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Henderson I (Troop Transport No. 1)

1917-1946

Archibald Henderson -- born in Colchester, Fairfax County, Va., on 21 January 1783 -- was appointed a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on 4 June 1806, and was promoted to first lieutenant on 6 March 1807, and to the rank of captain on 1 April 1811. He served with distinction against the British in Constitution and participated in the engagement between her and HMS Java on 29 December 1812. Henderson again merited promotion and was brevetted to major in 1814, and later served in actions against HMS Cyane and HMS Levant on 20 February 1815. He received a silver medal and was included in the thanks of Congress to the officers and men of Constitution. He was also later presented with a jeweled sword by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

After the War of 1812, he saw duty at such posts and stations as Boston, Mass.; Portsmouth, N.H.; U.S. Marine Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at New Orleans, La. From 16 September 1818 to 2 March 1819, Henderson was installed as the acting Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was made Commandant of the Marine Corps with the rank of lieutenant colonel on 17 October 1820. Henderson is credited with thwarting attempts by President Andrew Jackson to combine the Marine Corps with the Army in 1829. Later, Congress passed the Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps on 30 June 1834, ensuring that the Marine Corps would remain under the control of the Department of the Navy. The next day, 1 July 1834, Henderson received promotion to the rank of colonel.

Henderson took to the field and served during the campaigns against the Seminole and Creek nations in Florida and Georgia, during 1836-1837. He was subsequently brevetted to brigadier general on 27 January 1837. The Marine Corps was involved with much military activity on the West Coast during the years 1845-1846. During the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), General Henderson ably administered the affairs of the Corps and saw to its expansion and development from a small fighting force into a well-organized and very formidable arm of the nation’s armed forces and its successes in the war’s operations demonstrated that capability.

During the years subsequent to the war, the Marine Corps was not idle. In 1852-53, marines took part in Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s expedition to Japan, and in 1855, they participated in an expedition to Uruguay as a result of an insurrection at Montevideo. In 1856, they engaged hostile Native American tribes at Seattle, Wash., and, during the same year, they took part in the capture of the Barrier Forts in China. In 1857, units at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., were ordered, upon the request of the mayor, to suppress an armed mob of hired toughs from Baltimore, Md., who had been brought to the capital to take possession of polling places and disrupt local elections. During the ensuing riot, Henderson deliberately placed his body against the muzzle of a cannon that was about to be discharged at his marines, preventing bloodshed.

Henderson died suddenly on 6 January 1859. His term of 38 years as Commandant of the Marine Corps was longer than any other. He was interred at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.


Portrait of Brevet Brig. Gen. Archibald Henderson, Fifth Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps (17 October 1820 - 6 January 1859). (Official USMC Photograph from the Ralph W. Donnelly Collection (COLL/1529) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division, Quantico, Va.)
Caption: Portrait of Brevet Brig. Gen. Archibald Henderson, Fifth Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps (17 October 1820 - 6 January 1859). (Official USMC Photograph from the Ralph W. Donnelly Collection (COLL/1529) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division, Quantico, Va.)

(Troop Transport No. 1: displacement 7,750 tons; length 483'10"; beam 61'1"; draft 16'2"; speed 14 knots; complement 233; troop capacity 1,695; armament 8 5-inch, 2 3-inch, 2 1-pounders; class Henderson)

The first Henderson (Troop Transport No. 1) was laid down on 19 June 1915, at the Philadelphia [Pa.] Navy Yard.


Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, places the first bolt in Henderson's keel on 19 June 1915, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 53502)
Caption: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, places the first bolt in Henderson's keel on 19 June 1915, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 53502)

Launched on 17 June 1916 and sponsored by Miss Genevieve W. Taylor, great-granddaughter of Brig. Gen. Henderson, Henderson was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 25 May 1917, Cmdr. George W. Steele, Jr. in command.


Henderson at her building yard, ready for her trial trip, 9 June 1917. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph 19-N-7687, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Henderson at her building yard, ready for her trial trip, 9 June 1917. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph 19-N-7687, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Built expressly as a troop transport for the Marine Corps, Henderson conducted her shakedown en route from Philadelphia, with 100 yard workmen from the yard on board and stood into New York on 12 June 1917. Upon her arrival, she received orders to be one of the transports in the first convoy carrying the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to France. She embarked the units and equipment of the Fifth Marine Regiment and departed New York on 14 June, with Rear Adm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force embarked. Henderson was a unit in Group 2 of the four group convoy. The other ships constituting the group included USAT Antilles, USAT Momus, and USAT Lenape escorted by Birmingham (Scout Cruiser No. 2), the armed yacht Aphrodite (S. P. 135), Fanning (Destroyer No. 37), Burrows (Destroyer No. 29), and Lamson (Destroyer No. 18). Group 2, joined by the armed yacht Corsair (S. P. 159) en route, reached St. Nazaire, France, on 27 June, and Henderson disembarked the troops and equipment. She cleared St. Nazaire, in company with USAT Pastores, USAT Tenadores, USAT Henry R. Mallory, DeKalb (Id. No. 3010), on 5 July and returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 July.

Henderson, having embarked more marines, had stood out of Philadelphia on 5 August 1917, only to anchor that same day at Tinicum Island, Pa., due to engine trouble. The next day she got underway again and steamed to Tompkinsville [Staten Island], N.Y. (Base No. 21) to join the other ships in the outbound convoy. In company with the transports Montana (Id. No. 2209), Finland (Id. No. 4543), USAT Antilles, and Lenape (Id. No. 2700), she departed Tompkinsville at 8:35 p.m. on 7 August, and arrived at St. Nazaire, on 20 August. Having disembarked the marines, she cleared St. Nazaire, on 26 August, bound for a return for repairs at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she arrived on 9 September. Just over a week later, on 17 September, she departed for Tompkinsville. Arriving the next day, she joined another eastbound convoy that departed on the 22nd. The troop transport was ordered to return to Tompkinsville, which she did the next day only to depart again later that evening, in convoy with Finland, Antilles, Montana, and their destroyer escort. The convoy and her escorts arrived at St. Nazaire on 5 October and disembarked its troops and equipment without incident. The same would not be true for Henderson’s return voyage to the United States.

Henderson and Antilles and the storeship Willehad (Id. No. 1334) were anchored in Quiberon Bay, France, on the morning of the 15 October 1917. City of Atlanta (Id. No. 4703) was to join them later. 'The original escorts available were the yachts Corsair (S. P. 159), Aphrodite (S. P. 135), Wakiva II (S. P. 160), Alcedo (S. P. 166), and Kanawha II (S. P. 130), but Wakiva II was forced to remain behind on account of boiler trouble. Aphrodite was left behind as word was received that City of Atlanta would not be ready to leave St. Nazaire, until the morning of the 16th. The convoy got underway at 3:52 p.m. on the 15th, stood out of Teignouse Channel, took formation, and began to zigzag. The night was uneventful except that the weather became unsettled with fresh to strong head winds and increasing seas. On the morning of the 16th, the lightly-built Kanawha II reported that she was shipping heavy seas and was taking water below and would not be able to keep up. Willehad also fell behind and the speed of the convoy dropped to nine knots in order to let her regain position, and was then increased to ten knots. By 5:00 p.m., it was necessary to direct Kanawha II to return to port. Zigzagging was stopped at 5:40 p.m., due to the thick weather, but was resumed at 8:00 p. m. The next morning, 17 October, was thick until about daylight when it cleared with a moderate sea. At 6:40 a.m., course was changed 20 degrees to the left in accordance with the designated zigzag pattern. About six minutes later, Antilles, then directly astern of Corsair, was seen to sheer to starboard. She had been torpedoed by U-105 (Kapitänleutnant Friedrich Strackerjan commanding). Henderson immediately hoisted the submarine signal. Corsair, with the escort commander on board, headed toward Antilles at full speed, as the latter was settling by the stern. Almost immediately thereafter, she upended and sank at 6:52 a.m. Henderson speedily turned to starboard and deployed a smoke-screen while Willehad turned to port. Both escaped without further incident. The escort vessels searched for the U-boat and picked up Antilles survivors. With only two yachts available to accompany three ships, the escort had proven inadequate and made the convoy vulnerable. Henderson continued her passage westward and stood into New York, on 21 October. After returning to the United States, the troop transport underwent 86 days of maintenance and repairs and did not engage in another trans-Atlantic passage in 1917.

Henderson, with her repairs completed, embarked 1,826 troops and loaded cargo at Philadelphia, and then steamed down the Delaware River on 20 January 1918, to rendezvous with an outbound convoy at Tompkinsville, the next day. The convoy stood into St. Nazaire, on 5 February, and disembarked the marines. On 9 February, she shifted to Nantes, France, and unloaded cargo until departing for a return to St. Nazaire on the 14th. Having embarked passengers, including a number of wounded soldiers, bound for the United States, she moved to Quiberon Bay, France on the 15th, and waited for her escort. She departed the next day, but while en route on 27 February, the convoy was traveling at top speed, because it was in the heart of the war zone, only one day's run from the coast of France. It was a dark, cloudy night. Just after midnight, the steering gear of Finland jammed, and she swung into Henderson. The latter’s command tried with some success to avoid the collision, but Finland's bow struck a glancing blow amidships. Good seamanship on board Henderson averted a real disaster. The unusual circumstance of a smooth sea on that February night enabled Henderson’s crew to make emergency repairs before the leak made the ship unwieldy. She steamed to Melville, R.I. to take on fuel oil on 1 March. Departing that same day after refueling, she arrived at Hoboken, N.J., the next day. While there, she disembarked her passengers and simultaneously loaded new stores.

Henderson then touched at Tompkinsville on 3 March 1918, before returning to Philadelphia on the 4th. Again embarking marines, 1,563 for this transit, Henderson departed on 14 March, and steamed directly to Brest, where she arrived on 26 March. Having disembarked the marines and taken on passengers for a return to the United States, she cleared Brest with her escorts on 3 April, and raised Philadelphia on the 14th. Having onloaded cargo and embarked 2,102 marines, Henderson departed Philadelphia, on the 23rd, and stood into Brest on the morning of 6 May. 


Henderson, left, and Leviathan (Id. No. 1326), center, circa May 1918, probably at Brest, France. Note both ships' dazzle camouflage. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 105585)
Caption: Henderson, left, and Leviathan (Id. No. 1326), center, circa May 1918, probably at Brest, France. Note both ships' dazzle camouflage. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 105585)

By 11 May 1918, Henderson was ready to return to the United States. Clearing the French port that same day, she stood into the terminal at 33rd Street, South Brooklyn, N.Y., on 22 May. Here she embarked another contingent of 1,621 marines and shifted to Gravesend Bay, N.Y., on the 26th. Having rendezvoused with the remainder of the convoy, they steamed eastward and raised Brest, on 8 June. After disembarking the marines and off-loading her cargo, the transport got underway again on 14 June, and returned to the terminal at South Brooklyn on 25 June.

