USS De Grasse (AK-223)

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Name: USS De Grasse (AK-223)
Namesake: François Joseph Paul de Grasse
Ordered: As liberty ship SS Nathaniel J. Wyeth
Builder: Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 31 January 1943
Launched: 24 February 1943
Acquired: 28 October 1943
Commissioned: 8 November 1943
Decommissioned: 28 March 1946
Reclassified: AK-223, 20 August 1944
Struck: 17 April 1946
Honors and
Three battle stars
Fate: Scrapped February 1970
General characteristics
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Displacement: 4,023 tons
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draft: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Speed: 12 knots
Complement: 206
Armament: 1 x 5", 4 x 3"

USS De Grasse (AP-164/AK-223), was a Crater-class cargo ship active with the United States Navy during World War II. It is the second ship of the Navy to bear this name. It is named after French Admiral François Joseph Paul de Grasse.

De Grasse was launched 24 February 1943 as liberty ship SS Nathaniel J. Wyeth by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland, Oregon, under a Maritime Commission contract. She was sponsored by Mrs. V. Palmer; acquired by the Navy on 28 October 1943 and converted by the United Engineering Company in Alameda, California. De Grasse was commissioned 8 November 1943, with Lieutenant Commander W. Jordon, USNR, in command. She was reclassified AK-223, 20 August 1944.

De Grasse sailed from Port Hueneme, California, 22 November 1943 with construction battalion troops and cargo, arriving at Pearl Harbor 2 December. Along with training assault troops in the Hawaiians, she carried men and equipment to the Marshalls and Gilberts on two voyages in February and March 1944. On 29 May she departed Pearl Harbor for the invasion of the Marianas, and between 20 and 25 June and again on 2 and 3 July lay off Saipan to land reinforcements. De Grasse returned to Pearl Harbor 27 July and until the end of 1944 transported troops among the Marshalls, the Gilberts, and the Marianas, and trained men in the Hawaiian area for amphibious assaults.

De Grasse sailed from Pearl Harbor 17 January 1945 to carry troops from Eniwetok, Guam, Saipan, and Majuro to Ulithi, staging point for the Okinawa operation. De Grasse arrived off Okinawa 26 April and the following day landed men and supplies at Ie Shima. After two voyages to carry Army hospital units from Nouméa and Espiritu Santo to Okinawa, she sailed from Okinawa 5 August for San Francisco and overhaul. De Grasse was assigned to Operation Magic Carpet duty after the war. She returned to San Francisco 23 January 1946, was decommissioned 28 March 1946, and delivered to the War Shipping Administration the same day for disposal.

De Grasse received three battle stars for World War II service.


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