Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(APA‑154: dp. 6,873; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17 k.; cpl. 536 a. 1 5", 12 40mm. cl. Haskell; T. VC2‑S‑AP5)

Counties in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi named for the South Carolina statesman William Lowndes.

Lowndes (APA‑154) was launched under a Maritime Commission contract by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, Oregon, 18 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Fred J. Lundberg; acquired by the Navy 14 September 1944; and commissioned the same day, Comdr. Charles H. Perdue in command.

After shakedown, Lowndes departed San Pedro 23 October for amphibious training in the Hawaiian Islands.

She continued landing rehearsals for the rest of the year in Preparation for the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.

Departing Pearl Harbor 27 January 1945, Lowndes carried troops and equipment to staging areas in Saipan before continuing toward Iwo Jima. She arrived off the southeast coast of the volcanic island 19 February and lowered her boats for the massive amphibious assault. For the next eight days Lowndes stood by as her beach party went ashore to attend and evacuate casualties to salvage boats, and to clear the beaches for landing craft. The transport returned to Saipan 3 March to prepare for the final leg on the island hopping campaign which was pushing Japan back to her home islands.

Lowndes sailed 27 March for the 1 April invasion of Okinawa arriving there in the morning hours of D‑Day. The transport waited in the retirement area until 12 April when under constant enemy air raids she debarked troops and unloaded cargo for the vigorous campaign ashore. Returning Saipan 18 April Lowndes performed training exercises there and in the Southwest Pacific until she departed Guam 11 July for San Francisco.

The transport made another cruise to the western Pacific (August‑October) carrying troops and cargo to the Philippines and Japan for occupation duty. Loaded with homeward bound veterans Lowndes departed Saipan 6 October for the United States. Sailing to the east coast in February 1946, she decommissioned at Norfolk 17 April 1946, and returned to WSA for disposal.

Lowndes received two battle stars for World War II service.