the United States, and, prior to his retirement in 1924, served as Deputy Chief of Staff. Major General Gordon died in Washington, D.C., 26 April 1924.

General W. H. Gordon (AP-117) was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J., 7 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Leslie J. McNair; and commissioned, after being acquired by the Navy, 29 June 1944, Captain R. E. Wood, USCG, in command.

Following her shakedown cruise in Chesapeake Bay, General W. H. Gordon proceeded to Boston and sailed 5 September in convoy for France. She arrived Cherbourg with troop reinforcements 15 September and returned to New York via Plymouth 30 September 1944. Subsequently, the transport made 12 voyages to various European and African ports in support of the accelerating Allied effort against the Axis. She carried vital supplies, troops, and returned large numbers of German prisoners of war to the United States.

General W. H. Gordon sailed to Panama from France 5 August 1945, bringing replacement troops for the Pacific campaigns. She stopped at Ulithi and Manila to debark troops and steamed into San Francisco Bay 25 September 1945. The war over, the veteran transport sailed again 13 October with over 4,000 occupation troops for Japan and Korea. After one more voyage to Japan, the ship returned to San Francisco 29 January 1946 and decommissioned at Oakland 11 March. She was returned to the Maritime Commission for use by Army Transport Service.

General W. H. Gordon was reacquired by the Navy 8 November 1951 for assignment to the Military Sea Transportation Service under a civil service crew. She began an arduous schedule of Pacific cruises in support of the struggle to repel Communist aggression in Korea, bringing troops and supplies to that embattled peninsula. From October 1954 to November 1956 she was in Reduced Operational Status in Seattle, and was subsequently placed in reserve in the Hudson River fleet, New York. Redelivered to the Maritime Administration 20 June 1958, she was stricken from the Navy List for a time, but re-acquired in May 1961 and returned to MSTS. General W. H. Gordon then began a regular schedule of voyages from New York to Bremerhaven, transporting servicemen, dependents, and military passengers to Europe in support of America's vital defense units there.

After sailing in December 1966 for the Far East to bring home Korean veterans, General W. H. Gordon began transporting troops to Vietnam in January 1967.

Published: Mon Jul 13 07:27:19 EDT 2015