USS Ormsby (APA-49) Ship's History
Ormsby (APA-49) was originally laid down by Moore S. B. Co., Oakland, Calif. 21 July 1942 as SS Twilight, M. C. hull 288; authorized for acquisition as Ormsby AP-94 on 5 October 1942; launched 20 October 1942; Reclassified APA-49 on 1 February 1943; acquired 10 March 1943; and commissioned 28 June 1943, Captain Leonard Frisco, USNR, in command.
Upon completion of her conversion and shakedown, Ormsby sailed 22 July 1943 from San Francisco en route to San Diego to load Marines and cargo for Pearl Harbor. From Pearl she loaded more Marines, Sea Bees and equipment and departed 14 August 1943 for Nukufetau in the Ellice Islands. Arriving at Funafuti on 21 August, all troops were unloaded and transported by small boats to Nukufetau.
Continuing southward, she stopped in Pago Pago, Somoa and then sailed on to Wellington, New Zealand, arriving on 11 September 1943. There she embarked Marines of the 2nd Division and carried out amphibious warfare training until the end of October.
From Wellington, New Zealand Ormsby steamed via Efate to Tarawa, Gilbert Islands and landed her troops there for that historic battle on 20 November 1943.
Returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1943 she again loaded troops and supplies and conducted training through January 1944.
On 31 January 1944 Ormsby took part in the assault landings at Kwajalein in the Marshalls. Following this operation, she moved on to Guadalcanal in February and trained Army units until 28 March, when she landed reinforcements at Bougainville. She then continued to Milne Bay, New Guinea. In April she sailed to Buna, Finsehafen and then to Aitape, New Guinea where on the 23rd she landed army assault troops. A reinforcement voyage to Aitape followed on 3 May 1944.
Returning to the Russell Islands and Guadalcanal, Ormsby loaded Marines of the First Provisional Brigade, trained them in May, and landed them on Guam 21 July 1944. While at Guam she suffered her only casualties of the war when one officer and two enlisted men were killed when the control boat was hit (probably by a mortar). On 22 July a 3-inch shell hit the bow on the port side below the main deck. Damage was minor and there were no casualties.
From Guam, Ormsby sailed to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for a weeks rest and and ship's maintenance in early August 1944. She then proceeded to Guadalcanal where she trained Marines of the famed First Marine Division.
On 15 September 1944, Ormsby landed elements of the First Marine Division on Peleliu, Palau Islands. She then proceeded to Hollandia, New Guinea and loaded Army units for the assault on Leyte.
On 20 October 1944, Ormsby landed elements of the 24th Army in the assault on Leyte in the Philippines, and was there for General Douglas MacArthur's return. (See Photo)
Ormsby sailed form From Leyte to Manus, Admiralty Islands, to Hollandia, and on to Morotai where she loaded more troops.
On 14 November 1944 Ormsby landed reinforcements on Leyte.
In late November 1944 Ormsby received orders to return to the United States for an overhaul at San Pedro, California. From 18 December 1944 to 12 March 1945 necessary repairs were made.
On 20 March 1945 Ormsby left Port Hueneme, California with Sea Bees for Guam, arriving on 11 April 1945. Loaded with returning service veterans she arrived San Francisco on 5 May 1945. Two days later she proceeded to Seattle, Washington. Ormsby departed Seattle on 22 May 1945 with army personnel and arrived at Guam 14 June 1945.
Making another "Magic Carpet" run with returning veterans, Ormsby returned from Guam via Tinian and Saipan arriving in San Francisco on 13 July 1945. She departed San Francisco on 31 July en route to Manila. News of Japan's surrender arrived on 14 august 1945 (announced over Ormsby's PA by Lt. W. Foster Cass). Proceeding to Manila, Ormsby loaded members of the 43rd Division and delivered them to Tokyo, arriving there on 13 September 1945.
Delayed by a severe typhoon she departed Tokyo Bay on 19 September 1945 arriving at Guam on 24 September. There she embarked elements of 15th Marines for Tsingtao China participating in the occupation landings there on 11 October. Underway on the 17th of October, Ormsby sailed first to Manila arriving 23 October. On 2 November Ormsby arrived Haiphong, French Indochina. There she embarked elements of the 62nd Chinese Army, and departed for Formosa. She landed the Chinese occupation forces at Port Saei on 18 November and sailed for Manila arriving 21 November.
Departing Manila on 27 November 1945 and proceeding to Okinawa, Ormsby loaded returning veterans and made one more "Magic Carpet" voyage to Portland, Oregon, arriving on December 20. This was her final passage after untiring war effort.
Ormsby decommissioned 15 March 1946 and was struck from the U. S. Naval Register on 17 April 1946. She was delivered to the WSA on 16 May 1946
Durring her wartime career USS Ormsby had three commanding officers. The first was Captain Leonard Frisco, USNR. The second was Captain Russell S. Smith, USN, and the third was Captain Ira W. Truitt, USN.
Ormsby earned six battle stars for her WWII service for participation in the following operations: