From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


A county in Tennessee.

(APA - 114: dp. 8,100 (lt.); l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 479; a. 2 5", 8 40mm.; cl. Bayfield; T. C3-S-A2)

Hamblen (APA-114) was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss., 30 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Hugh B. Vickery; and commissioned after conversion 12 June 1945, Captain G. M. Wauchope in command.

After shakedown training out of Galveston, Hamblen loaded passengers and cargo at New Orleans and arrived San Juan, P.R., 25 July 1945. There she embarked a contingent of Puerto Rican army troops and steamed westward 26 July for Hawaii, via the Panama Canal. Shortly after her arrival 11 August, the war ended, and Hamblen took up the task of bringing replacement troops into the forward areas and transporting veterans back to the united States. Embarking Marines at Hilo, Hamblen sailed for Japan via Saipan, unloading her troops near Tokyo 22 September 1945. Subsequently, she made voyages to Lingayen Gulf and Manila bringing occupation troops into Japan, and departed Wakayama 5 November for Saipan. There Hamblen took more returnees on board and sailed eastward, arriving San Pedro, Calif., 24 November 1945.

Hamblen made one more voyage for "Magic Carpet," the giant operation which accomplished the task of bringing home American servicemen, arriving Okinawa 26 December and arriving Tacoma, Washington, 17 January 1946. The ship was designated for return to the Maritime Commission, released 23 January 1946, and sailed to the Canal Zone, where she arrived 22 February. Hamblen continued to Norfolk, where she decommissioned 1 May 1946. Six days later she was returned to the Maritime Commission, and sold in 1948 to Isthmian Lines whom she serves as merchant ship Steel Voyager.

Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (