USS Noble (APA-218)

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USS Noble; (APA-218) underway off San Diego, December 1956
Career (United States) 100x35px
Name: USS Noble (APA-218)
Namesake: Counties in Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma[1]
Builder: Permanente Metals
Laid down: 20 July 1944
Launched: 18 October 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs Maxine C. Jones
Acquired: 27 November 1944
Commissioned: 27 November 1944
Decommissioned: 1 July 1964
Struck: 1964
Fate: Sold to the Spanish Navy, 19 December 1964
Career (Spain) Spanish naval jack
Name: SPS Aragon (TA-11)
Acquired: 19 December 1964
Decommissioned: 1980
Struck: 1 January 1982
Fate: Scrapped 1987
General characteristics
Class and type: Haskell-class attack transport
Tonnage: 150,000 cu. ft, 2,900 tons
Displacement: 6,873 tons (lt), 14,837 t. (fl)
Length: 455 ft
Beam: 62 ft
Draft: 24 ft
Propulsion: 1 x Westinghouse geared turbine, 2 x Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 1 x propeller, designed shaft horsepower 8,500
Speed: 18 knots
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2 x LCM, 12 x LCVP, 3 x LCPU
Capacity: 86 Officers 1,475 Enlisted
Crew: 56 Officers, 480 enlisted
Armament: 1 x 5"/38 caliber dual-purpose gun mount, 1 x quad 40mm gun mount, 4 x twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 x single 20mm gun mounts
Notes: MCV Hull No. 566, hull type VC2-S-AP5

USS Noble (APA-218) was a Haskell-class attack transport which saw service with the US Navy in World War II and the Korean War. She was later transferred to the Spanish Navy in the 1960s under a mutual assistance agreement.

Noble was named after counties in Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma.[1] She was laid down as MCV hull 566 on 20 July 1944 by Permanente Metals Corporation of Richmond, California as a modified Victory ship; completed by the Kaiser Shipyard at Richmond; launched 18 October 1944; acquired by the Navy on 27 November 1944; and commissioned the same day, Comdr. Solomon S. Isquith in command.

Operational history

World War II

Noble's primary mission was to transport to a combat area the men and some of the material necessary for an assault on an enemy shore. Her main armament, her boat group, was designed to deliver her troops and cargo to the beach in a planned and orderly fashion. After discharging troops and equipment, she could evacuate casualties or prisoners of war.

Invasion of Okinawa

In January 1945, Noble steamed westward to participate in the Okinawa campaign.

After hostilities

Upon termination of the war, she assisted in the delivery of released allied prisoners of war from Korea to the Philippines. She also participated in Operation Magic Carpet, returning servicemen from the Pacific to the United States. Noble was attached to the Atlantic Fleet from 1946 through 1949, operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.

Korean War

Noble returned to San Diego 13 September 1949 and was undergoing overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, when war broke out in Korea in June 1950. In August, she steamed to Korea to participate in the September Inchon amphibious assault. Thereafter, she assisted in the transport of U.S. and foreign troops and equipment to and from the Korean combat zone.

In July 1953, she participated in Operation "Big Switch," moving Communist North Korean prisoners from Koje Do to Inchon pursuant to the armistice agreement.

Peacetime operations

Subsequent to the Korean War, Noble conducted training operations in both the eastern and western Pacific areas. In 1955, she assisted in the evacuation of Chinese civilians and military from the Tachen Islands to Formosa. At the outset of the Cuban missile crisis 27 October 1962, Noble embarked 1,400 Marines with their equipment and steamed for the Caribbean in company with other Pacific Fleet amphibious units. She returned to San Diego in December, then deployed to WestPac in March 1963 for a tour with the 7th Fleet Amphibious Ready Group.

Transfer to the Spanish Navy

Noble returned to San Diego in December 1963 and conducted upkeep and training operations until she decommissioned 1 July 1964. She then entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for preparation for transfer to Spain under the Mutual Assistance Program. The transfer ceremony took place 19 December at San Francisco.

Renamed attack transport Aragón (TA-11) by the Spanish, the ship served until being laid up and struck from the Spanish Navy Vessel Register on 1 January 1982. She was sold for scrap in 1987.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Noble County in Indiana was named for Noah Noble, an early governor of that state; Noble County in Ohio was named for James Noble, an early settler; and Noble County in Oklahoma was named for John Willock Noble, Secretary of the Interior from 1889 to 1893.
  2. Noble, from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, (1969) Vol. 4, p.487; (1970) Vol. 5, p.101. Accessed 26 January 2008.