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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Butte (APA-68)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal
Personnel Awards

Purple Heart (2-WIA Okinawa)
Gilliam Class Attack Transport
  • Laid down, 4 May 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (S4-SE2-BD1) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1861) at Consolidated Steel Corp, Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched 20 July 1944
  • Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 21 November 1944
  • Commissioned USS Butte (APA-68), 22 November 1944, at San Pedro, CA., CDR. Joseph A. Gillis, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Butte was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Seventeen, COMO. T.B. Brittan USN (20);
    TransDiv Forty-Nine, COMO. T.B. Brittan USN (20) and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 14 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Butte was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 15 October 1945
  • USS Butte (APA-68) was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.2.6 (Target Vessel Group - Merchant Type Units - Transport Division 92 (TRANSDIV 92) for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • Decommissioned, 29 August 1946, at Kwajalein Atoll
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 May 1948
  • USS Butte earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 12 May 1948 off Kwajalein Atoll
    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
    Butte 65k USS Butte (APA-68) weighing anchor off San Pedro, CA., 3 December 1944. The SG radar on the foremast is for surface search; on the mainmast is an SC-2 air search set. Because both masts supported booms, she needed the odd mast fastened to her forward funnel for signal flags. The two gun tubs right forward and the two aft house twin radar-directed 40 mm guns; the weapons atop the bridge and at the after end of the superstructure are 20 mm guns. Butte served as a target ship for the Bikini nuclear test (Operation Crossroads) and was retained afterwards for structural and radiation studies; she was scuttled off Kwajalein on 12 May 1948.
    US Navy photo and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Butte 124k
    BUSHIPS 19-N-75307
    BUSHIPS 19-N-75311
    87k USS Butte (APA-68) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 17 March 1946. She was assigned as a target ship for the "Operation Crossroads" atomic bomb tests.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 95910.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Butte (APA-68)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Gillis, Joseph Albert, USNR22 November 1944 - 28 March 1946
    02CAPT. Montgomery, Alan Robert, USN (USNA 1927)28 March 1946 - ?
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 23 June 2023