HISTORY OF THE USS CAVALIER (APA-37)
*NOTE ; (APA 37 : dp. 8100; l. 492; b. 69’6”; dr.25’6”; s. 18 k: cpl. 523; a. 2 5”; cl. Bayfield)
USS CAVALIER is named for a county in the State of
North Dakota. She was built under the contract of the
Maritime Commission by the Western Pipe and Steel Company of San
Francisco, California. Assigned the name CAVALIER on 5 October
1942, she was launched 15 March 1943 under the sponsorship of Mrs. Monroe
W. Jackson and delivered to the Navy on 19 July 1943. She was
fitted out as an attack
transport by the Bethlehem Steel Company of Hoboken, New
Jersey and placed in commission on 15 January 1944 under command of Captain Raymond T. McElligott, United States Coast-Guard.
JAN-SEPT 1944 – INVASION OF SAIPAN, MARIANAS, ENIWETOK
conducted sea trials in Long Island Sound and
after loading ammunition,
departed Brooklyn, New York on 26 January 1944 for Hampton Roads, Virginia,
where she loaded landing
barges, then conducted training operations in the Chesapeake
Bay while based at Norfolk,
Virginia. Departing 16 February, she sailed first to Newport,
then to Davisville, Rhode Island, arriving 17 February 1944. Here she
loaded cargo and men of the
141st and 10th Special Sea Bees, departing 24 February
for the Pacific. On 3
March, she completed transit of the Panama Canal enroute to Honolulu, T. H., arriving 16
March and was assigned to
the Fifth Amphibious Force, FIFTH
Fleet. She conducted
amphibious assault and landing exercises in Maalea Bay, Maui, Hawaiian Islands with the 167th Regimental Combat Team of the 27th Infantry Division and on 28 May at Pearl Harbor, became flagship of Commander Transport Division Seven. After further amphibious training exercises she departed Pearl Harbor on 1 June and sailed via Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands (9-11 June) to take part in the invasion of Saipan, Marianas Islands. Arriving off Saipan on 16 June, her boat division landed troops at Caran-Kanon at Blue Beach, but before she was able to land all her artillery ashore, CAVALIER was suddenly ordered to retire from the area to be out of the way of the approaching Japanese Fleet. Twenty-three of her boats were left behind and these shuttled back and forth between the beaches and the ships,
returning to the beach area each day, carrying ammunition, water and supplies ashore and returning to ships with wounded Marines and Army troops. CAVALIER returned to the transport area on 25 June to put the remainder of the artillery ashore and took on many casualties. She departed the next day for Eniwetok Atoll, arriving 30 June 1944. Here she debarked casualties between 1 and 9 July and took aboard cargo, including---37 tons of dynamite for use of Underwater Demolition Teams at Saipan. Upon arrival 13 July, she serviced many smaller ships and loaded troops and vehicles of the Second Marine Division, departing 20 July to take part in the invasion of Tinian, Marianas Island. Arriving at the northern end of that island on 24 July 1944, she landed her troops and cargo at White Beach and took on casualties. Departing 28 July, she sailed via Eniwetok to Pearl Harbor, arriving 10 August 1944. After transfer of casualties, she underwent repairs until 22 August, then embarked equipment and troops of the 184th Regimental Combat Team of the Seventh Army Division for landing rehearsal exercises off Maui, Hawaiian Islands. Departing Pearl Harbor as part of the THIRD Fleet on 15 September 1944, she sailed via Eniwetok (25-28 Sept.) to Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Island, arriving 3 October and reported for duty as a unit of the SEVENTH Fleet.
as a unit of Task Group 79.1, she departed 14 October 1944 to
take part in the Leyte landings for the liberation of the Philippine Islands. Arriving of Leyte, 20 October, she
landed troops on the yellow
beach near the burning town of Julag
under opposition from
Japanese mortar batteries and machine gun fire. She remained
off the beach, landing troops and
receiving casualties under cover of
smoke screen for protection against enemy planes over the
island until late in the day of 23
October, departing only hours before
the Battle for Leyte Gulf took place
on 24 October 1944.
