(APA-206: dp. 7,109; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17.7 k.; cpl. 536; a. 1 5", 12 40m,m., 10 20mm.; cl. Haskell; T. VC2^S-AP5)
A county in Minnesota named for General Henry H. Sibley, an early pioneer in the territory and first governor of the state.
Sibley (APA-206) was laid down on 17 May 1944 under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull MCV-554) by the Yard Number 2, Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; launched on 19 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Leo Gottleib; and acquired from the Maritime Commission and commissioned on 2 October 1944, Comdr. Edward I. McQuiston in command.
Immediately after commissioning, Sibley moved from the builder's yard to the Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, Calif.; to load supplies and provisions. On 16 October, she departed San Francisco for San Pedro, where she underwent shakedown from 20 October to 2 November, followed by amphibious training at Coronado, Calif., from 3 to 10 November. Sailing from San Diego on 20 November, Sibley loaded cargo at San Francisco and sailed on the 25th for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on 2 December. From 6 December to 18 January, she underwent intensive training in amphibious operations off Maui, T. H.
Sibley sailed from Pearl Harbor on 27 January for the assault on Iwo Jima. After stopping at Eniwetok from 5 to 7 February, she arrived at Saipan on the 11th and underwent a final period of amphibious training on 12 and 13 February at nearby Tinian. Sailing on the 16th, she arrived off Iwo Jima early on the 19th. Orders to debark troops were received in the middle of the afternoon; and, two hours later, all the troops were off the ship. Sibley remained off Iwo Jima for the next eight days, unloading cargo by day and retiring by night. Also, while unloading cargo, she received casualties for return to rear areas; and, when she sailed for Saipan on 27 February, she carried 194 marine casualties.
Sibley briefly stopped at Saipan on 2 March, and arrived at Guam two days later and discharged her casualties. She returned to Saipan on the 7th and loaded Marines and cargo for the assault on Okinawa. After training from 16 to 19 March and a final rehearsal on the 24th, Sibley sailed on the 27th for the assault. During the approach early on 1 April, transport Hinsdale (APA-120) was struck by a suicide plane, but the task group continued to carry out its assignment, which was to stage a demonstration off the coast of Okinawa to lead the Japanese to expect a landing on the southern part of the island. For two days, Sibley participated in this demonstration; and then the task group retired to a waiting area south of the island. On 11 April, Sibley was ordered to return to Saipan, where she unloaded her troops and cargo, but remained on call for possible use in the Okinawa operation until 4 June.
That day, Sibley sailed for Tulagi harbor in the Solomon Islands. She arrived there on the 12th and, three days later, preceded to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands. Arriving on the 17th, she loaded passengers and cargo, cleared Espiritu Santo on 28 June, and arrived at Guam on 5 July. Then, on 14 July, she received orders to return to the United States and sailed the same day, arriving at San Francisco on 28 July.
On 9 August 1945, Sibley sailed once again, this time with passengers and cargo for the Philippines. She stopped at Eniwetok and Ulithi on the way, and reached Samar on 1 September. She then proceeded to Manila Bay, Subic Bay, and finally Lingayen Gulf, where she arrived on the 10th to load troops and cargo of the 33d Infantry Division for the occupation of Japan. After a rehearsal landing a week later, she sailed on the 20th and arrived on the 25th at Wakayama, Japan, where she rapidly put her troops and cargo ashore. Sailing the next day, she returned to the Philippines for more troops, which she delivered at Hiro Wan, Japan, on 22 October.
On the 25th, Sibley reported for duty with operation "Magic Carpet," the transportation of servicemen back to the United States. Departing Japan on the 27th, she loaded homeward-bound troops at Manus from 2 to 4 November and delivered them at San Francisco on the 19th. Sailing again on 5 December, she embarked more troops at Guam from 19 to 22 December and returned with them to San Francisco on 4 January 1946. After a round-trip voyage to Pearl Harbor between 19 February and 4 March, Sibley reported to the Stockton Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, on 8 April for inactivation, and was decommissioned there on 27 November 1946. Transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration, she was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisan Bay, Calif., on 10 September 1958. Sibley was struck from the Navy list on 1 October 1958 and remains in reserve into 1974.
Sibley received two battle stars for her World War II service.