Henderson, having again embarked marine contingents and taken on cargo, departed on 30 June 1918, for her seventh voyage to France. En route, German torpedoes were not the only danger she would have to face. On 2 July 1918, a fire broke out in her forward hold which, despite the efforts of the crew, soon spread to store rooms, the electrical shop, carpenter ship, and crews’ compartments. The escorting destroyers Mayrant (Destroyer No. 31) and Paul Jones (Destroyer No. 10), shuttled the ship’s passengers to the transport Von Steuben (Id. No. 3017), which conveyed them safely to France. Meanwhile, Henderson’s crew overcame the fire, but the water required to fight the blaze caused the ship to list 25º to starboard. Capt. George W. Steele, Jr. brought his ship, escorted by Mayrant and Paul Jones, back in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 6 July. There she entered drydock and underwent repairs and renovations to improve her berthing. Upon undocking, she embarked another 2,211 marines and the troop transport departed Philadelphia on 13 August. Passing the Delaware Breakwater, that same day, she arrived the next at Tompkinsville, where she joined the other units of the convoy. Departing on the 14th, the convoy and its escort arrived at Brest on 25 August. Making a quick turn of it, she stood out of Brest on 29 August, and reached South Brooklyn, on 10 September. Embarking another 1,217 marines, she was underway again on 15 September, reaching her disembarkation point at Brest on the 28th. The troop transport steamed out of Brest, for a return to the U.S., on 8 October. Touching at Tompkinsville, on 21 October, she shifted to South Brooklyn, the next day and entered the Morse Drydock. She undocked four days later, on 26 October, and two days after that, she was underway again, bound for France, with 1,745 marines on board. She arrived on 28 October, and disembarked what would be her final contingent of marines bound for France. While at Brest, on 11 November, the Armistice went into effect.

With hostilities ended, Henderson cleared Brest bound for a return to the United States. Arriving at South Brooklyn, on 24 November 1918, she loaded cargo for a return to France. Pulling up lines at South Brooklyn, on 5 December, she shifted to Gravesend, and departed the next day bound for Brest. Reaching on 17 December, she unloaded her cargo and began her transit back to the U.S. on Christmas Eve. Underway through the new year, she touched at Tompkinsville, to disembark some of the 1,386 troops on board on 4 January 1919, before proceeding up the Hudson River, to do likewise at Hoboken. The next day, she shifted to Gravesend Bay, N.Y., then into New York Harbor, on the 6th, before entering the New York Navy Yard, on the 8th. Departing the yard on 13 January, she returned to Hoboken, where she remained until 16 January, when she steamed for Brest, conveying cargo. Reaching France, on 25 January, she unloaded at Brest, until the 28th, before moving on to Verdon, France (29-30 January), and Bassens, France (30 January-3 February). Having embarked 1,172 casualties and homeward-bound troops, Henderson steamed for the U.S., on 4 February. Arriving at Gravesend Bay, on 21 February, she waited over night before arriving at Hoboken, to disembark.

Henderson, having taken on cargo for France, departed Hoboken, on 3 March 1919, and stood into the harbor at Verdon, on 15 March. She later shifted to Bassens and after embarking 1,539 troops including wounded, she departed, bound for Hoboken on 19 March. She arrived on 2 April, and began disembarking the troops, while at Hoboken, she also underwent minor repairs. On 8 April, she shifted to the New York Navy Yard, and entered the Morse Dry Docks, for a general overhaul. After her yard work, she undocked and she departed on 20 May, with a load of U.S. Army replacement troops bound for France. The troop transport arrived at St. Nazaire, France, on 1 June, and disembarked her replacements. Then, having embarked a contingent of homeward-bound troops, she weighed anchor and cleared the French port the next day, 2 June, bound for Hoboken. Reaching on 13 June, she disembarked her troops and then on 18 June, departed for France. Arriving at St. Nazaire, at 7:50 a.m., on 30 June, and by 4:27 p.m., Henderson had taken on another contingent of troops bound for home and weighed anchor for the U.S. Arriving on 12 July, and discharging her passengers, she was again eastbound for France on 17 July. She touched at the Azores (Base No. 13), on 26 August, and, continuing on to Brest, arrived on 30 July. Unlike her preceding visit to France, where she returned to the U.S., almost immediately, she remained until 13 August, when, having embarked 926 troops for the homeward-bound transit, she cleared Brest, bound for New York. After an 11-day transit, she arrived on the 24th, and debarked her passengers.

Henderson cleared New York, on 12 September 1919, and upon her departure, she received orders transferring her to the custody of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in France. The ship arrived at Brest, on 22 September and remained there until 2 October, when she got underway for Harwich, England. Arriving on 4 October, she remained until 10 October, when she departed to return to Brest, and arrived the next day. She would remain there for almost two months. Clearing Brest on 7 December, she steamed for Philadelphia. Henderson, having carried more than 10,000 veterans home from France, steamed up the Delaware River, and entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on 23 December, and a underwent post-deployment overhaul through the new year.

With her mission of transporting troops and equipment to and from France at an end, Henderson took up duty as a troop rotation ship for U.S. Marine Corps units, carrying marines, their dependents, and supplies to bases throughout the Caribbean basin. She departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on 12 January 1920, bound for Cuba via Charleston, S.C. (14-20 January). The troop transport arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 24 January. Clearing Guantanamo, that same day, she made port visits to several locations on Hispaniola: Port-au-Prince, Haiti (26-28 January); Cap-Haitien, Haiti (29-30 January); Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic [D.R.] (31 January-1 February); and San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. (12-16 February), as well as St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands [U.S.V.I.] (3-4 February). Returning to Charleston, on 20 February, she remained there until 2 March, before getting underway again to return to the Caribbean. She again made a circuit of Guantanamo Bay (6 March), Port-au-Prince (7-10 March), Cap-Haitien (11-13 March), Puerto Plata (14-18 March), San Juan, Puerto Rico [P.R.] (19 March), St. Thomas (20 March), and Santo Domingo, D.R. (20-25 March), before steaming back to Charleston, reaching on the 29th. Henderson would conduct a third voyage to the Caribbean in April. Standing out of Charleston on 8 April, she visited Guantanamo (11-12 April), Port-au-Prince (14-15 April); Cap-Haitien (16 April), Puerto Plata (17-19 April), Santo Domingo (22-26 April), before returning to Charleston, on the 30th. She then departed on 9 May, bound for the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she arrived on the 11th. Departing two days later, she steamed south to Florida where she participated in Marine Corps training maneuvers and also made visits to Key West, Fla. (17-21 May and 3 June); Pensacola, Fla. (23 May-1 June and 5-21 June). After visiting Florida, she returned to the Caribbean, calling at Guantanamo (25 June), Port-au-Prince (26-28 June), Santo Domingo (29 June-1 July). While enroute back to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she touched at Puerto Plata (2 July), and reached the yard on the 6th, to undergo an extended repair period which lasted through the end of 1920. During her time in the yard, on 17 July 1920, Henderson was re-designated (AP-1) as part of a Navy-wide administrative re-organization.

Clearing the yard on 5 January 1921, Henderson steamed southward to resume her duties in the Caribbean. En route she stood into the Norfolk Navy Yard, Hampton Roads, Va. (6-15 January), and touched at Charleston (17 January), before putting in to Port-au-Prince on the 21st. Departing the next day, she steamed to Guantanamo (22-24 January), before doing her regular Caribbean circuit to Santo Domingo (26-28 January), St. Thomas (29-31 January), Puerto Plata (2-3 February), and Cap-Haitien (4 February), before steaming through the Virginia capes, into Hampton Roads, on 8 February. After almost two weeks in port, she got underway to return to the Caribbean, via Charleston (23 February). Steaming into Cap-Haitien on the 26th, she remained there until 28 February, then shifted to Port-au-Prince (2-4 March), Santo Domingo (5-9 March), St. Thomas (10-13 March), Puerto Plata (14 March), before touching at Cap-Haitien on the 16th, enroute to a return to Hampton Roads, on 20 March. Two days later, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, and remained until 14 April, undergoing maintenance. Leaving the yard, she shifted to Hampton Roads, until 20 April, when she cleared the capes bound for the Virgin Islands. Raising St. Thomas, on 25 April, she departed the next day for Santo Domingo. Over the twelve days, she made her Caribbean circuit and returned to Hampton Roads, on 9 May. Remaining until 27 May, she again departed for the Caribbean. After visits to Cuba and Hispaniola, she returned to Hampton Roads, on 10 June. 

Henderson, on 15 June 1921, steamed up the Chesapeake Bay, and in to the Potomac River, to arrive at the Washington Navy Yard, the next day. There she embarked military and civilian leaders. Departing on 20 June, she conveyed her passengers to the Southern Drill Grounds on the 21st. During the course of the next month the ship shuttled dignitaries to and from Washington to observe Brig. Gen. William L “Billy” Mitchell’s bombing tests off the Virginia capes. She returned to Hampton Roads on 24 July, and on 29 July, she steamed out into the Atlantic to return to the Caribbean. Stopping at Charleston, on the 31st, she arrived at St. Thomas, on 5 August. After making her runs to Cuba and Hispaniola, she returned to Hampton Roads, on 17 August. Within a week, on 23 August, she got underway, via Charleston (25 August) and raised Port-au-Prince on the 28th. The next day she made turns for Santo Domingo, and arrived on 31 August, enroute to a return to Hampton Roads, reaching on 4 September. After two days, she was underway again, this time bound for Tompkinsville. Arriving on 7 September, she stopped briefly before shifting to the New York Navy Yard, and undergoing maintenance until 30 September. Standing into Hampton Roads, on 1 October, she remained there until the 6th, when she went to sea bound for the Panama Canal. Touching at Port-au-Prince, on 10 October, she reached Colon, Canal Zone (C.Z.) on 13 October. Transiting the Panama Canal, she arrived at Balboa, C.Z., and entered the Pacific Ocean, on 15 October.

Henderson then set a course for San Diego, Calif., and arrived on 24 October 1921. After departing on the 27th, she spent the next five weeks cruising the U.S. Pacific coast making visits en route. These included San Pedro, Calif. (27-31 October and 30 November-2 December); San Francisco, Calif. (1 November and 29 November); Mare Island, Calif. (1 November-10 November and 23-28 November), and Bremerton, Wash. (13-19 November). Having returned to San Diego, on 2 December, Henderson departed two days later bound for a return to the Atlantic via the Panama Canal. Arriving at the Canal Zone on 14 December, she transited to Cristóbal, C.Z., on the Atlantic coast, on the 15th, and then departed that same day for Port-au-Prince, en route to Hampton Roads. Touching in Haiti, on 18 December, she departed that same day, and entered the Chesapeake Bay, and moored at Hampton Roads, on 22 December. Spending Christmas in Virginia, the ship got underway again on 29 December, and steamed to the Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., reaching on New Year’s Eve. The next day, 1 January 1922, she steamed to the Boston Navy Yard, Mass. Arriving that same day she remained until 5 January, when she departed bound for New York. Arriving at the New York Navy Yard on the 7th, she docked and underwent maintenance. With her yard work completed, she cleared New York, on 1 February, and steamed to Hampton Roads, arriving on 3 February. Departing five days later, on 8 February, she set a course for the Caribbean, and her routine of visiting locations through the Greater Antilles. Arriving at Guantanamo on 12 February, she remained until the 14th, then moved on to Port-au-Prince (15-16 February); Cap-Haitien (17-18 February); Puerto Plata (19-20 February); Santo Domingo (21-24 February); St. Thomas (27 February); and San Juan (28 February). Returning to Hampton Roads, on 4 March, she departed again on 22 March. Completing visits to each of the ports as she did in February, Henderson returned to Hampton Roads, on 13 April. The next day, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, and underwent overhaul.

