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USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185)
ex
USAT Private William H. Thomas (1946 - 1950)
USS Rixey (APH-3) (1942 - 1946)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Delta - Echo - Alpha
NDEA
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4)
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)


Tryon Class Evacuation Transport
  • Laid down, 6 August 1941, as SS Alcoa Cruiser, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S1-A1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 177), at Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 30 December 1941
  • Commissioned USS Rixey (APH-3), 30 December 1942, CAPT. Allen Hobbs USN, in command
  • During WWII USS Rixey was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    New Georgia Group operation
    New Georgia - Rendova - Vangunu occupation, 8 July to 25 August 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 10 and 18 October 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 29 July 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 25 March to 23 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Rixey was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 11 to 24 September 1945
  • Decommissioned, 27 March 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register (date unknown)
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 9 September 1946
  • Acquired by the US Army Transportation Service, commissioned USAT Private William H. Thomas, 10 September 1946
  • Reacquired by the Navy, 1 March 1950
  • Reinstated on the Naval Register and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS)
  • Placed in service as USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185)
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 27 December 1957
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River, N.Y.
  • Final Disposition, sold by MARAD for scrapping, 28 August 1970, to Tung Ho Enterprise Corp., Taiwan.
  • USS Rixey (APH-3) earned four battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,100 t.(lt) 11,500 t.(fl)
    Length 450' 2"
    Beam 62'
    Draft 23' 6"(lim)
    Speed 18 kts.
    Complement
    40 Officers
    409 Enlisted
    Hospital Wards
    62 Officers
    1,221 Enlisted
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four single 40mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 7,395 Bbls
    Diesel 275 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster-Wheeler "D" type boilers
    General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three 250Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ships' Service Generators
    single propeller, 8,500 SHP

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Rixey (APH-3)
    Rixey 173k
    Namesake

    RADM Presley M. Rixey, born 14 July 1852 in Culpepper Co., Va., and received his early education at schools in Culpepper and Warrenton. His family identified with the Confederate cause during the Civil War, which brought financial ruin upon its members. Undaunted by difficulties he sought and achieved an education, both general and professional, receiving the doctorate in medicine from the University of Virginia in 1873. He was appointed assistant surgeon by the Naval Examining Board on 28 January 1874, passed assistant surgeon in April 1877, and promoted to the rank of surgeon in November 1888. Appointed medical inspector in August 1900, he became Surgeon General of the Navy on 15 February 1902 and served as Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, with the rank of rear admiral, until his retirement 4 February 1910. He was the personal physician to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt during his career. From 16 January 1913 to 16 April 1917, he served as a member of the Naval Examining Board, presiding over it during the last 4 months of that period. He died at his home in Rosslyn, Va., on 17 June 1928.
    Image from the “Biographical Sketches of Distinguished Officers of the Army and Navy” (1905)
    Bill Gonyo
    Rixey 82k USS Rixey (APH-3) underway in San Francisco Bay, California, 12 February 1943.
    US Navy photo # 19-N-41760, a Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Rixey 220k Oil painting of USS Rixey (APH-3) underway during World War II, by Valerie Dunn, 1993. Robert Hurst
    USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185)
    Rixey 105k
    Namesake

    William H. Thomas (January 13, 1923 – April 22, 1945) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II. Thomas joined the Army from Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1942, and by April 22, 1945 was serving as a private first class in the 149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division. On that day, during a firefight in the Zambales Mountains on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Thomas continued to fight even after being mortally wounded by an explosion which blew off both of his legs. He died later that day and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor five months later, on September 24, 1945. Thomas, aged 22 at his death, was buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines. (Wikipedia)
    Image from the “Biographical Sketches of Distinguished Officers of the Army and Navy” (1905)
    Bill Gonyo
    Rixey 22k USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    LT. Robert Jerald Hula, USN (Ret.)
    Rixey 57k Pen and ink drawing of USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185) by Edward J. Raftery, circa 1955. Bill Valashinas
    Rixey 40k USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185) underway, circa 1952, location unknown Robert Hurst

    USS Rixey (APH-3) / USNS Private William H Thomas (T-AP-185)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Hobbs, Allen, USN30 December 1942 - 19 November 1943
    02CDR. Jenkins, Philip Hagenbuch, USN19 November 1943 - 19 December 1945
    03LCDR. Pratt, Morton Samuel, USNR19 December 1945 - 27 March 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Sinking of SS Andrea Doria
    (See "Recollections" for eyewitness accounts of USNS William H. Thomas crew members
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Evacuation Transport (APH) Photo Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 6 September 2013