George Clymer (AP-57)
George Clymer, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 16 March 1739, was a Philadelphia merchant and prominent American patriot. Among the first to advocate complete independence from Great Britain, he became a member of the Pennsylvania Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and was elected to the Continental Congress, serving as one of two treasurers from July 1775 to August 1776. He signed the Declaration of Independence 2 August 1776. During the War of Independence, he fought in the Battle of Princeton and served on many commissions that dealt with the war and financial matters. He joined Robert Morris and others in founding the Bank of Pennsylvania in 1780. He again served in the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1783 and was an influential member of the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1785 until 1789. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and from 1789 to 1791 served in the First Congress. President Washington appointed him Supervisor of Internal Revenue for Pennsylvania in 1791, but he resigned after the Whisky Rebellion in 1794. In 1796 he served on a special commission that negotiated a treaty with the Creek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia. George Clymer enjoyed a wide reputation for patriotism, learning, and ability in financial matters. He died in Morrisville, Pa., 23 January 1813.
George Clymer (AP-57) was laid down as African Planet under Maritime Commission contract 28 October 1940 by Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., Pascagoula, Miss.; launched 27 September 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Kathryn Stapleton; renamed George Clymer 9 January 1942; acquired by the Navy 15 June 1942; and commissioned the same day, Captain Arthur T. Moen in command.
George Clymer sailed 21 June via Charleston to Norfolk where she arrived 30 July for training in Chesapeake Bay. She embarked 1,400 men of the 9th Infantry Division and departed 23 October for the amphibious invasion of French Morocco. After joining Rear Admiral Monroe Kelley's Northern Attack Group off the Moroccan coast 7 November, at midnight 8 November she debarked assault troops on special net-cutting and scouting missions against garrisons at Mehedia and the fortress Kasba. Just before dawn the first wave of troops hit the beach and encountered resistance from the Vichy French. Enemy shore batteries fired on the assembled transports and straddled George Clymer before she opened the range. Hard fighting continued ashore until 11 November. George Clymer debarked troops, unloaded cargo, and treated casualties until 15 November when she sailed to Casablanca to complete off-loading cargo. She departed for the United States the 17th, arriving Norfolk 30 November.
After embarking more than 1,300 Seabees, George Clymer sailed 17 December for the Pacific. One of the first transports to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific, she reached Noumea, New Caledonia, 18 January 1943; sailed 23 January for the Fiji Islands; and arrived Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 30 January. Redesignated (APA-27) on 1 February, she sailed in convoy 5 February for Guadalcanal, Solomons, where she arrived the 7th to debark reinforcements and embark casualties and Japanese prisoners of war. During almost the next 9 months she sailed the Southwest Pacific, carrying cargo and rotating troops from bases in New Zealand, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the Fijis to Guadalcanal. On 19 April she evacuated 38 Chinese and Fijian women and children, who had hidden from the Japanese for more than a year, from Gaudalcanal and transported them to Noumea.
As flagship of Rear Admiral T. S. Wilkinson's 3d Amphibious Force, George Clymer departed Guadalcanal 30 October for the invasion of Bougainville. Closing Cape Torokina 1 November, she debarked men of the 2d Marine Raider Battalion before joining other transports in a combined bombardment of enemy positions on Cape Torokina. She returned to Port Purvis, Florida Island, 3 November; and during the next 2 months she made three runs to Bougainville, carrying reinforcements and cargo from the Fijis and Guadalcanal.
George Clymer continued troop-carrying and supply runs in the Southwest Pacific until 4 June when she departed Guadalcanal for the invasion of the Marianas. Steaming via Kwajalein, she operated off Saipan from 17 to 30 June while serving as flagship of Rear Admiral L. R. Reifsnider's Southern Attack Group. She reached Eniwetok 4 July; departed 17 July for the assault against Guam; and arrived off Agat 21 July. After debarking assault troops, she served as receiving ship, boat pool tender, and medical station for the Southern Transport Group. She remained at Guam until 20 August; steamed via Saipan to Hawaii; and arrived Pearl Harbor 31 August.