With her maintenance completed, Henderson steamed from Norfolk, bound for a return to the Pacific on 20 May 1922. Touching at Port-au-Prince en route on the 24th, she arrived at the Canal Zone on the 27th and transited the canal the same day. Remaining at Balboa, until 27 May, she got underway and raised San Diego on 8 June. Departing the next day, she steamed to Honolulu, Hawaiian Territory (H.T.), and arrived on 17 June. Two days later, on 19 June, she set a course westward, bound for Yokohama, Japan. Arriving on 2 July, she spent nine days there, before shifting to Nagasaki (14-15 July), and then moving on to Shanghai (26 July), en route to Olongapo, Philippine Islands [P.I.] (30 July), and Manila, P.I. (31 July-5 August). Departing the Philippines, she steamed eastward to the Marianas and visiting the U.S. protectorate of Guam (10-11 August). Heading to sea on the 11th, the transport continued eastward and returned to Honolulu on the 22nd. Continuing eastward on 25 August, she steamed to San Francisco. Passing through the Golden Gate on 1 September, she remained until the 10th. Getting underway again, she set a course for a return to the Atlantic. Calling at San Pedro (11-13 September) and San Diego (13-15 September), en route, she reached Balboa, on 25 September. Crossing the isthmus, she steamed from Cristóbal on the 27th, and though bound for Hampton Roads, she changed course and stood into the New York Navy Yard, on 6 October. Clearing New York, on 20 October, she returned to Hampton Roads, the next day.

Henderson got underway and passed outbound through the Virginia capes on 25 October 1922. Touching at Charleston (27 October), en route, she stood into Guantanamo (30 October), before moving on to Port-au-Prince (31 October-1 November); Cap-Haitien (2 November); Puerto Plata (2-3 November); San Juan (4 November); St. Thomas (5-6 November); San Pedro de Macoris (7 November); and Santo Domingo (7-8 November). Touching again at Guantanamo on 9 November, the troop transport returned to Hampton Roads on the 13th. Henderson was underway again just over two weeks later, on 28 November, bound for another deployment to the West Coast. Steaming via Port-au-Prince (2-3 December), she raised the Canal Zone on 6 December, transited the Panama Canal the next day, and steamed to Corinto, Nicaragua (10 December). Continuing on, she arrived at San Diego, on 18 December, and then departed the next day. En route to San Francisco, she touched at San Pedro, on the 20th, arriving at her destination on 22 December.

Having spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in port, Henderson departed San Francisco on 3 January 1923. Headed for the Panama Canal, she touched at San Pedro (4-5 January), and San Diego (5-6 January), before reaching Balboa, on 17 January. Traversing the isthmus back to the Atlantic, she departed Cristóbal, the next day and transiting via Port-au-Prince (22 January), stood into Hampton Roads, on 26 January. Departing the next day, she steamed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, to undergo overhaul. Entering on 28 January, she completed her yard work by 1 March. Departing the same day, she arrived at Hampton Roads the next. The following day, 3 March, Henderson steamed up the Chesapeake Bay, and Potomac River, toward the nation’s capital. Arriving at the Washington (D.C.) Navy Yard, on the 4th, she embarked Edwin C. Denby, Secretary of the Navy; eleven Navy Department officials; eight senators; 34 representatives; and 28 members of the press. Departing for the Canal Zone, on 6 March, she arrived at Cristóbal on 12 March, and crossed to Balboa, by the 14th. From there many of the dignitaries embarked at Washington, debarked and boarded ships involved in the maneuvers subsequent to Fleet Problem I (18-22 February 1923). On 20 March, Adm. Hilary P. Jones, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), conducted a review of the fleet problem and maneuvers on board Henderson. Adm. Jones was very positive about the problem’s success as a test of the Navy’s abilities and recommended future fleet problems. Having re-embarked the party of dignitaries, the troop transport departed Balboa, and passed through the Panama Canal on 26 March, and steamed to the British colony of Jamaica. Arriving at Kingston on the 28th, she moved on to a tour of the Caribbean basin visiting Port Antonio, Jamaica (29 March), Santiago de Cuba (30 March), Guantanamo (30-31 March), Port-au-Prince (1-2 April), Santo Domingo (4-5 April), San Juan (6-8 April), and St. Thomas (8 April) before returning to Washington, on 13 April. Henderson remained at the Washington Navy Yard until 24 April, when she steamed back down the Potomac, and Chesapeake, to Hampton Roads, and arrived the next day.

Henderson was underway again on 1 May 1923; she steamed southward for a return to the Caribbean. En route, she visited Port Royal, S.C. (3-4 May) and embarked marines then moved on to Guantanamo, reaching on the 7th. From Cuba, she moved to Hispaniola, with multiple port visits between 8-13 May, before heading to San Juan (14 May) and St. Thomas (14-15 May). With her routine cruise of the Caribbean complete, she returned to Hampton Roads, on 19 May. Six days later, on 25 May, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, in preparation for another deployment to the Pacific. Clearing the yard on 1 June, she steamed to the Canal Zone, reaching Cristóbal on the 7th. After transiting the canal, Henderson steamed northward on 10 June, bound for San Diego. Arriving on 19 June, she departed that same day for San Pedro (20 June), San Francisco (21-22 June), and Bremerton (24 June-3 July). From Bremerton, the ship shifted to Tacoma, Wash. (3-5 July). Departing on 5 July, with President Warren G. Harding embarked, the ship made an inspection tour of the Alaskan Territory. The President called at Ketchikan (8 July); Wrangell (9 July); Juneau (10-11 July); Skagway (11 July); Seward (13-19 July); Valdez (19 July); Cordova (20 July); and Sitka (22 July). While en route southward, the ship visited Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 26 July and returned to Seattle, on 27 July. While at Seattle, President Harding reviewed the fleet from the deck of Henderson, and then disembarked on 27 July 1923, only five days before his death.


The Washington Navy Yard Band on board Henderson. The band accompanied President Warren G. Harding to Alaska in 1923. Chief Petty Officer Charles Benter, the group's leader, is on the right. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 76082)
Caption: The Washington Navy Yard Band on board Henderson. The band accompanied President Warren G. Harding to Alaska in 1923. Chief Petty Officer Charles Benter, the group's leader, is on the right. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 76082)


Henderson conducting a boxing “smoker” while underway in 1923. A U.S. Marine serves as referee for the bout (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99415)
Caption: Henderson conducting a boxing “smoker” while underway in 1923. A U.S. Marine serves as referee for the bout (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99415)

Henderson, with her presidential mission completed, departed Seattle later on 27 July 1923, and headed for a return to the Atlantic. Stopping at San Francisco (31 July-13 August), San Diego (15-18 August), and Corinto (25 August), she arrived at Balboa on the 27th, and on the 31st transited back to Cristóbal via the canal on 31 August. Two days later, on 2 September, she set a course for Hampton Roads via Port-au-Prince (3 September) and arrived on the 7th. She remained there until 1 October, when she shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard. Returning to Hampton Roads on the 5th, she got underway again for the Caribbean on 16 October. Stopping at Parris Island, S.C. (18-19 October), to again embark marines, she steamed to Guantanamo, and touched on 22 October, before continuing on to visits to Hispaniola (23-28 October), before moving on San Juan, and St. Thomas (29 October). Steaming northward again, she stood into Hampton Roads, on 3 November. Henderson got underway again for her regular rotational cruise of the Caribbean on 20 November. She touched at Charleston on 22 November, and then continued on to Guantanamo, where she stopped only briefly on 25 November, en route to Port-au-Prince. Arriving at the Haitian capital on 26 November, she then moved on to Puerto Plata (28 November), Santo Domingo (30 November-1 December), San Juan (2 December), and St. Thomas (2-3 December) and returned to Hampton Roads, on 8 December. She then docked at the Norfolk Navy Yard (10-27 December), for maintenance before steaming up the Chesapeake Bay, to the Marine Base at Quantico, Va. Arriving on 28 December, the transport remained through New Year’s Day 1924.

Departing Quantico on 2 January 1924, with Brig. Gen. Eli Cole, USMC, 89 officers, and 1,600 marines embarked, Henderson returned to Hampton Roads, the next day and then went to sea on 4 January, in order to participate in Fleet Problem III, a mock amphibious invasion of the Canal Zone. She arrived at her objective on 24 January. The exercise consisted of two aggressor fleets, “Blue” and “Black”. At the beginning of the problem, the Blue Fleet, under Adm. Samuel S. Robison, was concentrated at Panama, in preparation for an offensive to capture Vieques Island, where a base would be built for an attack on the notional Black homeland. Henderson accompanied the Blue fleet, carrying the marines, and the Control Force, together representing a convoy carrying a full brigade of some 8,000 troops. Blue had most of the U.S. Fleet including Langley (CV-1). Black had the Special Service Squadron, with other supporting ships along with six real and 24 constructive aircraft based in Puerto Rico, and was supported by Army ground and air forces in Puerto Rico.

The exercise began on 23 January 1924. Escorted by minesweepers, the Blue Main Body sortied from Colon, Panama, on the 25th. The fleet advanced behind a submarine screen with the Scouting Fleet in the lead and the Main Body following, steering directly for Vieques. Most of the voyage proved routine. Concerned that the necessity of escorting Henderson and the Control Force would hamper the flexibility of the heavier warships in the event of an enemy attack, Blue adopted an experimental cruising formation. Meanwhile, on 26 January, several Blue submarines determined that there were no Black forces, under Adm. Newton A. McCully, at Aux Cayes. Although the Blue Main Body encountered some inclement weather, this presented no difficulties. On 30 January, the Blue main body arrived at its appointed rendezvous, about 30 miles south of Vieques. Black aircraft very quickly put in an appearance, and for about two hours were extremely active; attacking Wyoming (BB-32), Langley, and the troop transports. These Black air attacks were ruled ineffective, due to the fleet’s anti-aircraft fire and Langley’s fighter aircraft. During this air attack, the troop convoy, reinforced with three battleships plus some destroyers and submarines, proceeded toward Culebra, to undertake a landing. From 30 January, to the end of the problem, the Blue Main Body covered the landing exercises and protected the fleet train, while the Black air forces maintained contact, and confined its offensive activities to attacking Henderson and Langley which arrived at Culebra, on 31 January. During the amphibious operations at Culebra, the marines tested a new landing craft and also demonstrated the usefulness of “combat loading” equipment. The fleet problem ended at 3:30 a.m. on 1 February. This major training operation by the fleet helped practice amphibious assault techniques and tactics and ultimately, contributed to improved landing craft.

Henderson, with the exercise completed, steamed to Charleston on 2 February 1924, and arrived on the 6th. Departing on 10 February, she returned to the Caribbean to conduct her routine rotational transport duties. Reaching Port-au-Prince, on 14 February, she got underway the next day, bound for Santo Domingo (17-18 February). She then moved on to Culebra (19-22 February), to embark Marine units still on the island and return them to the U.S. Bound for Quantico, she departed and steamed up the Chesapeake via Piney Point, Md. (27 February), and debarked the marines on board at Quantico, that same day. Getting underway the next day, she touched at Hampton Roads, on 29 February before continuing on to Culebra. Raising the island off Puerto Rico, on 5 March, she again embarked troops and equipment still on the island and conveyed them back to Quantico, where they were off-loaded on 10-11 March. With that transport mission completed, Henderson shifted to Lynnhaven Roads, Va., on the 11th, before returning to Hampton Roads, the next day. She then departed on 12 March bound for Philadelphia, and a maintenance availability at the Navy Yard. Entering on 13 March, she remained until 1 June, when she got underway and steamed to Hampton Roads, reaching on 3 June.

