From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Bexar is a county in Texas.

(APA-237: dp. 6720; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 18 k., cpl. 546; a. 1 5"; cl. Haskell)

Bexar (APA-237) was launched 25 July 1945 by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., under a Maritime Commission contract, sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Gunderson, acquired by the Navy 9 October 1945, and commissioned the same day, Captain A. M. Kowalzyk, Jr., in command.

Upon completion of shakedown training, Bexar joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet. She returned troops from the Pacific until February 1946. After a brief tour of duty around San Diego during the early part of 1946, she was ordered to Pearl Harbor to prepare for Operation Cross-roads. In June Bexar proceeded to Bikini Atoll where she served as an equipment supply center.

In August she returned to the west coast and underwent radioactivity tests. In January 1947 she joined the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, based at Norfolk. Bexar operated along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until July 1950, making a Mediterranean cruise (January-February 1948) with Marines embarked.

Between March 1948 and July 1950 she participated in several amphibious exercises and Naval Reserve cruises along the east coast. In September 1949 she proceeded to the Hawaiian Islands for a large scale amphibious exercise. Returning to Norfolk in December, she resumed her role in the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet.

On 31 July 1950 Bexar departed Norfolk for the Mediterranean. In August she was ordered to embark Marines and proceed via the Suez Canal to Japan. Upon arrival, she proceeded to Korea where she participated in the Inchon (15 September) and Wonsan (25 October) landings and the evacuation of Chinnampo and Inchon. Departing the Far East 6 January 1951 she proceeded to San Diego, arriving later in the month.

Between August 1951 and December 1953 Bexar made two more Far Eastern tours in support of Korean operations (August 1951-May 1952 and July-December 1953). During the latter she served as flagship for Operation Big Switch, the movement of prisoners from Koje Do to Inchon, Korea.

Since that time Bexar has continued to operate with Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet. She made another tour of the Far East (23 October 1954-22 April 1955) during which she participated in the Tachen Islands evacuation.

Besar received three battle stars for her Korean service.