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Rutland (APA-192)


A county in west central Vermont.

(APA-192: displacement 12,450 (full load); length 455'0"; beam 62'0"; draft 24'0"; speed 17 knots; complement 692; troops 1,562; armament 1 5-inch, 12 40 millimeter, 10 20 millimeter; class Haskell; type VC2-S-AP5)

Rutland (APA-192) was laid down on 4 May 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract (MCV Hull 550) at Vancouver, Wash., by Kaiser Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 10 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Karl V. Kilgore; acquired on a loan-charter basis from the Maritime Commission and commissioned on 29 September 1944, Cmdr. Francis K. O'Brien in command.

Reporting to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, on 9 October 1944, Rutland underwent shakedown along the Pacific coast and departed Oakland, Calif., for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii (T.H.) on 30 November 1944. Arriving on 6 December, flagship Rutland, and other ships of Transport Division 47 embarked the 5th Marine Division at Hilo, T. H.,  and conducted training exercises for the crew and troops in and around the islands.

The division departed Pearl Harbor on 27 January 1945 for Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, arriving on 5 February, and then proceeded on to Saipan and Tinian Islands. On 16 February, Squadron 16, of which Division 47 was a part, sailed for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

On the morning of D-day, 19 February 1945, Rutland participated in the assault on that strongly-fortified island. Her landing craft operated on Red Beaches 1 and 2, with her beach party in charge of Red Beach 2. For eight days, she unloaded troops and cargo and handled casualties. Although 11 of her boats were lost and several of her beach party personnel were wounded, not one man was killed.

Leaving Iwo Jima on 27 February 1945, Rutland arrived at Saipan on 2 March, went on to Guam, where her Marine casualties were unloaded, and next got underway to pick up replacement boats at Tulagi, Solomon Islands, where she arrived on 12 March. She proceeded on to Espiritu Santo and loaded part of the 27th Division, 10th Army, to act as a floating reserve in the invasion of Okinawa.

Transport Division 47 proceeded to Kerama Retto and Rutland entered Kerama Kaikyo on the morning of 9 April 1945 only to get underway that evening while enemy planes attacked ships in the vicinity. At dawn on 10 April, she arrived in the inner transport area off Tsugen Jima, a small enemy occupied island on the eastern side of Okinawa, where Rutland's boats landed troops from Highlands (APA-119). Soon after noon, the ships shifted berth to Nakagusuku Wan, a large bay on Okinawa proper, and remained there until Tsugen Jima had been secured two days later. During the operations at Tsugen Jima, the ship's landing craft were subjected to considerable mortar, cannister, and rifle fire from the island, and though hardly a boat escaped unscathed, no serious damage resulted and no men were wounded.

From Tsugen Jima, the ships sailed to the Hagushi beaches on the western shores of Okinawa, which had been secured on D-day, 1 April 1945, and proceeded with unloading operations. This phase continued until the 16th, while the transport area experienced numerous enemy air attacks. Rutland assisted in shooting down four enemy planes.

From Okinawa, Rutland went to Saipan for boats to replace those transferred to the boat pool at Okinawa, then underwent overhaul and reconditioning at Ulithi and Subic Bay. From 26 June until 22 August 1945, she prepared for the invasion of the Japanese home islands with exercises at Leyte and Ilaiho. With the Japanese acceptance of surrender terms, these training exercises were canceled.

Among the first transports to arrive off Honshu, Rutland put into Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945, disembarked troops of the 1st Cavalry Division at Yokohama, and got underway again on the 4th to return to the Philippines. Arriving at Leyte a week later, she embarked elements of the 41st Infantry Division, 10th Corps, U.S. Army, and troop cargo at Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, on 16 September, and carried them to Hiro Wan, Honshu, Japan, which she reached on 6 October via Leyte and Okinawa.

On 14 October 1945, she embarked almost 1,900 Navy passengers at Okinawa for passage to the United States, arriving at Seattle on 1 November. She made one last run to Okinawa and back before being assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet on 29 December 1945.

Navy-owned as of 14 January 1946, Rutland was placed out of commission in reserve on 26 February 1947 and berthed at Norfolk where she remained until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 1 October 1958.

Entering the James River berthing area on the afternoon of 31 March 1959, the vessel remained in Maritime Commission hands until withdrawn and delivered to Union Minerals & Alloys Corp. pursuant to a Trade-in-Exchange Contract for Exxon Florence, Exxon Transportation Co., on 8 June 1982. Delivered on 24 August 1982, ex-Rutland was scrapped subsequently.

Rutland earned two battle stars for her World War II service.

Updated 23 October 2017

Published: Mon Oct 23 00:53:13 EDT 2017