Naval History and Heritage Command

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Newman (DE-205)


Laxton Gail Newman, born 25 November 1916 at Crivitz, Wisc., enlisted in the U.S. Navy 23 April 1940. Following training at Great Lakes and Pensacola he was assigned to Patrol Wing ONE, 15 January 1941, and on 1 May 1941 was advanced to Aviation Machinist's Mate third class. Killed in action 7 December 1941, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star "for prompt and efficient action and utter disregard of personal danger in the effort to repel the attack on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Japanese forces.."

(DE-205: dp. 1,400; l. 306-; b. 36- 10-; dr. 12- 7-; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3-, 4 1.1-, 8 20mm., 2 dct, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 3 21- tt. cl. Buckley)

Newman (DE-205) was laid down by the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard 8 June 1943; launched 9 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. J. B. Newman, mother of L. G. Newman AD3; and commissioned 26 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. W. C. Meyer, USNR, in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Newman was assigned transatlantic escort duty. Between 11 February and 29 June 1944 she crossed the ocean six times. On 30 June, at Staten Island, she commenced conversion to a high speed transport, reporting for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay as APD-59, 19 September. At the end of the month she departed Norfolk, as flagship of TransDiv 103, and headed for the Pacific. Arriving at Hollandia 4 November, she escorted supply convoys between that port and Leyte Gulf until 12 December. Then, at Leyte, she embarked troops of the 24th Division and got underway for her first amphibious operation, the 15 December invasion of Mindoro. Landing her troops with the first waves, she turned back to Leyte, then proceeded to New Guinea to prepare for the initial operations of 1945.

At Noemfoor she took on troops of the 158th Regimental Combat Team and proceeded back to the Philippines. On the 11th, two days after the initial invasion of Luzon, she landed her troops on the Lingayen beaches under the cover of naval shore bombardment, then provided gunfire support until retiring to escort a convoy back to Leyte, arriving 15 January. Assignments to amphibious landings, and their support, now increased as the momentum of the war in the Philippines picked up. On 29 January, she participated in landings at San Felipe, Luzon; on the 30th, on Grande Island in Subic Bay; on 28 February, at Puerta Princessa, Palawan; on 10 March, at Zamboanga, Mindanao; on 26 March, at Talisay, Cebu; and on 17 April at Parang, Mindanao. In May she shifted to Morotai and in June and July participated in landings in Borneo at Brunei Bay, 10 June, and Balikpapan, 1 July.

On 16 July, she departed the East Indies to return to the Philippines, arriving Leyte the 18th and to Legaspi, Luzon, 27th, where she conducted training exercises for combat teams until the end of the war. On 29 August she steamed to Okinawa, embarked units of the 24th Corps, Army Service Command for transportation to Jinsen, Korea. On 8 September she landed the occupation forces at Jinsen and then commenced escort duty between Jinsen, Taku and the Philippines. On 26 November she departed the Far East en route to New York. Arriving there 9 January 1946, she steamed south to Green Cove Springs, Fla., joining the 16th (Inactive) Fleet there, 18 February. Later berthed at Orange, Tex., Newman remained a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy List in 1964. On 15 August 1966 her hulk was sold for scrapping to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md.

Newman (APD-59) earned five battle stars during World War II.

Published: Mon Apr 11 10:04:49 EDT 2016