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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Left patch contributed by John Flynn, right patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Bexar (LPA-237)
USS Bexar (APA-237) (1945 - 1969)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Papa - Tango - Hotel
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation - China Service Medal (extended - Tachin Islands evacuation) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Korean Service Medal (3) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Congo, Cuba, Vietnam)
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (5) - Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (4)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Haskell Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down, 2 June 1945, as a Maritime Commission type (VC2-S-AP5) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 861) at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 25 July 1945
  • Acquired by the US Navy from the Maritime Commission under loan-charter
  • Commissioned USS Bexar (APA-237), 9 October 1945, CAPT Richard H. Wilcox, USNR in command
  • USS Bexar was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    5 January to 14 February 194828 August to 8 September 1951
     6 to 14 February 1955

  • USS Bexar (APA-237) was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.3.1 Transportation Group (Transportation Division (TRANSDIV 31) for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • During the Korean War USS Bexar (APA-237) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    20 September to 2 November 1950
    Second Korean Winter
    5 to 6 December 1951
    27 to 30 December 1951
    10 to 11 January 1952
    22 to 23 January 1952
    Communist China Aggression
    3 November 1950 to 1 January 1951

  • During the Vietnam War USS Bexar (APA-237) participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    22 November 1964 to9 December 1964
    27 December 1964 to 31 January 1965
    8 February 1965 to 28 February 1965
    7 to 13 March 1965
    16 to 23 April 1965
    2 to 11 May 1965
    18 to 20 May 1965
    Tet Counteroffensive
    27 February to 2 March 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive
    17 February to 13 March 1966
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    21 April to 3 May 1968
    29 May to 30 June 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase II
    26 August to 1 September 1966
    10 September to 28 October 1966
    6 November to 19 December 1966
    6 to 14 January 1967
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 July to 18 August 1968
    14 to 22 September 1969

  • Redesignated Amphibious Transport LPA-237, 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned, 15 December 1969
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration, 7 August 1970, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1976
  • USS Bexar earned three battle stars for Korean War service, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 19 February 1982, to Trans Marine Navigation Corp, recorded as C. W. Enterprises & Investment Inc. Removed, 16 June 1982, Scrapped in Taiwan
    Displacement 6,873 t.(lt) 14,837 t.(fl)
    Length 455'
    Beam 62'
    Speed 17.7 kts.
    Draft 24'
    56 Officers
    480 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    86 Officers
    1,475 Enlisted
    Largest boom capacity 35 t.
    Cargo Capacity, 2,900 DWT
    non-refrigerated 150,000 Cu. ft.
    two LCMs
    one open LCPL
    one covered LCPL (Captain's Gig)
    two LCPRs
    eighteen LCVPs
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    ten single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 7,780 Bbls
    Diesel 970 Bbls
    one Joshua-Hendy geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 365psi 750°
    double Joshua-Hendy Main Reductions Gears
    three 300Kw 120/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    one propeller, design shaft horsepower 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Bexar 53k USS Bexar (APA-237), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    APA 237 1905-46
    476k After topside view of USS Bexar (APA-237) at Mare Island. May 17 1946. Conning tower areas of USS LSM-168, USS LSM-172, USS LSM-222, USS LSM-251 and USS LSM-275 along with Tamalpais (YHB-21) and Port of Stockton (YHB-2) are visible to the right.
    US Navy photos File name: APA 237 1905-46, Navy Photo, 5/17/46 from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and History Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    APA 237 1905-46
    Bexar 97k USS Bexar (APA-237) mooring, location unknown, circa late 1940s.
    US Navy photo.
    David Wright
    Bexar 75k A USS Bexar (APA-237), LCVP is stranded in the right background as LCMs unload on the Kalmo Pando beaches, at Wonsan, North Korea, with LVTs standing by to assist, 26 October 1950. Several LSTs are beached beyond that.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-421315, a US Navy photo, now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Scott at LBS Products
    Bexar 965k USS Bexar (APA-237) underway in November 1955, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    David Buell
    Bexar 88k USS Bexar (APA-237) underway near the San Francisco Naval Shipyard (Hunters Point), 11 January 1957 after a regular overhaul. She has yet to re-embark most of her landing craft.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. Unknown
    Mike Green
    Bexar 110k USS Bexar (APA-237), date and location unknown. ©George B Barber, Marine Photo and Publishing Co. San Diego CA.
    Copies of this photo are available from Marine Photo and Publishing Co.
    contributed by Tom Gonzales
    194k USS Bexar (APA-237) outbound to sea from San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Eldorado 127k USS Bexar (APA-237) moored port side to USS Eldorado (AGC-11) at Naval Station San Diego, CA. Note the crew of Eldorado in dress blues assembled on the helo deck for a ceremony, 1963. Photo by LT. Richard Dawson USNR USS Renville
    Princeton 94k U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Amphibious Ready Group underway in March 1965. The ships are (l-r): USS Bexar (APA-237), USS Princeton (LPH-5), USS Thomaston (LSD-28), and USS O'Bannon (DD-450). Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopters of Medium Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-365) fly above the ships while Princetonīs crew spells out the groups' designations "TG 76.5/79.5" on the flight deck.
    US Navy photo from "US Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup 1965 Part 6, p. 195."
    Robert Hurst
    Bexar 83k USS Bexar (APA-237) moored at Danang, South Vietnam circa September-October 1966, with four merchantmen and one unidentified LST. The merchantmen are unloading supplies for Allied forces in the I Corp area of South Vietnam onto three new deep draft piers. The new piers, completed in October 1966, greatly increase cargo handling capacity in the port. Previously ships had to anchor in the harbor and unload onto landing craft or barges.
    Naval Photographic Center photo # 1118323
    Ron Reeves
    Bexar 55k USS Bexar (APA-237) decommissioning program (cover) Robert Weiss

