From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

General William Weigel

William Weigel, born in New Brunswick, N.J., 26 August 1863, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1887. After fighting in the Indian Wars as a junior officer, he took part in the Cuban campaign during the Spanish-American War and was active in the Philippine Insurrection. As a division commander during World War I, he commanded troops in the Aisne-Marne offensive and the Meuse-Argonne campaign. Following the war he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and served as Chief of Staff, Department of the East. Weigel later was a divisional commander and in 1927 headed the Philippine Department. He retired as a Major General 25 August 1927 and filled various civic and patriotic posts until his death in New York 4 March 1936.

(AP - 119: dp. 11,450 (lt.); l. 622'7"; b. 75'6"; dr. 25'6"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 466; trp. 4,896; a. 4 5", 8 40mm., 20 20mm.;cl. General John Pope; T. P2-S2-R2)

AP-119 was laid down under Maritime Commission contract 15 March 1944 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.; named General C. H. Barth (AP-119) on 15 April 1944; renamed General William Weigel 24 August 1944; launched 3 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Earl L. Mann, a niece of Major General Weigel; acquired by the Navy 4 January 1945; and commissioned at Bayonne, N.J., 6 January 1945, Captain Thomas Y. Awalt, USCG, in command.

General William Weigel sailed from New York 11 February 1945 with 5,000 rotation troops; and, after delivering them safely to Le Havre, embraked [sic; embarked] American and French veterans at Southampton and returned to New York 19 April. Underway again 1 May with Navy men bound for Puerto Rico, the troopship touched at San Juan to debark them and to take on 5,000 Army fighting men for passage to Hawaii.

As General William Weigel was steaming toward Pearl Harbor, one of her passengers became critically ill. To save his life, strict radio silence was broken to arrange a mid-ocean rendezvous with a seaplane out of Balboa. He was transferred to the seaplane 19 May and flown to a hospital; General William Weigel reached Honolulu 6 days later.

This far ranging ship sailed 28 May for Marseilles to embark 5,000 soldiers and transferred them to Eniwetok and Manila to take part in the climactic Pacific battles. Subsequently she loaded passengers at Leyte and returned via Ulithi to moor at San Pedro, Calif., 25 August 1945. As part of the "Magic-Carpet" fleet, she stood out from San Diego 11 September with rotation troops for Pearl Harbor and returned to San Francisco 24 September with 5,000 veterans. From 6 October 1945 to 8 February 1946, she made three round-trip trans-Pacific voyages (two out of San Francisco and the third from Seattle) to bring occupation troops to Yokohama. Following a "Magic-Carpet" voyage to Manila and back to San Francisco 11 April 1946, the transport departed San Francisco 16 April for New York, arriving 1 May. Decommissioned there 10 May 1946, she was transferred to the War Department for peacetime operations as an Army transport and made shuttle runs with troops and supplies from San Francisco to garrisons in the Pacific until reacquired by the Navy 20 July 1950. General William Weigel was assigned to MSTS 1 August 1950.

During this phase of her career, the ship sailed from the Pacific coast to Japan and Korea carrying troops for duty in Korean fighting. She continued to rotate American troops to strengthen the United Nations position in Korea until she was placed in Reduced Operational Status in 1955. General William Weigel was returned to the Maritime Commission 12 June 1958 and entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash. She was reacquired by the Navy 18 August 1965 and assigned to MSTS as the Navy bolstered its support forces for the struggle against Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. She carried troops to Vietnam through 1967.

General William Weigel received seven battle stars for Korean conflict service.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (