From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Cape Johnson

A cape on the coast of Washington.

AP - 172: dp. 5,668 l. 417'9" b. 60'

dr. 22'3" s. 15 k. cpl. 371 a. 1 x 5", 4 x 3"

cl. Cape Johnson

Cape Johnson (AP-172) was launched 20 February 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. A. C. Steward; converted to a troop transport by Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.; acquired by the Navy and commissioned 1 June l944, Commander L. C. Farley, USNR, in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

For the first 4 months of her service, Cape Johnson sailed among the Marianas and the bases of the South Pacific, redistributing Army and Marine Corps forces. On 31 October 1944 she reported to TF 79 at Hollandia, New Guinea, and 9 days later got underway in a resupply echelon for the assault areas on Leyte, P.I. Sailing undamaged through a heavy enemy air attack on 13 November, Cape Johnson successfully landed her men at Samar two days later, and returned to Manus to stage for the invasion of Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, P.I.

Cape Johnson cleared Manus 28 December 1944, and on 7 January 1945 came under enemy air attack as the Japanese began 2 days of desperate strikes aimed at preventing the assault on Luzon. Her guns joined in the successful antiaircraft protection of the convoy, and on 9 January, she landed her troops at White Beach.

Cape Johnson trained at Ulithi and Guam for the Iwo Jima assault, for which she cleared with men and cargo of the 3d Marines. Steaming off the island from 19 February 1945, D-day, until 27 March, Cape Johnson landed her men and cargo as they were required on the beach, while fighting back enemy air attacks.

With the bitter fighting on the island over, Cape Johnson embarked men of the 5th Marines, whom she carried to Pearl Harbor. Sailing on to San Francisco, where she arrived 22 April 1945, Cape Johnson transported troops from the west coast to Manila, and on 16 August cleared the Philippines for Pearl Harbor. With occupation troops loaded there, the transport arrived at Wakayama, Honshu, Japan, on 27 September, and then began transpacific crossings returning servicemen to the States. She was decommissioned 25 July 1946 and returned to her former owner the next day.

Cape Johnson received two battle stars for World War II service.

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Date: 18 Mar 1999