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Geneva (APA-86)

(APA-86: dp. 4,270 (lt.); l. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 17 k.; cpl. 230; trp. 849; a. 1 5", 8 40mm., 10 20mm.; cl. Gilliam; T. S4-SE2-BD1)

A county in Alabama.

Geneva (APA-86) was launched under Maritime Commission contract 31 January 1945 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Leonard Firestone; acquired by the Navy 21 March 1945; and commissioned the following day, Comdr. Peter J. Neimo in command.

Following shakedown out of San Diego, Geneva departed that port 19 May 1945 with over 500 Marines and Sailors for Pearl Harbor and Majuro atoll, Marshall Islands, where she arrived 7 June. After embarking Marines and Japanese prisoners of war, there she picked up additional passengers at Kwajalein for passage to Pearl Harbor. There she picked up veterans whom she landed at San Francisco 27 June. Proceeding to Seattle, she embarked nearly a thousand soldiers for the garrison forces on Okinawa, debarking them at Buckner Bay 12 August. She sailed from Okinawa 5 September for Korea and landed Army units at Inchon 8 September.

Geneva returned to Okinawa 15 September, weathered a typhoon, and embarked the llth Artillery Regiment of the 4th Marine Battalion and their cargo for passage to Taku, China, where she arrived 5 October. There she received 21 European repatriates on board, embarked 302 others at Tsingtao 7 October, and carried her passengers to Hong Kong on the 13th. Here she received Chinese troops and equipment, transported them to Chinwangtao 30 October, and returned to Hong Kong to embark more Chinese troops for passage to Tsingtao, arriving 14 November.

Geneva departed Tsingtao on 23 November, embarked over a thousand homeward-bound veterans at Luzon, Philippines, and reached San Francisco 19 December. On 11 January 1946, she began a troop-transport voyage from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor and returned to San Diego 7 February. The attack transport returned to Pearl Harbor 2 March for training in the Hawaiian area until she departed 17 May to serve in Operation "Crossroads," a joint atomic bomb experiment of the Army and Navy in the Marshall Islands at Bikini. More than 200 ships, 150 aircraft, and some 42,000 men were involved in this vast experiment directed by Vice Admiral William H. P. Blandy. Seventy-five target ships (American, German, and Japanese) were moored in the target area.

Geneva arrived off Bikini on 30 May 1945 and rode at anchor for a month. Her crew then transferred to Appling (APA-58) since Geneva was to be one of the target ships in "Test Able" on the morning of 1 July 1946 when the fourth atomic bomb to be exploded and the first ever detonated over water was to be dropped from a B-29. The attack transport survived the explosion and the huge column of water and steam that rose to 35,000 feet and formed a mushroom-shaped cloud.

Geneva was declared free of radioactivity the following day. She also survived "Test Baker" 25 July. That morning at 0835 atomic bomb suspended below LSM-60 was exploded, the first to be detonated under water. Geneva was in normal operation 4 days after that explosion, steaming to Kwajalein 25 August, then proceeding via Hawaii to San Francisco, where she arrived 5 November.

Geneva departed San Francisco on 4 December, touched San Diego and transited the Panama Canal for Norfolk, Va., where she arrived on the 27th. She was decommissioned at Norfolk 23 January 1947; and her name was struck from the Navy List on 25 February. She was returned to the Maritime Commission on 2 April and entered in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at James River, Va. She was transferred to Wilmington, N.C., in July 1955 and sold for scrap by the Maritime Administration 2 November 1966.

Published: Fri Mar 06 16:47:31 EST 2020