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
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
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.