Departing on 19 June 1924, Henderson made her routine cruise of the Caribbean and stopped at Guantanamo, Port-au-Prince, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, San Juan, and St. Thomas, between 21-27 June. Clearing St. Thomas, on 27 June, she returned to Hampton Roads, on 1 July. She entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 3 June, but shifted back to Hampton Roads, the same day. Steaming through the Virginia capes, on 12 July, she set a course for Santo Domingo (16-18 July) and Guantanamo (19-20 July), before returning to Hampton Roads, on the 23rd. Departing once again on 2 August, Henderson steamed for the Canal Zone via Santo Domingo (6-7 August). Arriving at Cristóbal on 9 August, she shifted to Coco Solo, Panama, on the 10th and then transited the canal, arriving at Balboa, on the 11th. She steamed northward on 16 August and raised San Diego on 25 August. Remaining until 10 September, she got underway to return to the Atlantic. En route she conducted port visits to Salina Cruz, Mexico (15 September), and Corinto (17 September), before standing in to Balboa, on the 19th. Returning to the Atlantic via the canal, she departed Colon, on 23 September, and after touching at Port-au-Prince (26 September), returned to Hampton Roads, on the 30th.

Just under two weeks later, on 13 October 1924, Henderson steamed eastward from the capes and headed across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. After a fortnight in transit, during which she passed the British Crown Colony of Gibraltar, Henderson arrived at Bizerte, Tunisia, French North Africa, on 27 October. Two days later, she steamed across the Mediterranean to Gravosa [Gruž], Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia [Croatia] (1-3 November) and then on to Naples, Italy (5-11 November). After a time at Gibraltar (14-15 November), she steamed westward, back across the Atlantic. Arriving at Hampton Roads, on 27 November, she remained in port through the remainder of the year.

Henderson resumed operations underway on 4 January 1925, when she steamed up the Chesapeake to Quantico. Embarking marines on 5-6 January, she briefly touched at Hampton Roads, en route to the Caribbean. Raising Cap-Haitien on 11 January, she continued on to Guantanamo (12-13 January), Port-au-Prince (14-15), St. Thomas and San Juan (18 January), before returning to Hampton Roads, on the 22nd. The next day, she then made a short run up the Chesapeake to Quantico (24-26 January) and then returned on the 29th. Getting underway the next day, Henderson steamed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, for scheduled maintenance. Entering the yard on 30 January, she underwent repairs. Departing on 10 March, she made for the Chesapeake, and arrived at Quantico (12-13 March), before returning with marines to Hampton Roads, on 14 March. With orders to sail to the Pacific, she departed that same day and arrived at Cristóbal directly on 20 March. Crossing to the Pacific, she cleared Balboa, on 23 March and arrived at San Diego, on 1 April. After nine days in port, she set a course for San Francisco (12-15 April), then moved on to Honolulu (27-30 April), before returning to San Diego (8 May), en route to the Canal Zone. Arriving at Balboa on 18 May, Henderson transited the canal the same day and once into the Atlantic, steamed directly to Quantico, reaching on 25 May. She then departed that same day after debarking the marines and returned to Hampton Roads, the next day. She steamed up the Chesapeake, again on 3 June, this time, however, she was bound for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Embarking midshipmen for their summer cruise, she departed that same day for the Canal Zone, and having transited the Panama Canal, arrived at Balboa on 11 June. Two days late, she steamed westward, bound for the Hawaiian Territory, and reached Honolulu on 29 June.

Henderson remained at Honolulu, until 12 July 1925, before moving on to Kahului (12-13 July) and Hilo (15 July). Steaming back to San Diego (23-27 July), she then moved on to Corinto (3-4 August) en route to Balboa (6-10 August) and a return to the Atlantic. After transiting the Panama Canal, Henderson touched at Guantanamo Bay on 13 August and reached Hampton Roads on 17 August. Operating from Hampton Roads, the transport conducted maneuvers on the Southern Drill Grounds (24-25 August and 26 August) and after a time at Lynnhaven Roads (25-26 August), she departed Hampton Roads on 3 September bound for Quantico. After anchoring off the Wicomico River, she arrived at Quantico on 4 September. After exchanging the marines embarked onboard at the Marine Base, she departed the next day and touched at Charleston en route to St. Thomas. Touching on 11 September, she then moved on to Cap-Haitien (13 September) and Port-au-Prince (14-15 September), before arriving at Guantanamo Bay, on 15 September. Departing the next day, she arrived at Quantico on the 20th. After debarking the marines on board and embarking their replacements, she raised anchor and steamed down the bay to Hampton Roads, where she arrived on the 22nd. Henderson entered the Norfolk Navy Yard on 1 October and after a week, she undocked on the 8th. After shifting to Hampton Roads she remained until 20 October, when she got underway bound for Port-au-Prince.

Henderson arrived at and departed the Haitian capital on 24 October 1925. Bound for the Canal Zone, she transited the canal and moored at Balboa on the 27th. Departing two days later, she steamed north and stood in to San Diego, on 7 November. She remained until the 10th, then departed bound for San Francisco, via San Pedro (10-11 November). Raising San Francisco, on 12 November, she entered the Navy Yard at Mare Island, that same day. The transport underwent maintenance until 19 November. Undocking from the yard, that same day, she shifted to and moored at San Francisco, until the following day. Passing back through the Golden Gate, on 20 November, she made her way back to the Atlantic touching at San Pedro (21-22 November), San Diego (22-24 November), and Balboa (3-5 December) en route. Transiting the canal on 5 December, she moved on to Port-au-Prince (8 December) en route to Hampton Roads, where she reached on 12 December. Three days later, she steamed back into the Atlantic, and set a course for New York. Initially anchoring off Tompkinsville, on the 16th, she entered the New York Navy Yard, later that same day. Clearing the yard on 21 December, she steamed into Delaware Bay, and anchored off Brandywine, Del. Departing the anchorage the next day, she shifted to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she remained through the holiday season and well into 1926.

The transport cleared the yard on 23 February 1926, and steaming south arrived at Hampton Roads, the next day. On 1 March, she got underway and steamed up the Chesapeake to Quantico. Initially anchoring off the entrance to the Potomac River, later that same day, she shifted to Quantico, the next day and embarked marines into the 3rd. Getting underway later that day, she steamed to Hampton Roads, arriving on 4 March, she moved into the Norfolk Navy Yard, until the next day when she departed bound for Charleston. Touching there on 7 March, she continued on to Guantanamo Bay (10-12 March) and Port-au-Prince (13-15 March). Leaving Haiti, she returned to Quantico (19-20 March), and then back to Hampton Roads, on 21 March, from whence, she then entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, that same day. Clearing the yard on 1 April, she passed through the capes and set a course for the Canal Zone, en route to the west coast. Arriving at Coco Solo, on 7 April, she transited the canal to Balboa the next day. Departing on the 10th, Henderson reached San Diego on 19 April. Moving on to San Pedro (22-23 April), and San Francisco (24-26 April), she entered the yard at Mare Island (26 April-1 May). Shifting back to San Francisco (1-5 May), she steamed for San Diego, en route to the Panama Canal. Touching on 6 May, she continued on and arrived at Balboa, on the 15th. Getting underway, she transited the canal on 18 May, touched at Coco Solo, that same day, and continued her passage to Virginia. Passing into the Chesapeake on the 24th, she anchored off Hampton Roads, and the next day shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard where she underwent maintenance. She cleared the yard on 12 June, and after a time at Hampton Roads (12-14 June), she steamed to Annapolis, arriving on the 15th. After embarking midshipmen for their summer cruise, she departed the next day, 16 June, and raised Coco Solo on 22 June. Steaming back through the Panama Canal, on 23 June, she made a port visit to Balboa (23-28 June). Getting underway again on the 28th, the transport and her passengers steamed westward bound for Honolulu where she arrived on 13 July. After seventeen days, Henderson, cleared Honolulu, on 30 July 1926, and steamed westward, bound for China. She arrived at the mouth of the Yangtze River and moored at Shanghai on 14 August. She then departed on 20 August, and made her way to Manila. Arriving on 23 August, the transport remained in port until 10 September, when she got underway for Guam in the Marianas. Raising the island on the 15th, she remained for two days and then steamed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Territory, where she arrived on 29 September. Henderson got underway again on 4 October, bound for San Diego, she arrived on the 12th, and remained until the 29th. She departed and steamed to Balboa, where she reached on 8 November. Crossing the isthmus, she departed the Canal Zone on 11 November, and arrived at Hampton Roads, on 17 November. She remained in port until 29 November, when she raised anchor and steamed to Port-au-Prince, reaching on 3 December. She remained a day, before moving on to Guantanamo (5-6 December), St. Thomas (10-11 December), and San Juan (11 December), before returning to Hampton Roads, on 15 December. Clearing Hampton Roads, on the 18th, she steamed in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, that same day, where she remained through the year’s end and into February 1927.

Getting under way for the first time in the new year, Henderson departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on 18 February 1927, and steamed to Newport, arriving the next day. Remaining overnight, she departed the next day and steamed to Piney Point, and then on to Quantico on the 22nd. Having embarked a contingent of marines, she departed Quantico on 23 February and stopped briefly at Hampton Roads (24 February) before continuing on to Charleston. Touching at Charleston, on the 26th, she departed that same day and touched at Guantanamo Bay on 1 March. Underway again that same day, she raised Cristóbal, on 3 March. Transiting the Panama Canal into the Pacific on 4 March, Henderson steamed to Corinto. Arriving on 7 March, she landed her embarked Marine contingents to support the Nicaraguan government fighting against the rebels under the guerrilla leader Augusto Sandino. She remained until 25 March, and then shifted to an anchorage in the Gulf of Fonseca (25-26 March), before getting underway again for San Diego, and arriving on 3 April. 


Henderson landing U.S. Marines at Corinto, Nicaragua, in March 1927. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99382)
Caption: Henderson landing U.S. Marines at Corinto, Nicaragua, in March 1927. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99382)

After four days in southern California, she departed on 7 April 1927, bound for China. Embarked was the 6th Marine Regiment, less the 3rd Battalion, the 3rd Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Service Company, one battery of 75 millimeter, tractor-drawn artillery, and one squadron of scouting, pursuit and amphibian planes, the whole force was under the command of Col. Harold C. Snyder, USMC. After visiting Honolulu (15-18 April), the transport steamed into Shanghai, on 2 May. Remaining a month, Henderson landed the marines at the International Settlement and supported them amidst the uncertainty of Chiang Kai-shek’s National Revolutionary Army’s Northern Expedition to destroy the warlord cliques and their armies and consolidate the country under Kuomintang [Guomindang] control. Re-embarking elements of Col. Snyder’s command, Henderson got underway on 2 June, and shifted to an anchorage off the Taku Bar, Tientsin [Tianjin], China. Arriving on 4 June, the marines were disembarked to protect the lines of communication to the American Legation at Peking [Beijing]. The transport remained until the 8th, when she departed bound for Cavite, P.I. Raising her destination on 14 June, she shifted to Olongapo, P.I. (17-18 June), then returned to the Bund at Shanghai on 23 June. Given the chaotic situation in China, Henderson would spend several months operating off the Chinese coast. She set a course to the Taku Bar on the 28th, and arrived on 1 July. Afterward, she would be at Chefoo [Yantai] (5 July-5 August, 27-30 September, and 2-3 October); Chinwangtao [Qinhuangdao] (5 August-20 September, 27-30 September); Taku Bar (1 October); and Tsingtao [Qingdao] (4 October) before returning to Shanghai on 6 October. Clearing the International Settlement on 14 October, she steamed for the Philippines, and arrived at Olongapo, on 19 October. The next day, she shifted to Manila, and remained there until the 25th. Departing that day, she set a course to return to the U.S. Touching at Guam, on 30 October, she steamed to Honolulu (11-12 November), and passed through the Golden Gate into San Francisco Bay on 19 November. Shifting to the Mare Island Navy Yard on 23 November, she underwent maintenance until she undocked on 31 December, and moored at San Francisco for the New Year’s holidays.

