From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
Bladen is a county in North Carolina.
(APA-63: dp. 4247; l. 426; b. 68'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k. cpl. 320; a. 1 5"; cl. Gilliam)
Bladen (APA-63) was launched 31 May 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. John McNerney; acquired by the Navy 17 October 1944; and commissioned 18 October 1944, Lieutenant Commander W. P. Hartung, USNR, in command.
Bladen departed the west coast for Pearl Harbor 20 November 1944 and upon arrival embarked personnel of the 103rd and 109th Construction Battalions for Guam. Returning to Pearl Harbor 13 January 1945 the ship commenced combat loading and training maneuvers. On 27 January she set sail for Iwo Jima, via Saipan. The attack transport debarked troops and provided logistic support during the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima (19-28 February).
After a brief layover at Saipan, Bladen prepared for the invasion of Okinawa. She performed her logistic services during the initial strikes against, and occupation of, Okinawa (1-10 April). In the middle of April she returned to Saipan where she remained at anchor for six weeks. On 4 June she got underway for Tulagi, Solomon Islands, and thence to Noumea, New Caledonia. She returned to San Francisco 21 July for a brief yard period.
With a passenger list of army and naval personnel, Blade sailed S August for Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Ulithi. She then steamed to the Philippines where she remained until 20 September. She next transported army personnel and equipment to Wakayama, Honshu, Japan. On 26 September she departed Wakayama and returned to the Philippines. She made another trip to Japan before getting underway for San Francisco, where she arrived 23 November. In December she made a return voyage to the Philippines. On 22 January 1946 she proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she remained until 18 May undergoing preparations for Operation Crossroads. She participated in the operation at Bikini between 31 May and 30 August 1946. Bladen departed Kwajalein Atoll 30 August for San Francisco, where she arrived 13 September.
Bladen departed the west coast 1 November and steamed to Norfolk. Upon arrival she reported for inactivation and was decommissioned 26 December 1946. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission 3 August 1953.
Bladen received two battle stars for World War II service.