George F. Elliott (AP-13)
George F. Elliott, born 30 November 1846 in Alabama, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1870 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After serving at Washington, D.C., he fought in the Spanish-American War; in a spirited engagement with the enemy near Cuzco Valley Marines led by Captain Elliott were victorious and returned to their camp at Guantanamo Bay. On 21 May 1908 he was appointed Major General and Commandant of the Marine Corps, a position he filled with distinction until his retirement 30 November 1910. General Elliott died 4 November 1931 in Washington, D.C.
George F. Elliott (AP-13), formerly City of Los Angeles, was built in 1918 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Alameda, Calif.; acquired 30 October 1940; and commissioned 10 January 1941, Captain H. G. Patrick in command.
George F. Elliott sailed for Norfolk 16 January 1941 and for the next year carried units of the 1st Marine Brigade to the Caribbean for training exercises and operated out of Norfolk before departing New York 19 February 1942 with over 1,100 men bound for Europe. After joining a convoy off Halifax, Nova Scotia, she reached Belfast, Ireland, 3 March to debark her passengers and subsequently returned to New York 25 March.
After embarking 1,229 fighting men, the ship got underway 9 April with a convoy bound for Tongatabu, arriving 1 month later and debarking her troops. George F. Elliott sailed 19 May and arrived San Francisco 5 June for repairs.
Soon ready for sea, she embarked 1,300 men of the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, and stood out under the Golden Gate 22 June in convoy, reaching Wellington, New Zealand, 11 July where combat gear and stores were loaded. As part of Task Force 62 she departed 22 July for the 1st Marine Division's amphibious assault on Guadalcanal. After conducting landing maneuvers in the Fiji Islands, she proceeded to Guadalcanal.
Closing Lunga Point on D-day, 7 August, George F. Elliott sent her boats away at 0733 and simultaneously began discharging cargo. Despite enemy air attacks she continued to work far into the night, ceasing unloading only when the beach head became too congested. The next day, 8 August, she got underway at 1056 to avoid an imminent air attack and at 1159 opened fire on Japanese twin-engined bombers coming in very low and fast over Florida Island. Her antiaircraft guns made repeated hits on a plane approaching the starboard beam only 30 feet off the water; suddenly it swerved and crashed into the ship amidships, spreading raging flames and rupturing the water mains. In spite of the crew's valiant efforts, the fires continued out of control. As salvage was impossible the gutted ship was sunk the same day.
George F. Elliott was struck from the Navy List 2 October 1942. She was awarded one battle star for World War II service.