Henderson cleared San Francisco, on 4 January 1928, and steamed to San Pedro and San Diego (6 January), Honolulu (15-16 January), and Guam (28-30 January) en route to the Philippines. Reaching Manila on 4 February, she remained until the 10th, when she steamed out of Manila Bay, for a return to China. Arriving at Shanghai, on 16 February, she remained until 22 February, from whence she visited the following Chinese ports: Chinwangtao (25 February-1 March); Shanghai (3-26 March); Amoy [Xiamen] (28-29 March); and the British Crown Colony at Hong Kong (29 March-4 April). Clearing Hong Kong, on the 4th, she steamed to Manila (5-7 April), Guam (13 April), and then into Honolulu, on 25 April. Remaining until the 27th, she moved on to San Francisco where she arrived on 5 May. That same day, she entered the Mare Island Navy Yard and underwent overhaul until 21 June. Clearing the yard on that day, she remained at San Francisco, until 25 June, and then got underway to return to the western Pacific via San Pedro (27 June), San Diego (28 June-1 July), Pearl Harbor (10-13 July); and Guam (25-30 July) before raising Shanghai, on 5 August. Henderson continued to operate along the Chinese coast making numerous port visits into October. Clearing Shanghai, on 3 October, she steamed eastbound, touching at Guam (9-10 October) and Honolulu (21-22 October) before mooring at San Diego, on 31 October. She remained there until 5 November, when she left for San Pedro (6 November), en route to San Francisco, where she arrived on 8 November. She entered Mare Island, the next day and underwent overhaul until the 26th. Having shifted to San Francisco, that day, she got underway for San Pedro, on the 28th. Spending 29-30 November, at San Pedro, she moved on to San Diego (30 November-1 December), en route to Honolulu (9-10 December). From the Hawaiian Territory, she steamed to Guam (21-23 December). Underway on Christmas Day, she entered Manila Bay, on 28 December.

Having spent New Year’s Day 1929, in port at Manila, she got underway and steamed for a return to China, reaching the Taku Bar, off Tientsin, on 8 January. Over the next several weeks, the transport shuttled between Taku Bar and Shanghai, supporting U.S. forces ashore at each of the locations. During this time, on 19 January, the 3rd Marine Brigade under Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, USMC, was disbanded at Tientsin, and the marines were withdrawn from the city by the end of the month. Departing Shanghai on 2 February, Henderson steamed to Manila (5-7 February) then on to Guam (12-13 February), Honolulu (23-27 February), before returning to the continental U.S. at San Diego on 8 March. Remaining there until the 11th, the transport again got underway bound for a maintenance availability at Mare Island. En route, she touched at San Pedro (11-12 March), and San Francisco (13-15 March) before entering the yard on the 15th. After her yard work, she moved to San Francisco, on 4 March. Remaining for two days, she steamed to San Pedro (7-8 April), and then to San Diego (8-10 April), en route to Honolulu (17-19 April). Touching at Guam, on 1 May, she steamed back into Manila (6-10 May), on her way to China. Henderson made landfall again at Hong Kong, on 13 May. Departing the British colony the next day, she shifted to Shanghai, arriving on the 17th. Leaving the next day, the transport made visits to Tsingtao (19-22 May), Chefoo (23 May), and Chinwangtao (24 May) before returning to Shanghai on 27 May. She remained there until 6 June, when she got underway bound for Manila (11-13 June), en route to Guam (18-19 June), and finally, arriving at Honolulu, on 30 June.

Henderson, departing two days later, on 2 July 1929, steamed to San Diego, and anchored off the harbor entrance on 9 June, entering the next day. She got underway again on 12 July, en route to San Francisco, via San Pedro (12 July). She entered San Francisco Bay, on the 14th, and then moved into the Mare Island Navy Yard the next day. There, she underwent overhaul until 6 August. Having completed her maintenance, she remained at San Francisco, until 10 August, when she got underway and steamed southward, arriving at Corinto, on 20 August. While in Nicaragua, she embarked the 11th Marine Regiment, and departed the next day.  The transport arrived at Balboa on 24 August and crossed to Cristóbal, via the Panama Canal, that same day. Now in the Atlantic, Henderson departed on the 26th, bound for Quantico. While en route, the embarked 11th Marine Regiment received orders on 31 August, disbanding the unit. The ship arrived at the Marine Base on 2 September, and landed the now disestablished regiment. Remaining until 14 September, she steamed to Hampton Roads (15-18 September), and then on to Port-au-Prince (22-23 September), en route to the Canal Zone, and a return to the Pacific. Arriving at Colon on 26 September, she transited the canal the same day to Balboa. Two days later, she departed for Corinto. Debarking marines for the counterinsurgency effort in Nicaragua (1-2 October), Henderson moved on to San Diego (10-12 October), San Pedro (13 October), and San Francisco (14-15 October). Entering the yard at Mare Island, on the 15th, she remained there undergoing maintenance until she undocked on 30 October, and shifted to San Francisco. She departed on 1 November, and made her way to San Pedro (2-4 November), San Diego (4-6 November), en route to Honolulu, where she arrived on 14 November. Getting underway again the next day, she set a course for Guam (28-29 November), en route to Manila, where she arrived on 4 December. Departing on 7 December, she steamed Hong Kong (9-11 December), Shanghai (13-16 December), and Chinwangtao (18-20 December), before returning to Shanghai, on 22 December, where she remained through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Henderson got underway again on 2 January 1930, clearing Shanghai, bound for Manila. She arrived on 6 January, and remained until the 9th, when she sortied, bound for Guam, en route to the U.S. Arriving on 14 January, she departed the next day arriving off Honolulu Harbor, on 30 January, and entering the next day. Getting underway again on 1 February, she moored at San Francisco, on the 11 February. Two days later, she docked at Mare Island, and underwent scheduled maintenance until 29 March. Clearing the yard, she shifted to San Francisco, where she remained until 1 April, when she steamed through the Golden Gate into the Pacific, bound for Honolulu. The transport reached on 5 April, and remained there until the 10th, when she got underway on a westward heading for Guam. Briefly touching in the Marianas, on 22 April, Henderson continued on to Manila, arriving on 3 May. Two days later, she visited Hong Kong. Departing on 6 May, she raised Shanghai, on the 9th. Departing on 12 May, she made her routine visits along the coast at Tsingtao (13-14 May), Chefoo (14-15 May), and Chinwangtao (16 May), before returning to the Bund at Shanghai on 19 May. After a ten-day visit at the International Settlement, she cleared Shanghai, to return to the U.S., via Manila (2-4 June), Guam (9-10 June), and Honolulu (21-22 June). She steamed into San Francisco, on 30 June, and entered the Mare Island Navy Yard, for maintenance until 15 July. Departing on 17 July, the transport made visits to San Pedro (18 July), San Diego (19-21 July), Corinto (25-29 July), and Balboa (31 July-1 August), before crossing the Panamanian isthmus to Cristóbal, on 1 August. Having shifted to Colon, she departed on 3 August, and steamed past the Virginia capes in to Hampton Roads, on 9 August.

Henderson remained in port for two weeks, then got underway on 23 August 1930, bound for a return to the Pacific. She reached Colon, on 30 August. The next day, the transport transited the Panama Canal to Balboa, and then departed on 2 September, for Corinto. She arrived there for a brief visit on 4 September, and continued on to San Diego, arriving on 12 September. Two days later, she moved to San Pedro (14-15 September), then on San Francisco (16-17 September), then entering the Mare Island Navy Yard on the 17th. After ten days of maintenance, she undocked and shifted to San Francisco on the 27th. Getting underway again on 30 September, Henderson made her way back to China via Honolulu (7-9 October), Guam (21-22 October), and Manila (28-31 October). Steaming into Hong Kong on 3 November, she departed the next day and arrived at Shanghai on 7 November. Two days later, she steamed out from the mouth of the Yangtze bound for Chinwangtao (13 November) before returning to Shanghai on the 15th. After ten days, off the International Settlement, she steamed into the East China Sea bound for Manila. Arriving on 28 November, she continued on to Guam (8 December) and Pearl Harbor (21-23 December), before ending her eastbound transit by steaming in to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve. On 3 January 1931, she entered the Mare Island yard for regular maintenance.

Henderson cleared Mare Island, on 13 January 1931, and after two days at San Francisco, steamed to San Pedro, arriving on 16 January. The next day she got underway bound for a return to the Atlantic, via San Diego (17-19 January), Corinto (26-27 January), and Balboa (29-30 January). Transiting the Panama Canal, to Cristóbal, on the 30th, she departed from there the next day, and touched at Guantanamo Bay (2 February), en route to Hampton Roads. Arriving on 6 February, she remained at Hampton Roads, until shifting to the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 11 February. At Norfolk, she underwent overhaul until 13 March, when she shifted back to Hampton Roads. Getting underway again on St. Patrick’s Day, she steamed for the Canal Zone, and raised Cristóbal, on 23 March. She crossed back to the Pacific, the next day. Two days later, on 26 March, she cleared Balboa, and after touching at Corinto (28 March), continued northward and stood into the harbor at San Diego on 5 April. Departing two days later, she visited San Pedro (7-8 April) and San Francisco (9-10 April). She entered the yard at Mare Island, on 10 April, and steamed out again on the 21st. Passing out through the Golden Gate, on 23 April, she set a course westward and raised Honolulu on 30 April. She got underway again on 2 May, and proceeded to Guam (14-16 May), Manila (21-28 May), and Hong Kong (28-29 May), before arriving at Shanghai, on 1 June. Departing the next day, Henderson made her regular visits to Tsingtao (3-5 June), Chefoo (5-8 June), and Chinwangtao (8 June), before returning to Shanghai, on 11 June.  Just over a week later, she cleared the mouth of the Yangtze and steamed to Manila, reaching on the 23rd. Clearing the Philippine capital, two days later, she steamed to Guam (30 June-2 July) and Honolulu (12-15 July) en route to San Francisco (22-24 June), and regular maintenance at Mare Island (24 July-5 August).

With her yard work complete, Henderson shifted back to San Francisco, until 8 August 1931, when she cleared San Francisco Bay, and steamed down the California coast bound for a return to the Atlantic. En route, she touched at San Pedro (9-10 August), San Diego (10-12 August), Corinto (20 August), and Balboa (23-24 August). Transiting the canal on 24 August, she steamed from Cristóbal, the same day and headed to Port-au-Prince (27-28 August), on her way to Hampton Roads. Reaching on 1 September, she remained in port there until the 14th, when she got underway to make her return to the Pacific. Steaming directly for the Canal Zone, she raised Cristóbal, on 20 September, and crossed the next day to Balboa, from whence she departed for Corinto. Henderson arrived on the 24th, and she departed the next day, steaming northward for San Diego (3-5 October), San Pedro (6-7 October), San Francisco (8-9 October), and a yard period at Mare Island (9-20 October). Moving to San Francisco, upon leaving the yard, she got underway for Honolulu (29-31 October), Guam (12-14 November), and on to Manila (19-24 November). Deviating from her previous routine of making her initial landfall on the Chinese coast at either Hong Kong or Shanghai, Henderson steamed directly to Chinwangtao (30 November-1 December), then on to Shanghai. Remaining there, off the International Settlement, (3-15 December), she got underway for Manila, and reached on 19 December. She remained until the 22nd, when she set a course for Guam (28-29 December) and Honolulu, where she arrived after the new year, on 9 January 1932. She departed the next day, and steamed to San Francisco (18-19 January), preparatory to entering the Mare Island Navy Yard, on 19 January. She remained there a week undergoing regular maintenance prior to getting underway for another return to the east coast of the U.S.

