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(APA‑203: 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)

A county in west‑central Georgia.

Meriwether (APA‑203) was laid down 27 July 1944 by the Kaiser Co., Vancouver, Wash.; launched 18 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. A. C. Barnett; and commissioned 7 November 1944. Capt. Angus M. Cohan in command.

After a month of amphibious training off the California coast, Meriwether departed San Diego 8 January 1945, with Marine Corps replacements for Hawaii. Arriving on the 14th, she discharged her passengers and underwent further training in preparation for the Okinawa campaign.

On 19 February the attack transport began loading troops and equipment of the 10th Army and on the 22d sailed westward. Steaming via Eniwetok, Ulithi, Palau, and Leyte, she arrived off Okinawa early 1 April. After landing troops and equipment amidst frequent kamikaze attacks, one of which she helped splash on the 3d, she departed for Saipan 15 April with wounded. Discharging the casualties there on the 18th, she continued on to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco where she embarked Navy support personnel and got underway to return to Okinawa 6 June. She arrived 24 July, discharged her passengers and cargo, but due to air raid alerts and a typhoon did not depart until 6 August.

At Guam on the 14th she received word of the Japanese surrender and began loading cargo and troops of the 6th Marine Division for the initial occupation of the Tokyo Bay area. Landing them there on the 30th, she sailed for Saipan where she again loaded occupation forces this time for Nagasaki.

On 15 October, Meriwether was detached from occupation support duties and assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty, returning servicemen to the United States. She continued such runs until the end of the year, when she joined the 19th Fleet, and on 14 August 1946 she decommissioned to become a unit of the Stockton group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. She remained there until 1 October 1958, when she was struck from the Naval Register and transferred to the Maritime Administration. As a unit of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, slip has been berthed at Suisun Bay into 1969.

Meriwether received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Fri Aug 07 10:05:36 EDT 2015