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(AP-41: dp. 3,640; l. 261'; b. 43'6"; dr. 15'7"; s. 9.6 k.; cpl. 132; trp. 306; a. 1 3", 3 40mm.; cl. Stratford)

An estate in Westmoreland County, Va., the birthplace of Robert E. Lee.

Stratford (AP-41), ex-Catherine, was built in 1918 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wise.; acquired by the Navy on 31 July 1941; and commissioned on 25 August 1941 at Baltimore, Md.

After completing her shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay area, Stratford sailed from Norfolk, Va., on 23 October, for Iceland, via New York and Nova Scotia. She arrived at Reykjavik on 16 November 1941 and operated there until 25 March 1942 when she returned to Boston. The transport made another cruise to Iceland and returned to Boston on 27 June. She was ordered to proceed to California, via Norfolk, Key West, Guantanamo Bay, and the Canal Zone.

Stratford arrived at San Pedro on 28 August; loaded passengers; and sailed for Hawaii three days later. She arrived there on the 11th and sailed the following week for Samoa. The transport remained in the South Pacific until April 1945. She shuttled troops and cargo from rear areas to advance bases and; as the Americans penetrated further into the Pacific, her ports of call increased. In addition to ports in New Zealand and New Caledonia, Stratford also operated in the Solomon, Treasury, St. Matthias, New Hebrides, Russell, and Treasury Islands as well as ports in New Guinea.

Stratford arrived at Leyte on 2 April 1945 and operated in the Philippine Islands until 1 December when she sailed for the United States, via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. The transport arrived at San Pedro in January 1946 and remained there until sailing for the east coast on 7 March.

Stratford reached Norfolk, Va., on 7 March and reported to the 5th Naval District for disposition. She departed there on 3 April and headed for Baltimore where she had originally entered naval service. Stratford was decommissioned there on 17 April and returned to the War Shipping Administration on the same day. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1946.

Stratford received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Thu Sep 24 19:48:36 EDT 2015