Undocking on 26 January 1932, Henderson steamed to San Pedro (27-28 January), and San Diego (28 January-1 February), before heading westward and making visits to Lahaina Roads, H.T. (13-17 February) and Pearl Harbor (18-19 February). She arrived at San Diego, on 27 February and remained there until 14 March, when she steamed for the Canal Zone via Corinto (21-22 March). She arrived at Balboa, on 24 March, and crossed the next day to Cristóbal. Clearing the Canal Zone, on 26 March, she steamed directly for Virginia, and moored at Hampton Roads, on 1 April. The next day, she entered the yard at Norfolk, and after only one day, she departed and headed for the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she entered on 5 April, and remained until 5 May. She returned to Norfolk, on 6 May, and the next day, departed bound for Cristóbal. She arrived on the 13th, and that same day proceeded through the Panama Canal, to Balboa. Getting underway again on 16 May, she touched at Corinto (18 May), and steamed in to San Diego, on 26 May. She departed again on 3 June, touched at Corinto (11 June) and Balboa (13-14 June). After exiting the canal at Cristóbal (14 June), she steamed directly to the Norfolk Navy Yard, and arrived on 21 June.

With her yard work complete, Henderson proceeded to Cristóbal (14 July 1932), Balboa (15-16 July), and Corinto (19 July), en route to San Diego, where she arrived on 27 July. The next day, she got underway for San Pedro (28-29) and San Francisco (30 July-1 August), before she entered Mare Island (1-9 August). After undocking and spending time at San Francisco (9-11 August), she steamed westward to Honolulu (18-20 August), Guam (2 September), and Manila (8-14 September), en route to her routine visit to Shanghai (19 September). Leaving almost immediately after her arrival off the Bund, Henderson moved on to Chinwangtao (22-23 September, Chefoo (24 September), and Tsingtao (25 September), before returning to Shanghai, on the 27th. Clearing the Bund on 5 October, she steamed to Manila (9-10 October), Guam (16 October), and Pearl Harbor (28-29 October), en route to a return to the continental U.S. at San Francisco on 6 November. Remaining in the Bay Area, she entered Mare Island (8-15 November), and then departed on the 16th, on her way to San Pedro (17-19 November), San Diego (19-21 November), Corinto (29 November), and Balboa (2-3 November). Henderson crossed to Colon, on 3 December, then departed from Cristóbal, that same day. Entering the Chesapeake, she moored at Norfolk on the 10th. Getting underway again on 19 December, she steamed for the Canal Zone, and arrived at Cristóbal on Christmas Day. Transiting the Panama Canal on Boxing Day, she departed the next day bound for Corinto, and reaching on 29 December. She remained there through the new year.

Henderson, having embarked the last of the 2nd Marine Brigade from Nicaragua, departed Corinto on 2 January 1933, and headed south for the Canal Zone. Having transited the Panama Canal, she arrived at Coco Solo, C.Z., on 5 January.


Henderson at Coco Solo, C.Z., on 6 January 1933. Photographed from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Coco Solo. Note the open cargo hatch forward of the bridge. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99308)
Caption: Henderson at Coco Solo, C.Z., on 6 January 1933. Photographed from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station, Coco Solo. Note the open cargo hatch forward of the bridge. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99308)

She departed on 7 January 1933, and steamed directly to Norfolk. Touching there on 14 January, she continued on to Quantico and arrived the next day. After disembarking the units of the 2nd Marine Brigade (15-17 January), she steamed for the Delaware Bay and entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 18 January, and underwent maintenance until 3 February. With her yard work completed, she cleared Philadelphia, and steamed to Hampton Roads, then on to Naval Operating Base (NOB) Norfolk, on the 4th. Departing Norfolk, on 8 February, she steamed for the Caribbean. Bound for a return to the Pacific, she touched at Guantanamo Bay (12 February), Port-au-Prince (13 February), and Cristóbal (16 February), transiting to Balboa, later that same day. She got underway on 18 February, bound for San Diego (25 February-2 March), San Pedro (3-4 March), and San Francisco (5-6 March), before heading in to Mare Island (6-16 March). Emerging from the yard on the 16th, she shifted to San Francisco, until 20 March, when she departed for Pearl Harbor, arriving a week later on 27 March. The transport steamed to Guam (11-12 April), Manila (17-24 April) and then on to China, raising Woosung [Wusong] on the 29th, before shifting later that same day, to Shanghai. Remaining in the Yangtze, until 9 May, she got underway and touched briefly at Taku Bar, on the 12th, before steaming directly to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on 30 March, and remained through April and May. Finally departing Oahu, on 1 June, she steamed to San Francisco (9 June) and entered the Mare Island yard, the next day. Clearing the yard on 19 June, she set a course for San Pedro (20-22 June), and then proceeded on to San Diego (22-24 June), en route to Balboa. Standing in to Balboa, on 4 July, she crossed the isthmus to Cristóbal on the 6th, then departed the next day for Hispaniola. Touching at Port-au-Prince on 10 June, she proceeded to Guantanamo Bay. Touching on 11 June, she transited directly to Annapolis, where she arrived on 15 July. She got underway on 17 July, back down the Chesapeake Bay, and moored at Hampton Roads, that same day. Shifting to Norfolk, the next day, she remained until the 21st, when she got underway and steamed to the Boston Navy Yard, entering on 24 July. Undergoing maintenance, she remained in the yard until 28 August, when she got underway for trials and returned that same day. She finally cleared Boston, on 30 August, when she got underway bound for Hampton Roads. Arriving on 1 September, she shifted to Norfolk, later in the day.

Henderson steamed between the Virginia capes, bound for the Caribbean, on 9 September 1933. Arriving at Port-au-Prince, on 13 September, she departed two days later bound for the Canal Zone. Reaching Cristóbal, on 18 September, she transited the Panama Canal to Balboa, the next day and then after a two-day stay, departed bound for San Diego via Bahia Honda (22 September). Raising San Diego (1-5 October), she proceeded on to San Pedro (5-9 October), San Francisco (10-18, and Seattle, Wash. (21-24 October), before returning to San Francisco on 27 October. After three days in port, she departed on the 30th, and made her way back down the U.S. west coast to San Pedro (31 October-2 November) and San Diego (2-6 November), then proceeding on to Balboa on the 16th, before transiting the canal to Cristóbal on 18 November. Steaming from the Canal Zone into the Caribbean on 20 November, Henderson touched briefly at Guantanamo Bay (22 November), before reaching Hampton Roads on the 26th. She remained in the lower Chesapeake Bay, until 8 December, when she got underway bound for visits to Guantanamo Bay (12 December) and Port-au-Prince (13 December), en route to the Pacific. Reaching on the 16th, she remained at Cristóbal until the 17th, when she passed through the canal to Balboa, before departing for California on the 18th. She arrived off Point Loma Light, Calif. on 28 December and entered the harbor at San Diego later that day. She remained two day, then steamed to San Pedro, reaching on 30 December, she spent the New Year’s holidays here in port.

Henderson resumed operations underway on 2 January 1934. Steaming for San Francisco, she reached on 3 January, and entered the yard at Mare Island on 5 January. Shifting back to San Francisco on the 11th, she stood out of San Francisco Bay, on 13 January bound for the Hawaiian Territory, reaching Honolulu, on 20 January. Two days later, she departed for Guam, and reached the Marianas, on 4 February. Her westward transit continued via Manila (9-13 February), before terminating at Woosung on 18 February. Two days later, she steamed to Chinwangtao (20-21 February), before arriving at Shanghai on 24 February. She finally departed the Bund, on 7 March, and proceeded to make her way back eastward, via Manila (11-14 March), Guam (19-20 March), Honolulu (1-4 April), before arriving at San Francisco on 11 April. She shifted to Mare Island on 13 April, and after nearly two weeks, she shifted back across the bay on the 26th, before departing for San Pedro, the next day. Reaching on 28 April, she remained at San Pedro, until 30 April, then proceeded back to Norfolk, via San Diego (30 April-2 May); Balboa (12-14 May); Cristóbal (14-15 May); and Guantanamo Bay (19 May), finally reaching her destination on 23 May. Five days after her arrival, she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for only a brief time on 28 May. Henderson got underway on 4 June and steamed into the Atlantic, en route to Guantanamo Bay (8-9 June) and Port-au-Prince (10-13 June), before returning to Hampton Roads, on 16 June. Shifting to Norfolk, the next day, she remained there until 27 June, when she got underway bound for a return to Guantanamo, en route to a return to Asia.

Henderson touched briefly in Cuba, on 1 July 1934, and then proceeded on to Port-au-Prince (2-3 July); Cristóbal (6-7 July); Balboa (7-10 July); San Diego 19-23 July); San Pedro (23-25 July); and San Francisco (26-27 July), prior to shifting to her regular yard period at Mare Island (28 July-7 August), preparatory to crossing the Pacific. Clearing the yard on 7 August, she shifted to San Francisco, and stood out through the Golden Gate, on 10 August. Bound for Honolulu, she arrived on 17 August, before departing on the 21st, to proceed to Guam (2-5 September), Manila (9-13 September), and then raise Woosung on 17 September. Remaining only briefly, she departed that same day and transited to Chinwangtao (20-22 September) and Chefoo (22-23 September), before standing in to Shanghai, on 25 September. The transport remained off the International Settlement, through 6 October, when she departed via Amoy [Xiamen] (8 October) for Manila. Arriving in the Philippines on 11 October, she remained until the next day, and then departed to continue her transit back to the U.S., via Guam (19 October) and Honolulu (31 October-3 November) before returning to San Francisco (11-14 November), before docking at Mare Island, later on the 14th. Clearing the yard, ten days later, on 24 November, she shifted to San Francisco, for a couple of days, then departed for a return to the east coast on the 26th. Touching at San Pedro (28-30 November) and San Diego (1-3 December), she proceeded to Balboa (14-15 December), transited the Panama Canal, to Cristóbal on the 15th, and then departed on 16 December, for Guantanamo Bay. Reaching on 18 December, she remained only briefly, and departed the same day, steaming to Norfolk, where she arrived on 22 December. Henderson docked at the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 28 December, and underwent overhaul through the next seven weeks.

Henderson undocked and cleared the Norfolk Navy Yard, to undergo post-overhaul trials on 15 February 1935. She returned that same day to NOB Norfolk, where she remained until 1 March, when she departed for a return to the Pacific. Transiting via Guantanamo Bay (5-6 March) and Cristóbal (9-10 March), she moved through the canal on the 10th, to Balboa, and then departed on 12 March, for San Diego. Reaching on 22 March, she remained until 25 February, when she proceeded to San Pedro (26-27 March), and then on to San Francisco, where she arrived on the 28th. Entering Mare Island on 30 March, she underwent maintenance until 10 April, then shifted back to San Francisco. She departed on 13 April for her usual intermediate stops at Honolulu (20-24 April), Guam (11 May), and Manila (16-19 May), en route to China, where she made landfall on 23 May, at Woosung. Departing the next day she visited Chinwangtao (26-27 May), Chefoo (28-29 May), and Tsingtao (30 May), before returning to the Yangtze and mooring at Shanghai on 1 June. The transport remained in port until 10 June, when she got underway on 10 June, to return to the U.S. Again stopping at Manila (14-17 June), Guam (23-24 June), and Honolulu (5-8 July), and San Francisco (16-18 July), before entering the yard at Mare Island for her post-Pacific transit maintenance on the 18th. Undocking on 27 July, she again shifted to San Francisco, before leaving bound for San Pedro (1-2 August), San Diego (3-6 August), Balboa (17-18 August), Cristóbal (18-20 August), and Guantanamo Bay (22-23 August), before standing in to NOB Norfolk, on 27 August, and remaining there in port until 18 September.