    For more photos and information about USS Bexar see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Bexar APA-237

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Wilcox, Richard Harold USNR9 October 1945 - 20 January 1946
    02CAPT. Ray, Clarence C., USN (USNA 1925) :RADM20 January 1946 - 23 June 1947
    03CAPT. Purmont, George Lawrence, USN (USNA 1925)23 June 1947 - 15 June 1948
    04CAPT. Kowalzyk Jr., Alexander Martin. USN (USNA 1927)15 June 1948 - 18 June 1949
    05CAPT. Coffin Jr., Clarence Emmit, USN (USN 1927)18 June 1949 - 6 March 1951
    06CAPT. Johnson, Harry Darlington, USN (USNA 1926)6 March 1951 - 22 December 1951
    07CAPT. Roscoe Jr., David Livingston, USN (USNA 1931) :RADM22 December 1951 - 22 December 1952
    08CAPT. Wilson, George Rees, USN (USNA 1932) 22 December 1952 - 17 October 1953
    09CAPT. Hall Jr., Madison, USN (USNA 1931)17 October 1953 - 7 December 1954
    10CAPT. Blair, Richard Hutchings, USN (USNA 1932)7 December 1954 - 16 February 1956
    11CAPT. Bowers, Thomas Kent, USN (USNA 1932)16 February 1956 - 3 August 1956
    12CAPT. Reifenrath, Wilson Gortley, USN (USNA 1935)3 August 1956 - 9 August 1957
    13CAPT. Kauffman, Draper Laurence, USN (USNA 1933) :RADM9 August 1957 - 9 August 1958
    14CAPT. Ross, Bruce Percy, USN (USNA 1935)9 August 1958 - 11 August 1959
    15CDR. Garzda, Michael George, USN11 August 1959 - 13 August 1959
    16CDR. Krattli, James Altheide, USN13 August 1959 - 27 August 1959
    17CAPT. Ross, Bruce Percy, USN (USNA 1935)27 August 1959 - 1 September 1959
    18CAPT. Wesche, Otis Albert, USN (USNA 1938)1 September 1959 - 22 July 1960
    19CAPT. Giffen Jr., Robert Carlisle, USN (USNA 1938)22 July 1960 - 31 May 1961
    20CAPT. Walker III, William Anderson, USN (USNA 1940)31 May 1961 - 14 July 1962
    21CAPT. Appleton, Daniel Sidney, USN (USNA 1940) :RADM14 July 1962 - 8 July 1963
    22CAPT. Gutting, John Philip, USN (USNA 1942)8 July 1963 - 29 July 1964
    23CAPT. Battson Jr., Arthur LaGrange, USN (USNA 1944)29 July 1964 - 3 September 1965
    24CAPT. Boudinot Jr., Edgar John, USN3 September 1965 - 15 September 1966
    25CAPT. Lamb, Harold Moore, USN (USNA 1945)15 September 1966 - 17 November 1967
    26CAPT. Petersen, Forrest Silas, USN (USNA 1945) :VADM17 November 1967 - 6 December 1968
    27CAPT. Barry, James Halford, USN (USNA 1947)6 December 1968 - 15 December 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 11 March 2022