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Goodhue (APA-107)

A county in Minnesota. 

(APA-107: dp. 8,100; l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 546; a. 2 5"; cl. Bayfield; type C3-S-A2)

Goodhue (APA-107), formerly Sea Wren, was launched under Maritime Commission contract (M. C. Hull 1552)  by Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., 31 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Charles R. Purcell; transferred to the Navy and commissioned on 11 November 1944, Capt. L. D. Sharp, Jr., in command.

Goodhue underwent shakedown training off San Pedro and took part in amphibious training exercises (8-21 December 1944) off San Diego, preparing for her part in the landings still to come in the Pacific war. The ship loaded vehicles at San Diego and sailed on 4 January 1945 for Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, where she arrived on 21 January. There the attack transport embarked passengers and loaded cargo and sailed for Hollandia, New Guinea, anchoring 4 February.

After steaming to Leyte Gulf (4-12 February 1945), Goodhue carried supplies to various bases in the area and took part in amphibious training until 25 February. She then began to load troops and supplies for the Okinawa invasion. More landing drills followed, after which the transport got underway in convoy for Okinawa on 21 March. Arriving off Kerama Retto on 26 March, Goodhue and the other transports put ashore troops to secure the island group as a base for the coming invasion of nearby Okinawa.

Goodhue remained at Kerama Retto during the initial landings on 1 April 1945 and while returning to sea the evening of 2 April underwent a heavy air attack. As gunners from Goodhue, screen ships, and other transports fired furiously, suicide planes attempted to crash the loaded ships. Attack transport Henrico (APA-45) took a kamikaze hit on her bridge, and high speed transport Dickerson (APD-21) was also crashed. Goodhue's gunners splashed a plane on the starboard quarter, but another headed directly for her from dead ahead. Unable to bring her full firepower to bear in that direction, Goodhue could not divert the attacker, which hit the mainmast and fell astern of the ship. Exploding bombs from the aircraft caused many casualties and fires, killing 27 and wounding 117, but the ship did not suffer serious structural damage and was able to continue. Subsequently, Goodhue was based at Kerama Retto repairing battle damage, and rejoined her transport squadron 10 April. She transferred her U.S. Army Medical Detachment to le Shima via the tank landing ship on 17 April and landed the main body of her embarked troops on 20 April. Nearing the beaches in a predawn operation, she landed her reinforcements and retired, undergoing air attack again that afternoon. Cargo was off loaded under cover of smokescreens by 24 April and two days later Goodhue joined a convoy bound for Ulithi.

The transport arrived Ulithi 30 April after a grueling month at Okinawa, and departed 22 May for San Francisco. There she loaded additional troops for the Pacific fighting and sailed again 25 June. Steaming by way of Eniwetok and Ulithi, Goodhue arrived Manila 21 July and disembarked troops. She then sailed for Lingayen Gulf, loading troops, and engaged in training operations 7-13 August. Word of the Japanese surrender arrived 15 August as another assault was about to take place.

Goodhue's next assignment was to carry occupation troops to Japan, and she loaded soldiers at Subic Bay and Cebu, Philippine Islands. The convoy arrived Sagami Bay, Japan, 8 September. Unloading her troops, the transport brought on board nearly 1,000 liberated prisoners of war: English, Dutch, and Norwegian as well as American. She sailed for Manila 12 September and disembarked the men 6 days later. From there Goodhue visited Cebu and Subic Bay to load veterans on operation "Magic Carpet", the giant task of transporting the veteran soldiers and sailors back to the United States.

Sailing on 11 October 1945, the ship arrived at San Pedro, Calif., via Pearl Harbor on 3 November. She made one more voyage to the Pacific, bringing back veterans of the fighting in the Philippines, and sailed from San Francisco on 2 February 1946 for Hampton Roads, Va., via the Panama Canal. Goodhue arrived on 19 February and decommissioned on 5 April 1946.

Turned over to the Maritime Commission, the ship entered the James River berthing area of the reserve fleet on 11 April 1946. Allotted for sale, the ship was reconverted to a cargo ship for "peace time trade,"  and was withdrawn from the reserve fleet on 19 November 1946. She was sold to the Matson Navigation Co., under whose house flag she served as Hawaiian Citizen.

Goodhue received one battle star for her World War II service.

Published: Sun Aug 07 21:41:14 EDT 2016