Henderson continued her routine of transporting Marine Corps units and equipment between the continental U.S. and commands overseas, when she steamed out of Norfolk, on 10 September 1935, bound for Guantanamo Bay, en route to the Pacific. Having touched at Guantanamo (14 September) and Cristóbal (17-18 September), she crossed to Balboa (18-20 September), before steaming north to California. After visits to San Diego (30 September-2 October), San Pedro (3-5 October), and San Francisco (7-8 October), she docked at Mare Island, and underwent maintenance (8-16 October). Shifting to San Francisco on clearing the yard, she departed on 21 October, for another trans-Pacific transit with stops at Honolulu (28 October-1 November), Guam (13-15 November), and Manila, (20-23 November), before steaming into the South China and East China seas, to stand in to Woosung on 27 November. The transport departed the next day, and made her way to Chinwangtao (30 November-1 December) and Shanghai (4-14 December). En route to her return to the U.S., she visited the British Crown colony at Hong Kong (16-19 December), in advance of proceeding to Manila (21-26 December) and arriving at Guam on 31 December.

Henderson spent the New Year’s holidays at Guam, and then got underway again on 2 January 1936, bound for San Francisco, via Honolulu (13-17 January). She steamed into San Francisco Bay, on 24 January, and then shifted to the Mare Island Navy Yard, three days later. With her yard work completed, she undocked on 9 February, and shifted to San Francisco, before departing on the 10th. She steamed southward and visited San Pedro (12-13 February), San Diego (14-17 February), and Balboa (27-29 February). Passing through the Gatun Locks, on 29 February, she stood into Cristóbal. Departing on 2 March, she set a course for a return to Norfolk, via Guantanamo Bay (4-5 March), and reached on 9 March. She entered the yard at Norfolk, on the 11th, and undocked on 15 March, shifting back to the NOB Norfolk. After ten days in port, she was underway again on 25 May. Making her regular intermediate stop at Guantanamo Bay, on 29 May, she raised Cristóbal on 1 June, and transited the canal to Balboa, the next day. Departing on 4 June, she proceeded northward to San Diego (14-16 June), San Pedro (17-19 June), and then to San Francisco (20-22 June), before entering Mare Island, on 22 June. At the completion of her yard period, she shifted to San Francisco, on 30 June, then steamed for Honolulu on 6 July. Arriving a week later, on 13 July, she departed again on the 17th, en route to Guam (29-31 July) and Manila (5-8 August), before reaching Hong Kong, on 10 August. Leaving that same day, Henderson moved on to Woosung (13 August), Chinwangtao (15-16 August), Chefoo (17-19 August), Tsingtao (20-22 August), before steaming in to and mooring at Shanghai on 23 August). Getting underway again on 1 September, she cleared the Yangtze, and steamed to Manila (5-8 September), before proceeding to Guam (13-15 September), Honolulu (26 September-1 October), San Francisco (8-9 October), and entering the yard at Mare Island on 9 October. Clearing the yard on 21 October, she departed San Francisco on the 23rd, and proceeded to San Pedro (24-27 October), San Diego (28-31 October), before reaching Balboa, on 10 November. Crossing to the Atlantic, on the 12th, she remained at Cristóbal until the 14th, when the transport steamed to Guantanamo Bay (16-17 November), before continuing on to Norfolk, where she arrived on 21 November. The transport did not enter the yard and instead, departed for Guantanamo Bay on 3 December, stopping only briefly on the 7th, before resuming her transit to Cristóbal, where she arrived on 10 December. Transiting the canal to Balboa, the next day, she departed on 12 December, and repeating her regular semi-annual routine and made visits to  San Diego (22-28 December), San Pedro (28-29 December), en route to San Francisco. Arriving on 30 December, the ship spent the New Year’s holidays in port there.

Henderson shifted to Mare Island, and entered the yard on 2 January 1937, and remained there until undocking on 13 January, and moving back to San Francisco. Steaming out past the Presidio, on 15 January, Henderson steamed for points westward and made her intermediate stops at Honolulu (22-26 January), Guam (7-9 February), and Manila (14-18 February), en route to China. The transport touched at Woosung on 22 February, before leaving that same day for Chinwangtao (25 February) and Shanghai (27 February-9 March). Having departed the Yangtze on the 9th, she made a brief visit to Hong Kong (12-13 March), before continuing on to Manila (15-18 March). Departing the Philippines, she made her regular eastbound visits to Guam (24-26 March) and Honolulu (6-10 April), before returning to San Francisco, on 19 April, en route that same day to Mare Island, for her routine maintenance. On 29 April, she cleared the yard, and moved to San Francisco, from whence she departed on 3 May. Steaming southward, she visited San Pedro (6-7 May) and San Diego (7-11 May), before arriving at Balboa on 20 May. Passing back to the Atlantic on 23 May, she remained for two days at Cristóbal, before getting underway on the 25th. After a stop at Guantanamo Bay (27-28 May), she stood in to Norfolk on 1 June, and then entered the yard there on 5 June.

Henderson remained at the yard undergoing overhaul until 4 August 1937, when she got underway and conducted post-maintenance trials. Though she returned to the yard that same day, she later cleared the yard on 7 August and shifted to the NOB Norfolk, from which she departed on 17 August. Bound for another deployment to China, which since early July was convulsed in an undeclared war with Japan, she made her routine stops en route at Guantanamo Bay (21 August); Cristobal (24-25 August); Balboa (25-26 August); San Diego (5-8 September); San Pedro (8 September); San Francisco (10 September); Mare Island (10-17 September);  San Francisco (17-18 September); Pearl Harbor (25-27 September); Guam (9-10 October); and Manila (17-20 October), before making landfall at Woosung, on 24 October. Departing the next day, she visited Chinwangtao (27-28 October); Chefoo (29 October), Tsingtao (30 October), and Fairway Buoy (31 October-1 November), then in to Shanghai, later on 1 November. Standing out of Shanghai, on 10 November, she steamed to Hong Kong (13-14 November) then to the Philippines, entering Manila Bay, on 16 November. After a two day visit, she got underway again, and continued her routine itinerary, with stops at Guam (24-25 November); Honolulu (6-7 December), and San Francisco (14-16 December), en route to a maintenance period at Mare Island (16-30 December). With her yard work completed, she shifted to San Francisco on 30 December, and celebrated the new year there.

Getting underway for the first time in the new year on 3 January 1938, Henderson stood out of San Francisco, and steamed down the California coast to San Pedro (4 January) and San Diego (6-10 January), on her way to Balboa (20-21 January). After a trans-isthmus shift to Cristóbal on the 21st, she cleared the Canal Zone, and steamed for Norfolk, via Guantanamo Bay (26-27 January). She arrived at her destination on 31 January, and moved into the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 3 February. Clearing the yard on 8 February, she steamed out of Norfolk, on the 14th, for a return to the Canal Zone, stopping at Guantanamo Bay (18 February), en route. Arriving at Cristóbal, on 21 February, and transited the Panama Canal, to Balboa, from whence, she departed on 24 February. Arriving at San Diego (6-8 March), she proceeded to San Pedro (8-11 March), and San Francisco (12-28 March). The transport set a course, westward and departing on 28 March, reached Honolulu on 4 April. Two days later, she was underway again en route to Guam (19-20 April) and Manila (26-29 April), before arriving at Hong Kong on 2 May. Departing that same day, Henderson transited to Woosung (5 May), Chinwangtao (8-10 May), and Shanghai (13-23 May). Clearing the Yangtze, she steamed for a return to the U.S., stopping at Manila (27-28 May), Guam (3-4 June), Pearl Harbor (15-17 June), and San Francisco (24-25 June). With another trans-Pacific passage completed, she entered the yard at Mare Island for maintenance on 25 June. Clearing at the completion of her yard work, the transport steamed out of San Francisco on 9 July and made her way to the Canal Zone, via San Pedro (11-13 July) and San Diego (14-16 July). Arriving at Balboa, on the 26th, she transited the canal and departed from Colon, on 29 July. Briefly touching at Guantanamo Bay, on 1 August, she continued on to Norfolk, and steamed past Cape Henry, into the lower Chesapeake Bay, and mooring at Norfolk, on 5 August.

Henderson remained in port until getting underway again on 17 October 1938. Continuing to perform her duties as a troop transport, she made her routine port calls at Guantanamo Bay (21 October); Cristóbal and Balboa (24-27 October); San Diego (6-8 November); San Pedro (9-11 November), and San Francisco (13-25 November), before heading west across the Pacific. Clearing San Francisco on 25 November, she touched at Honolulu (2-3 December), Guam (16-17 December); and Manila (22-26 November) before standing in to Woosung, on 30 December, and departing that same day.

Henderson rang in 1939, while underway and made her first port visit of the new year to Chinwangtao on 2 January. From there she moved on to Shanghai. Arriving on 6 January, she remained until the 16th, when she departed for Hong Kong (19-20 January), en route to Manila (22-24 January). Standing out of Manila Bay, Henderson made her way back across the Pacific, via Guam (29-30 January), and Honolulu (10-13 February), to San Francisco on 20 February. The transport remained in San Francisco Bay until 6 March, during which time she entered Mare Island, for maintenance. Clearing the bay on 6 March, she steamed to the Canal Zone, via San Pedro (8-10 March) and San Diego (11-14 March), arriving at Balboa, on the 24th. Passing through the canal on the 25th, she cleared Cristóbal, in haste, headed for Guantanamo Bay. After briefly touching on 28 March, she continued on and stood in to Norfolk, on 1 April. She remained in the Hampton Roads area, until 18 April, during which she entered the Norfolk Navy Yard, for routine maintenance. Underway again, she departed on 18 April, and steamed to the Caribbean. Pausing at Guantanamo, on 22 April, she continued on to the Canal Zone. Crossing from Cristóbal, to Balboa, on 25 April, she quickly departed that same day and raised San Diego, on 8 May. Again, leaving a port on the same day she entered, Henderson did likewise at San Pedro (9 May), before steaming into San Francisco Bay, on 11 May. After a time at Mare Island, she departed on 29 May, bound for points west: Honolulu (5-7 June); Manila (26-28 June), and Shanghai (2-3 July). From the Yangtze, she steamed to Chinwangtao (5-6 July), Chefoo (7-8 July), and Tsingtao (9 July), then back to Shanghai (10-21 July, before heading to Hong Kong (24-25 July). Leaving the British possession, she proceeded back toward the U.S. with her regular way stations at Manila (28-29 July), Guam (3-4 August), Honolulu (15-17 August) and in to San Francisco and Mare Island (14 August-8 September). Getting underway, she steamed to San Pedro (9-12 September) and San Diego (12-14 September), en route to the Canal Zone, where she arrived on the 24th. She departed Cristóbal, on 27 September, and made her way to Guantanamo Bay (23-24 October), before steaming into Norfolk, on 4 October. After a period in port and conducting maintenance, the transport steamed back out of Norfolk, on 19 October, and after touching at Guantanamo Bay (23-24 October), raised the Atlantic coast of the Canal Zone, on 27 October. Having crossed the isthmus, Henderson departed Balboa, on 31 October, and stopped at San Diego (11-14 November) and San Diego (14-16 November), respectively, before continuing on and standing in to San Francisco Bay, on 18 November. Having spent a period undergoing maintenance at Mare Island, she departed on 4 December, and steamed to Honolulu (11-14 December), Guam (27-29 December), and in to Manila, on 3 January 1940.