Arriving at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, and
Admiralty Island on 29
October, she transferred her casualties to a Navy Hospital Base.
On 30 October 1944 while at Manus, Captain Raymond T. McElligott, USCG, was relieved by Captain A. G. Hall, USCG.
NOV 1944 – SUICIDE PLANES, LINGAYAN GULF, WHITE BEACH LANDING, LUZON
Departing 2 November, she arrived at Oro Bay, New Guinea on 4 November, and loaded Army troops of the llth Air-borne Division. She sailed 11 November and landed the reinforcement troops at Leyte, near Abuyog, on 18 November 1944. She returned to Manus Island on 24 November 1944.
On 30 November 1944, CAVALIER arrived in Berlin
Harbor, Aitape, New
Guinea and after loading troops and cargo
of the 43rd Infantry
Division, conducted landing rehearsal exercises, then departed on 28 December to take part in the
landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon,
and Philippine Islands. On the night of 7 January 1945, CAVALIER made initial
radar contact with Japanese destroyer HINOKI that was lit up by star shells and
sunk by escorts of the convoy under her
observation. On 9 January 1945, she arrived off Luzon in southern Lingayen Gulf and commenced landing
White Beach. The 6th, 7th, and 8th waves, made up entirely of CAVALIER'S boats, penetrated an almost solid wall of mortar shell splashes in reaching the beaches and many of her landing barges returned with holes from exploding shrapnel. Four members of her beach party, one member of a boat crew and her combat correspondent, were returned to CAVALIER as casualties during the day. In the dusk air alert, she was showered by exploding
shrapnel of a five-inch shell as screening ships opened fire on suicide planes. Three of her men were hit, one of whom died during the night. On 10 January, as she took departure from Lingayen Gulf, a suicide plane was taken under fire as it crossed her bow and crashed into DUPAGE (AP-41). The next day, the DUPAGE, which was the lead ship in the column next to the CAVALIER, buried fifty-nine of her sailors at sea.
JAN 1945 LINGAYEN GULF – TORPEDO ATTACK
CAVALIER arrived at Leyte, 13 January 1945. She proceeded to San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf on 18 January to load cargo and troops of the 34th Regimental Combat Team of the 24th Army Division. Departing on 26 January, she arrived off Luzon, 29 January, and landed troops just north of Subic Bay near San Miguel and San Antonio. There was no opposition to the landings since guerilla forces had secured the area two days before her arrival. Enroute to Leyte on 30 January, at 0133, she was shaken by a violent underwater explosion while off Manila Bay. Hit by a torpedo on her port side, aft of hold 5, most of her men were thrown from their bunks. Decks buckled and split at Number 3 hatch. Steerageway was lost, engines stopped and some of her compartments were flooded. None of her men were killed, but some fifty men were treated for minor injuries. Taken in tow by RAIL (ATO-139), she arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, and Philippine Islands on 4 February 1945. She remained for temporary repairs until 15 March and was then taken in tow by two War Shipping Administration tugs. Arriving at Ulithi Atoll on 24 March, heavy seas delayed departure until 4 April when tow was resumed for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, thence to Pearl Harbor, arriving 1 May 1945.
JUN 1945 – NOV 1945
CAVALIER remained in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for repairs and alterations until 12 September 1945. During this time, 13 June 1945, Commander C. R. MacLean, USCG, relieved Captain A. G. Hall, USCG. On 2 September 1945, Commander MacLean was relieved by Captain Carl E. Guisness, USCG. CAVALIER departed Pearl Harbor on 12 September 1945 and sailed via Eniwetok for Manila, Philippine Islands, arriving 28 September 1945. She loaded
troops at Subic Bay (11 October) and departed the next day for the United States. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she arrived at San Francisco on 1 November 1945.