Rockwall County Historical Foundation

Preserving the Past For the Future

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USS Rockwall
 

Attack transport Rockwall (APA-230) was laid down for the Maritime Commission 9 September 1944 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Washington; launched 5 November 1944; acquired by the Navy on loan-charter 14 January 1945; and commissioned the same day at Astoria, Oregon, Captain Charles W. Roland in command.

After shakedown off the California coast, Rockwall sailed for Saipan, where she debarked a Marine Rocket Detachment and a Naval Construction Regiment 12 April.  With other attack transports, she practiced amphibious operations and maneuvers off Lanai and Maui, 1-5 May. She then, made a hydrographic survey on Palahinu Beach, Lanai, before arriving at Pearl Harbor the 7th. She. departed the 24th, with Marines and debarked them at Okinawa 10 June. The next day, Rockwall sailed for Ulithi; and on the 18th, took on board the 5th Military Police  Battalion of the U.S. Marines at Guam and carried them to Iwo Jima. Rockwall began her homeward voyage with officers and enlisted men from Iwo Jima 29 June, picked up further troops at Tinian 4 July, and arrived at San Francisco the 24th. She carried Army replacements to Manila 9 September and loaded stores and, embarked Army troops at Leyte Gulf the 13th. She sortied the 18th with Appalachian (ACG-1), the amphibious force flagship, and a convoy of 24 attack transports and attack cargo ships for Honshu, Japan. The force arrived the 25th and began unloading, Rockwall sailed the 29th for Shanghi, China, joining Woodson (DE-359) as escort on 4 October and arrived the 6th. She embarked 1,728 passengers the 11th and arrived at Seattle, Wash., the 26th. Rockwall made two voyages to the Philippines.

During the spring of 1946 she took part in atomic bomb test at Bikini. She was then transferred to the Amphibious training operations in the Caribbean. On 15 March 1947 Rockwall decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The ship re-commissioned 3 March 1951 at San Francisco. Her duties during the next 4 years were varied. Rockwall carried 1,500 Army troops to Bremerhaven, Germany, in August 1952. The next spring she took part in refresher training off  Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In January 1954 the transport embarked Marines at Morehead City, N.C., for a 5-month tour in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet. She returned to Norfolk, Va.., 27 May and began a series of amphibious operations off the beach of Virginia and Vieques Island near Puerto Rico.

Rockwall entered the Reserve fleet again 4 June 1955 and decommissioned 28 September. On 1 December 1958 she was struck  from the Navy list and was transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration.

For her service in World War II Rockwall earned one battle star.
 

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