Ship’s History

Attack Transport 45


25 Years of Service in The Amphibious Forces Of the United States Navy

To those men who have served on the HENRICO and who gave their lives while in the service of their country.



Commander J. H. Willis, USN 26 Nov 1943 – 18 Mar 1945

Captain W. C. France, USN 18 Mar 1945 – 2 April 1945

Lieutenant W. D. Craig, USNR (Acting) 2 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945

Captain J. H. Willis, USN 19 Apr 1945 – 27 Jun 1945

Captain J.B. Williams, USN 27 Jun 1945 – 4 Jan 1947

Captain E. S. Von Kleechk, USN 4 Jan 1947 – 12 Apr 1948

Captain F. P. Tibbetts, USN 12 Apr 1948 – 26 Mar 1949

Captain H. D. Woodleson, USN 26 Mar 1949 – 1 Jun 1950

Captain J. E. Fradd, USN 1 Jun 1950 – 29 Jul 1951

Captain H. W. Taylor, USN 29 Jul 1951 – 30 Jul 1951

Captain K. L. Nutting, USN 30 Jul 1952 – 20 Aug 1953

Captain L. J. Jones, USN 20 Aug 1953 – 22 Oct 1954

Captain A. J. Hill, USN 22 Oct 1954 – 29 Sept 1955

Captain W. E. Coleman, USN 29 Sep 1955 – 28 Sep 1956

Captain G.T. Ferguson, USN 28 Sep 1956 – 16 Nov 1957

Captain C. C. Christie, USN 16 Nov 1957 – 7 Dec 1958

Captain W. H. Shea, USN 7 Dec 1958 – 15 Dec 1959

Captain J. L. Rhodemyre, USN 15 Dec 1959 – 20 Jan 1961

Captain R.M. Hayes, USN 20 Jan 1961 – 18 Jul 1962

Captain J. H. Dolan, USN 18 Jul 1962 – 16 Sep 1963

Captain H. J. Rosania, USN 16 Sep 1963 – 17 Sep 1964

Captain E. G. Dankworth, USN 17 Sep 1964 – 2 Jul 1965

Captain H.D. Durhan, USN 2 Jul 1965 – 5 Aug 1966

Captain H. D. Williams, USN 5 Aug 1966 – 10 Oct 1967

Captain R.B. Perez, USN 10 Oct 1967 – 14 Feb 1968


Type Hull C3

Length 492 Feet

Beam 74½ Feet

Maximum Draft 26½ Feet

Potable Fresh Water Capacity 98,300 Gallons

Fuel Capacity 360,000 Gallons

Daily Distillation Capacity 40,000 Gallons



LCM-(Mk 6) 4

LCPL-(Mk IV) 3

Troop Capacity:

Officers 67

Enlisted 1,426

Cargo Capacity:

Deadweight Tonnage 4,575.4 Tons

Bale Cubic Capacity 156,012 Cu. Ft.

Number of Overhauls Completed During

Commissioned Service 12 (26 Months )

Number of Deployments Completed During

Commissioned Service 20 (11 Years )

Major Wartime Operations Normandy

Southern France




Number of Major Peacetime

Operations/Exercises 44

In the Beginning & WW II

The USS HENRICO (APA-45) is named for Henrico County, Virginia and was formerly the SS SEA DARTER. Built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation of Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1942/1943, the Sea Darter was converted to an attack transport with accommodations for a division staff by the Bethlehem Steel Company of Hoboken, New Jersey and was commissioned the USS HENRICO on 26 November 1943, Commander John H. Willis, USN Commanding. On 3 December 1943 the ship reported to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for duty with Transport Division ELEVEN.

On 27 January 1944 HENRICO joined Task Unit 20.2.1 and on 11 February proceeded to the United Kingdom with elements of the Headquarters Division Command, Sixth Armored Division, 128th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, and the 50th Armored Infantry Battalion embarked.

In England she participated in rehearsal landings preparatory to the invasion of Europe. On 28 May 1944 during a heavy air attack in Portland, England the HENRICO fired her guns in anger for the first time.

D-DAY, 6 June 1944 found the HENRICO a part of the assault force which landed troops over the EASY RED section of OMAHA Beach, Normandy. Following the landings at Normandy the ship proceeded to the Mediterranean and participated in the landing at Baie De Pompelonne, Southern France in August. September and October were spent shuttling troops and cargo from England to Southern France and Italy.

In October 1944 the ship returned to the United States and entered the Boston Naval Shipyard for repairs. Upon completion of repairs, in December 1944 HENRICO proceeded to Leyte in the Philippine Islands via the Panama Canal and San Diego. At Leyte the ship made preparations for the invasion of Okinawa. On 18 March 1945 Captain WILLIS was relieved by Captain W.C. France, USN as Commanding Officer.

