From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Bolivar is a county in Mississippi.

(APA-34: dp. 7845; l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 18.5 k.; cpl. 504; a. 2 5"; cl. Bayfield)

Bolivar (AP-79) was reclassified APA-34, 1 February 1943; launched 7 September 1942 as Sea Angel by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. R. W. Ethen; transferred to the Navy 15 March 1943; commissioned the same day as Bolivar, Lieutenant Commander R. E. Perry in command, decommissioned at Hoboken, N. J., 23 April 1943 for conversion to an APA; and recommissioned 1 September 1943, Captain J. A. Gainard, USNR, in command.

Departing New York in October she arrived at San Pedro, Calif., 1 November 1943. Bolivar remained at San Pedro until 13 January 1944 training Marines in amphibious operations. Arriving at Lahaina Roads, T. H., 21 January 1944, she departed the next day for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. Landing her troops on D-Day, 1 February, she returned to Pearl Harbor and remained there until departing 30 May for the Saipan invasion. Her boats carried the first wave onto Red Beach, 15 June, and she remained off the beaches, unloading, until 22 June, when she departed for Pearl Harbor to load troops for the invasion of Guam. She departed Pearl Harbor 9 July, arrived at Guam 22 July and debarked her troops. Returning to Pearl Harbor 10 August, she departed 15 September for the projected invasion of Yap. While enroute, the Yap operation was canceled in favor of the Leyte invasion. She departed Manus, Admiralty Islands 14 October and sent her troops ashore at Leyte on D-Day, 20 October 1944.

Following a reinforcement run from Hollandia, New Guinea, to Leyte in November, she loaded troops at Torokina, Bougainville Island, for the Lingayen Gulf landings. Once again on D-Day, 9 January 1945, Bolivar's boats carried the first wave ashore. Later in the day she departed with casualties, bound for Leyte and Ulithi Caroline Islands. She remained at Ulithi 23 January-6 February and then steamed to Guam to load Marines for the Iwo Jima assault. After landing her troops on D+3 (21 February) Bolivar remained, off Iwo Jima until 6 March. On 3 March one man was killed and two wounded by a near miss of a 75 mm. shell. In March the transport carried wounded from Iwo Jima to Saipan and then moved south to embark elements of the 81st Infantry Division as area reserve for the Okinawa invasion. As the soldiers were not needed at Okinawa, Bolivar carried them from Noumea, New Caledonia, to Leyte (3-16 May). Departing Leyte 26 May she arrived at Seattle 17 June for an overhaul. She completed her repairs at Portland, Oreg., and between 2 September 1945 and 29 January 1948 was assigned to the "Magic Carpet" fleet, returning men from the Philippine, Marshall, Admiralty, and Caroline Islands.

Returning to California 29 January, she then proceeded to Norfolk, via the Panama Canal, arriving 8 March 1946. She was decommissioned at New York Naval Shipyard 29 April 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission 12 September 1946.

Bolivar received five battle stars for her service in World War II.