Clearing Manila on 6 January 1940, Henderson transited to Shanghai, and arrived on 11 January. Departing the next day, she moved on and made a port visit to Chinwangtao (15 January), before returning to Shanghai, for an eleven-day visit (18-28 January). Getting underway, she steamed to Hong Kong 31 (Januairy-1 February), then on to Manila (3-4 February), Guam (10-12 February), Honolulu (24-26 February), and San Francisco, arriving on 4 March. Undergoing maintenance at Mare Island, while in San Francisco Bay, Henderson would deviate from her preceding itineraries which saw her return to the east coast after her time in the yard at Mare Island. This time, however, amidst heightening tensions with Imperial Japan, she cleared the Golden Gate, on 27 March, and instead of steaming to southern California, she was bound for Honolulu, and a return to China. 


Henderson moored alongside the Navy Pier, Honolulu, 5 April 1940. Note U.S. flag stretched fore and aft across an awning, aft, and athwartships above the bridge – for recognition purposes as she returns to the Far East during the Sino-Japanese War. Further examination of the original print reveals an “E” with two hashmarks on her stack, and shuffleboard courts painted on the main deck forward on each side of the foremast. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-410101, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Henderson moored alongside the Navy Pier, Honolulu, 5 April 1940. Note U.S. flag stretched fore and aft across an awning, aft, and athwartships above the bridge – for recognition purposes as she returns to the Far East during the Sino-Japanese War. Further examination of the original print reveals an “E” with two hashmarks on her stack, and shuffleboard courts painted on the main deck forward on each side of the foremast. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-410101, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Reaching Hawaiian waters on 3 April 1940, she cleared Honolulu on 6 April, and continued westward to Guam (19 April), Manila (24-27 April), and in to Shanghai on 1 May. Leaving the next day, she moved on to Chinwangtao (4-5 May), Chefoo (6 May), and Tsingtao (7-8 May), before returning to Shanghai on 9 May. Getting underway again on 20 May, she arrived at Hong Kong (23-24 May), in advance of steaming to Manila (26-28 May), Guam (2-3 June), and Honolulu (15-17 June), before standing into San Francisco Bay on 24 June. Departing on 8 July, she resumed her regular itinerary and steamed to San Pedro (10-11 July) and San Diego (12-15 July), en route to the Canal Zone (25-28 July), and Guantanamo Bay (2 August), before standing in to NOB Norfolk, on 6 August. Entering the Norfolk Navy Yard, on 8 August, she underwent maintenance until 17 August. Clearing the yard, she steamed to New York (19-25 October), then on to the Caribbean to participate in amphibious exercises. As a result, she was at locations throughout the Greater Antilles including Guantanamo Bay (30 October-14 November); Mayagüez, P.R. (16-18 November); Culebra (21-22 November and 25-29 November)); Ponce, P.R. (22-25 November); and San Juan, P.R. (29 November-2 December), before returning to Culebra (2-10 December) and Guantanamo Bay (12-14 December). After the exercises, she returned to the continental U.S., entering the Charleston Navy Yard (17-19 December), before returning to Guantanamo Bay, on 23 December, and remaining there through the holiday season.

Henderson departed Cuba on 16 January 1941, and steamed back into NOB Norfolk, on 20 January. Remaining in port until 1 February, she got underway again and steamed to Guantanamo Bay on 5 February. Departing the next day, she raised the Canal Zone, on 9 February. Having transited the Panama Canal, she departed Balboa, on 11 February and steamed to San Diego (21-23 February) and San Pedro (24 February), before arriving at San Francisco, on 26 February. Henderson sortied from San Francisco Bay, on 5 March, and after stopping at Honolulu (12-15 March), steamed back to San Francisco, reaching on 22 March. Departing again on 10 April, she was again bound for Honolulu (19-23 April), but then proceeded to the U.S possessions at Midway Island (27 April) and Wake Island (2 May), before continuing on to Guam (7-8 May), and Manila (13-15 May). From the Philippines, she steamed to Chinwangtao (21-22 May) and Shanghai (25-26 May), in China, before heading back to Manila (31 May-4 June). Continuing on, the transport transited to Guam (10 June) and Honolulu (22-25 June), before continuing on to San Francisco. She would continue to transport troops in the Pacific, as tensions with Japan continued to heighten through the summer and fall of 1941.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941, Henderson was at sea, bound from the Hawaiian Territory to San Francisco. Arriving on 11 December, she entered Mare Island, and underwent a brief overhaul. On 27 December, she departed on the first of a series of transits between California ports and Pearl Harbor, over 20 in all. On her last mission as a transport she departed Port Hueneme, Calif., on 18 July 1943, and arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia, with 71 much-needed nurses. The transport then sailed to Port Purvis, Solomon Islands with embarked Seabees before returning to San Francisco on 24 September 1943. The next day, Henderson moved across San Francisco Bay to the Naval Supply Depot at Oakland, Calif., where she lay until 13 October 1943, when she was decommissioned.

Henderson was subsequently converted to a hospital ship at General Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif. She commissioned as Bountiful (AH-9) on 23 March 1944, Cmdr. George L. Burns, USNR, in command.

Bountiful
departed San Francisco on 1 April 1944, for Honolulu, returned later that month, and sailed once more on 1 May, for the western Pacific. After brief service at Honolulu, and Eniwetok, the ship arrived on 18 June, at the Saipan invasion beaches. She made three passages to the hospitals on Kwajalein, with casualties of the Marianas invasions. About this time, Bountiful established one of the few blood banks in a naval ship. The floating hospital remained at Manus, until 17 September 1944, when she sailed for the Palaus, to bring casualties of the Peleliu landing to hospitals in the Solomons. After November, Bountiful operated between Leyte and the rear bases carrying veterans of the Philippines campaign. She departed Manus, on 24 February 1945, for Ulithi and Saipan to receive casualties of the Iwo Jima assault, and in the next months sailed to rendezvous with the fleet to take on wounded from Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the fleet units themselves.


Bountiful at Ulithi, Caroline Islands, on 24 March 1945. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 103574)
Caption: Bountiful at Ulithi, Caroline Islands, on 24 March 1945. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 103574)


Enterprise (CV-6) transferring casualties to Bountiful on 15 May 1945, a day after the carrier was struck by a kamikaze. Cropped from Photograph NH 99384. Collection of Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, donated in 1973-75. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99384-A)
Caption: Enterprise (CV-6) transferring casualties to Bountiful on 15 May 1945, a day after the carrier was struck by a kamikaze. Cropped from Photograph NH 99384. Collection of Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, donated in 1973-75. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 99384-A)

Returning to Leyte Gulf, on 15 June 1945, she remained until 21 July, and then got underway for California. Bountiful arrived after V-J Day, 15 August, sailing into San Francisco Bay, on 21 August.

Bountiful was then assigned as a hospital ship at Yokosuka, Japan, departing San Francisco, on 1 November 1945. She arrived on 24 November, to support the occupation forces, and remained until 27 March 1946, when she sailed for San Francisco. After delivering her patients, the ship sailed on 26 May, for Operation Crossroads, the two-detonation atmospheric atomic test series conducted at Bikini Atoll. Bountiful was to provide medical services during testing. Bountiful arrived at Bikini on 18 June.

Bountiful departed Bikini atoll, and at 9:00 a.m., on 30 June 1946, the following morning, she observed Test Able (air detonation) while 23 miles north by northeast of Ground Zero. Bountiful re-entered the lagoon eight and one-half hours later and at 6:57 p.m. that evening, anchored three and one-half miles southeast of Ground Zero. Test Able caused only minor radiological contamination to the lagoon waters and virtually none to non-target ships such as Bountiful. Except for a rehearsal exercise on 18-19 July for the second Crossroads event, Test Baker, Bountiful remained in Bikini, performing routine duties until 24 July. On that date Bountiful again departed the lagoon and observed Test Baker (shallow underwater detonation) at 0835, the next morning from outside the lagoon, 13 miles east by northeast of the detonation. Following Test Baker, Bountiful remained outside the atoll, and did not come closer than twelve miles to Ground Zero.

During the afternoon of 27 July 1946, Bountiful departed the waters east of Bikini, for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 5 August. Because there was no fallout on any task force ships and Bountiful did not reenter the lagoon after Test Baker, Bountiful was one of the ships that was immediately declared radiologically safe. This was confirmed by an extensive radiological inspection at San Francisco, on 27 September. A careful search of Crossroads dosimetry data revealed that no one on board Bountiful was badged for the operation. During the operation, film badges were issued to a percentage of the crew aboard some of the ships. Also film badges were generally issued to those personnel who re-boarded target ships or worked in other contaminated areas. Apparently the crew of Bountiful was not considered to be one of these groups. Overall, the radiation exposures for Operation Crossroads were relatively low. Approximately 99% of all radiation exposures at Crossroads ranged from zero to 0.5 rem gamma. The highest recorded cumulative exposure for an individual at Crossroads was 4. 01 rem gamma. This exposure was within national occupational radiation exposure standards which permits 5.0 rem per calendar year.

Bountiful returned to Seattle on 15 August 1946, and decommissioned on 13 September 1946. She entered the Maritime Commission’s Reserve Fleet berthing area at Olympia, Wash., on 16 September 1946. With the vessel earmarked for scrapping, stripping took place until 10 September 1947.

Ultimately sold for scrap by the Maritime Commission on 28 January 1948 to Consolidated Builders, Inc., of Seattle, the much-traveled former troop transport and hospital ship was delivered to the purchaser and withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet at 11:30 a.m. on the same day [28 January 1948].

Bountiful received four battle stars for her World War II service.

Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Cmdr. George W. Steele, Jr. 25 May 1917 – 10 August 1918
Cmdr. William R. Sayles, Jr. 10 August 1918 – 7 August 1920
Capt. William R. White 7 August 1920 – 11 July 1921
Capt. Arthur MacArthur 11 July 1921 – 24 May 1923
Capt. Allen Buchanan 24 May 1923 – 17 September 1923
Lt. Cmdr. William C. Barnes 17 September 1923 – 7 October 1923
Lt. Samuel H. Hall 7 October 1923 – 10 October 1923
Lt. Cmdr. Samuel L. Henderson 10 October 1923 – 15 October 1923
Capt. Allen Buchanan 15 October 1923 – 1 October 1924
Capt. Charles R. Train 1 October 1924 – 1 June 1926
Capt. Robert Morris 1 June 1926 – 7 May 1928
Capt. Roe R. Adams 7 May 1928 – 12 August 1930
Capt. Cleon W. Mauldin 12 August 1930 – 6 May 1932
Capt. Andrew S. Hickey 6 May 1932 – 27 July 1934
Capt. Carl T. Osburn 27 July 1934 – 17 June 1936
Cmdr. Ernest W. McKee 17 June 1936 – 14 July 1937
Cmdr. Charles. E. Reordan 14 July 1937 – 15 April
Cmdr. John. J. Brown 15 April 1939 – 26 June 1940
Cmdr. Joseph R. Redman 26 June 1940 – 20 January 1941
Cmdr. Charles F. Martin 20 January 1941 – 4 November 1942
Cmdr. James A. Roberts 4 November 1942 – 13 October 1943
   
Cmdr. George L. Burns, USNR 23 March 1944 – 18 November 1944
Lt. Cmdr. Philip W. Mallard, USNR 18 November 1944 – 23 August 1945
Capt. Alfred M. Moore, USNR 23 August 1945 – 31 October 1945
Cmdr. Leil L. Young, USNR 31 October 1945 – 11 May 1946
Capt. Donald M. Mackey 11 May 1946 – 28 August 1946
Lt. Cmdr. Julius J. Yutkus 28 August 1946 – 13 September 1946

 

Christopher B. Havern Sr.
5 December 2107

Published:Mon Dec 11 10:30:52 EST 2017