Underway again 15 September, George Clymer steamed via Eniwetok and Manus, Admiralties, to the Philippines, where she landed nearly 1,000 troops at Dulag 21 October during the invasion of Leyte. She returned to Manus 28 October; and, following a troop and cargo-carrying mission to New Britain and back, she sailed 11 November for the United States and arrived San Francisco 3 December for overhaul. Sailing 26 January 1945, she reached Guadalcanal 11 February and for more than a month trained for the invasion of Okinawa. She departed Ulithi, Carolines, in convoy 27 March; arrived off Hagushi 1 April; then debarked troops and unloaded cargo before departing 5 April. Steaming via Saipan and Pearl Harbor, she arrived San Francisco 9 May.
After conversion to a transport squadron and relief amphibious force flagship, she transported 1,200 Seabees to Pearl Harbor from 21 to 27 July. After returning to San Francisco 5 August with wounded veterans embarked, she sailed 12 August for the Philippines. She reached Manila 7 September; embarged nearly 1,000 occupation troops of the 33d Infantry Division; and transported them to Japan, arriving Wakayama 25 September. Between 3 and 21 October she made a similar voyage from Leyte to Japan; then, as part of the "Magic Carpet" fleet, between 31 October and 14 November she carried more than 1,200 veterans from Saipan to San Francisco. Between 27 November and 28 December she cruised to Guam and Saipan and returned to San Pedro with homebound troops.
Prior to the outbreak of Communist aggression in Korea, George Clymer supported various naval operations in the Pacific. From 1 June to 20 August she served at Bikini Atoll as flagship for Transport Division 11 during atomic bomb tests in the Marshall Islands. She conducted training operations along the Pacific coast until 15 December 1947 when she departed San Pedro for the Far East. Arriving Tsingtao, China, 20 January 1948, for more than 6 months she operated along the Chinese coast supporting the Nationalist Chinese troops during the Chinese Civil War. She departed Tsingtao 5 August; embarked troops at Guam; and transported them via the Panama Canal to Morehead City, N.C., where she arrived 17 September.
George Clymer returned to San Diego 4 October, and during the next 19 months she operated off the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, and in Hawaiian waters. After the invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops, she departed San Diego 14 July and carried units of the 5th Provisional Marine Brigade to Pusan, South Korea, where she debarked them 2 August to help stem the Communist advance at Masan. After returning to Yokosuka, Japan, 7 August, she embarked men of the 1st Marine Division at Kobe for the amphibious invasion at Inchon 15 September. Following the successful landings, she served as amphibious control and hospital ship before returning to Sasebo 29 September with casualties. She returned to Inchon 8 October to embark Marines, and on 17 October she sailed for Wonsan, where she landed troops the 25th. Departing Wonsan 30 October, she steamed via Yokosuka to the United States and arrived San Diego 24 November.
George Clymer departed San Diego 4 June 1951; and, after embarking troops at San Francisco, she sailed 6 June for the Far East, arriving Yokosuka 20 June. During the next 10 months she supported the effort to repel Communist aggression in Korea; participated in amphibious landings along the Korean coast; rotated troops between Japan and Korea; and cruised Far Eastern waters from the Sea of Japan to the South China Sea to meet the demands of military forces in Asia. On 15 October she rescued nearly 500 survivors from the Japanese merchantman, Kongo Maru, caught during a typhoon at Uku Shima, Japan. She departed Yokosuka 1 April 1952; returned to the United States for 7 months; then sailed from San Diego 12 November for a third deployment off Korea. After reaching Yokosuka 29 November, she took part in troop-rotation runs between Korea and bases in Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. On 27 July 1953, as the armistice which brought an uncertain peace to Korea was signed at Panmunjom, she departed Yokosuka for the United States, arriving San Diego 22 August.
Since the termination of hostilities in Korea, George Clymer has deployed to the Far East on numerous occasions as an important unit of the always-ready force for peace, the 7th Fleet. Capable of carrying combat-ready troops to any beach in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, she had provided vital support during the continuing struggle to meet and repel Communist aggression. Whether in the Strait of Formosa, the Gulf of Tonkin, or along the coast of Vietnam, she has remained ready to intervene promptly and powerfully whenever needed. In August 1964 she cruised the South China Sea in an advanced state of readiness following the Gulf of Tonkin incident. During the summer of 1965 she deployed to South Vietnam, where she participated in amphibious landings at Da Nang and Ohu Lai. At present she continues to bolster the American effort to thwart Communist aggression in South Vietnam.
George Clymer received five battle stars for World War II and seven battle stars for Korean conflict service.