USS Hamblen (APA-114)

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USS Hamblen (APA-114) underway in the Gulf of Mexico on 13 June 1945.jpg
History
United States
NamesakeHamblen County, Tennessee
BuilderIngalls Shipbuilding
Laid downUnknown
Launched30 June 1944
ChristenedUSS Hamblen
Commissioned12 June 1945
Decommissioned1 May 1946
RenamedSteel Voyager.
FateScrapped, 1973.
NotesMC Hull No. 876; Type C3-S-A2
General characteristics
Class and type Bayfield-class attack transport
Displacement8,100 tons, 16,100 tons fully loaded
Length492 ft (150 m)
Beam69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draft26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
PropulsionGeneral Electric geared turbine, 2 x Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, single propeller, designed shaft horsepower 8,500
Speed18 knots
Boats & landing
craft carried
12 x LCVP, 4 x LCM (Mk-6), 3 x LCP(L) (MK-IV)
Capacity4,800 tons (180,500 cu. ft).
Complement
  • Crew: 51 officers, 524 enlisted
  • Flag: 43 officers, 108 enlisted.
  • Troops: 80 officers, 1,146 enlisted
Armament

USS Hamblen (APA-114) was a Bayfield-class attack transport in service with the United States Navy from 1945 to 1946. She was sold into commercial service in 1948 and was scrapped in 1973.

History

Hamblen was named for Hamblen County, Tennessee. She was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi, 30 July 1944, and commissioned after conversion 12 June 1945, Captain G. M. Wauchope in command.

U.S. Navy (1945-1948)

After shakedown training out of Galveston, Hamblen loaded passengers and cargo at New Orleans and arrived San Juan, Puerto Rico, 25 July 1945. There she embarked a contingent of Puerto Rican army troops and steamed westward 26 July for Hawaii, via the Panama Canal.

Shortly after her arrival 11 August, the war ended, and Hamblen took up the task of bringing replacement troops into the forward areas and transporting veterans back to the United States. Embarking Marines at Hilo, Hamblen sailed for Japan, circled for an unknown number of days while en route, unloading her marines to secure the Japanese naval base Sasebo. Subsequently, she made voyages to Wakayama and uploaded supplies and sailed to Lingayen Gulf and offloaded onto the beach the supplies. Sailed to Manila for R&R. Sailed to Okinawa, where Hamblen took returning servicemen on board as part of Operation Magic Carpet, the giant operation which accomplished the task of bringing home American servicemen. From Okinawa she sailed eastward to San Pedro, California, arriving there 24 November 1945.

Hamblen made one more voyage for Magic Carpet, arriving at Okinawa 26 December and arriving Tacoma, Washington, 17 January 1946. The ship was designated for return to the Maritime Commission, released 23 January 1946, and sailed to the Canal Zone, where she arrived 22 February. Hamblen continued to Norfolk, Virginia where she decommissioned 1 May 1946. Six days later she was returned to the Maritime Commission.

Commercial service (1948-1973)

In 1948 the vessel was sold to Isthmian Lines whom she served as merchant ship Steel Voyager. The ship was scrapped in 1973.

References