(APA-123: dp. 14,800; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 28'; s. 16.5 k.; a. 1 5", 12 40mm., 10 20mm.; cl. Haskell)
A county in Minnesota.
Kittson (APA-123) was launched 28 August 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; acquired by the Navy 4 November 1944; and commissioned 5 November, Captain G. B. Helmick in command.
After shakedown along the Pacific coast, Kittson cleared San Diego 26 December 1944 with the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing aboard. She arrived Majuro 12 January 1945; unloaded the Marine unit; and sailed for Leyte, arriving 1 February. While operating in the Philippines for the next 6 weeks, the attack transport prepared for the Okinawa invasion.
Departing Leyte 27 March with units of the 7th Division on board, Kittson arrived off Hugushi Beach, Okinawa, 1 April. After the air was cleared of enemy aircraft, the transports commenced unloading troops and cargo for the largest amphibious assault to take place in the Pacific. Kittson stood off the area unloading cargo and assisting in smoke screen operations until she sailed for the West Coast 7 April and Pearl Harbor. She steamed into San Francisco Bay 30 May, loaded cargo and sailors for the final push on Japan, and cleared port 6 June.
Stopping at Eniwetok and Ulithi en route, Kittson arrived Okinawa 24 July, unloaded cargo, and steamed toward Guam. While the transport was at Guam, hostilities ended; and she was assigned to ferry occupation troops to Japan. She made two runs from Cebu, Philippines, to Japan before clearing Tokyo Bay with troops for China. Arriving Taku Bay 24 October, Kittson was assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty and sailed with her first group of returning veterans 2 November, arriving San Diego 24 November. After completing another "Magic Carpet" cruise to Japan, the transport tied up at San Pedro 13 January 1946. Kittson sailed for the East Coast, arriving Norfolk 4 February, and decommissioned 11 March 1946. She was returned to the Maritime Commission 2 days later. Kittson was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet and at present is berthed at James River, Va.
Kittson received one battle star for World War II service.