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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Bladen (APA-63)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Mike - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Gilliam Class Attack Transport
  • Laid down, 8 March 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (S4-SE2-BD1) hull under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1856) at Consolidated Steel Corp, Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched, 31 May 1944
  • Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 17 October 1944
  • Commissioned USS Bladen (APA-63), 18 October 1944, LCDR. Walter Paul Hartung in command
  • During World War II USS Bladen was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Fifteen, CAPT. W.S. Popham USN (14);
    TransDiv Forty-Four, CAPT. J. H. Seyfried USN and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 to 28 February 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 10 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Bladen was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 14 to 26 October 1945
  • USS Bladen (APA-63) was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.2.6 (Target Vessel Group - Merchant Type Units - Transport Division 93 (TRANSDIV 93) for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • Decommissioned, 26 December 1946, at Norfolk, VA
  • Berthed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until August 1953
  • USS Bladen earned two battle stars for her World War II service
  • Returned the Maritime Administration, 3 August 1953, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 20 October 1953
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 15 July 1955, to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, MD. (PD-X-521 dated 14 June 1955) for $161,166.00. Withdrawn from the James River Reserve Fleet and delivered to Boston Metals Co., 3 August 1955
    Displacement 4,247 t.(lt), 7,080 t.(fl)
    Length 426'
    Beam 58'
    Draft 16.9'
    Speed 16.9 kts.
    Officers 27
    Enlisted 295
    Troop Capacity
    Officers 47
    Enlisted 802
    Cargo Capacity 85,000 cu. ft., 2,600 t.
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 9,695 Bbls
    Diesel 375 Bbls
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA radar-directed gun mounts
    ten single 20mm AA gun mounts
    two Westinghouse turbo-electric drive
    two Babcock & Wilcox 450psi 750° boilers
    Ship's Service Generators
    one turbo-drive 250Kw 450V A.C.
    one turbo-drive 150Kw 450V A.C.
    one turbo-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    two propellers 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Bladen 50k USS Bladen (APA-63) underway, date and location unknown. Norman Hinga in honor of his father Edward C. Hinga USS Bladen 1943-45.
    Bladen 125k USS Bladen (APA-63) underway, date and location unknown. Bradley J. Cate for his father, Merle P. Cate USNR USS Bladen.

    USS Bladen (APA-63)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Gallagher, John Murray USNR8 October 1944 - 5 January 1945
    03LCDR. Hughes, George N. USNR (O-in-C)5 January 1945 - 10 January 1945
    01LCDR. Gallagher, John Murray USNR10 January 1945 - 17 May 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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    An Informal Biography of USS Bladen

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 February 2016