USS Pitt (APA-223)
|Namesake:||A county in North Carolina|
|Ordered:||as VC2-S-AP5 hull, MCV hull 571|
|Builder:||Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California|
|Laid down:||8 September 1944|
|Launched:||10 November 1944|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Gwin Fallis|
|Commissioned:||11 December 1944|
|Decommissioned:||9 April 1947|
|Reclassified:||LPA-223, 14 August 1968|
|Struck:||23 April 1947|
|One battle star for World War II service|
|Fate:||disposed of by MARAD exchange on 1 February 1980|
|Notes:||Pitt was the only U.S. Navy ship to carry that name|
|Class and type:||Haskell-class attack transport|
|Tonnage:||6,873 tons dockside|
|Tons burthen:||14,837 tons full load|
|Length:||455 ft (139 m)|
|Beam:||62 ft (18.9 m)|
|Draft:||24 ft (7.3 m)|
|Propulsion:||1 Westinghouse geared turbine, 2 Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 1 propeller, design shaft horsepower 8,500.|
|Speed:||17.7 knots (33 km/h)|
|Boats & landing |
|2 LCM, 12 LCVP, 3 LCPU|
|Capacity:||150,000 cu. ft. cargo space or 2,900 tons|
|Complement:||536 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||1 5"/38 dual-purpose gun mount, 4 twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 single 20mm gun mounts|
Constructed in California
Pitt was laid down on 8 September 1944 by Permanente Metals Corporation in Richmond, California, as MCV hull 571; launched on 10 November 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Gwin Fallis; and commissioned on 11 December 1944, with Captain Walter S. Mayer, Jr. in command.
World War II service
Supporting Okinawa operations
After shakedown off the California coast, Pitt departed 10 February 1945 via Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, for Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, to join 600 other ships preparing for the invasion of Okinawa.
She unloaded half of her ammunition cargo there, and the rest at Leyte. After loading Army troops from damaged attack transport Samuel Chase (APA-26), she steamed for Kerama Retto where her troops cleaned out Zamami Shima, a key island in the small group off the southwest coast of Okinawa.
Caring for the wounded
She then became "receiving ship" for the Kerama Retto Naval Base, caring for several hundred survivors of Japanese suicide attacks, and shooting down one suicide plane on 6 April. Pitt steamed to Saipan, Tulagi, Noumea, and Guam before returning with passengers to San Francisco, California, for the celebrations of the Japanese surrender.
On 19 August, Pitt sailed via Ulithi to Mindanao and Leyte, where she loaded troops to occupy Aomori, northern Honshū, Japan, on 25 September. Pitt then began a series of Operation Magic Carpet assignments, returning fighting men to the States from such Pacific Ocean locations as Saipan and Tinian, Manila, and Nagoya, Japan.
Decommissioning and disposal
Placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, she was berthed at Suisun Bay in 1970. On 14 August 1968, the designation “attack transport,” APA, was changed to “amphibious transport,” LPA, and APA-223 became LPA-223. Pitt was disposed of by MARAD exchange on 1 February 1980.
Honors and awards
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: APA / LPA-223 Pitt