The Francis

From 21 March until the evening of 2 April 1945 HENRICO participated in the invasion of Okinawa. While proceeding to night retirement about four miles from Kerama Retto Harbor, Okinawa, the ship was hit by a “Francis” twin engine Kamikaze Bomber. The kamikaze with his bombs struck the starboard side of the Navigation Bridge causing extensive damage. Two 250 pound bombs penetrated two deck levels and exploded on the main deck, resulting in fires and flooding that were not brought under control until 2100. Two hours later the ship was taken in tow by the USS SUFFOLK (AKA-69) to Kerama Retto Harbor. As a result of the attack, thirty-seven Navy and fourteen Army personnel were killed including the Transport Division Commander, the Commanding Officer, and the Troop Commander. LIEUTENANT W. D. CRAIG, USNR, the Executive Officer had assumed command

On 14 April 1945, after completing temporary repairs, HENRICO got underway for the United States. During the transit at Ulithi, Atoll on 19 April 1945 CAPTAIN J. H. WILLIS, USN, returned to resume command. Upon arrival at San Francisco on 13 May 1945, the ship entered the Bethlehem Shipyard for extensive repairs of her battle damage.

CAPTAIN J. B. WILLIAMS, USN, relieved CAPTAIN WILLIS on 27 June 1945.

When her repairs were completed in July 1945, HENRICO proceeded once again to Leyte to prepare for further Amphibious operations. It was at Leyte that news of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II reached HENRICO.

The Atomic Bomb

From January to May 1946 the ship participated in Operation MAGIC CARPET, the monumental task of returning the veterans of war home to the United States. During June, July and August 1946 the ship operated in support of Operation CROSSROADS, the historic Atomic Bomb tests conducted at Bikini Atoll. Following Operation CROSSROADS, HENRICO returned to the operational control of Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and deployed to the Western Pacific as the flagship of Commander Amphibious Group THREE. On 4 January 1947, CAPTAIN E. S. Von KLEECHK, USN relieved CAPTAIN WILLIAMS as Commanding Officer.

Returning to the United States in September 1947, the ship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul. With overhaul completed in November 1947, HENRICO served as the flagship of Commander Amphibious Group ONE and participated in various amphibious exercises in the San Diego area.

CAPTAIN F. P. TIBBITS, USN relieved CAPTAIN Von KLEECHK as Commanding Officer on 12 April 1948.

July 1948 found HENRICO again deployed to the Western Pacific and operating off the coast of Tsingtao, China until February 1949 when she returned personnel and equipment of the 5th Marines to San Diego.

CAPTAIN H. D. WOOLESON, USN relieved CAPTAIN TIBBITS on 26 March 1949.

From June to August 1949 HENRICO was at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for overhaul. Upon completion of the overhaul she sailed for Olympia, Washington, to load units of the 2nd Infantry Division, U. S. Army, for Operation MIKI. Following Operation MIKI the ship returned to San Diego in November 1949 for local operations.

In January 1950 the ship sailed for the East Coast via the Panama Canal to embark troops on the 3rd Infantry Division, U. S. Army, and thence to the Caribbean to participate in Operation PORTRX, a joint amphibious landing exercise at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Upon completion of PORTEX in April she returned to her homeport of San Diego.

On 1 June 1050, CAPTAIN J. E. FRADD, USN relieved CAPTAIN WOOLESON as Commanding Officer

The Korean War

At the initiation of the war in Korea HENRICO again loaded troops for combat operations and on 12 July 1950 with units of the 5th Marines embarked, sailed for Pusan, Korea, arriving 2 August 1950.

On 15 September 1950 the HENRICO participated in the historic landing at Inchon, Korea, landing the 5th Marines in an amphibious assault. On 24 September she returned with reinforcements for the Inchon invasion, the 17th Regiment, Capital Division, Republic of Korea Army. Continuing to operate in Korean waters the ship landed units of the 7th Marines at Wonsan, North Korea, on 25 October. Returning to Japan, she embarked elements of the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division and also landed them at Wonsan on 19th November as reinforcements for that operation.

The setbacks to the United Nations Forces in late November and early December of 1950 due to Chinese intervention in the Korean War brought HENRICO again into action in the withdrawal of the 3rd Infantry Division from Wonsan on 10 December and later in mid December in the withdrawal and redeployment of the Republic of Korea 1st Army Corps from Hungnam, north Korea, to Boku-Ko, South Korea. The final withdrawal of United Nations forces from Hungnam took place on 24 December with HENRICO again in the van. HENRICO continued to operate in Korean waters until late February, 1951, when she returned to San Diego on 22 March.

In April the ship entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, for a deserved overhaul and returned to San Diego on 25 June 1951, where the remainder of the summer was spent participating in various local amphibious exercises.

On 29 July 1951 CAPTAIN H. W. TAYLOR, USN relieved CAPTAIN FRADD AS Commanding Officer.

The ship sailed for Korea on 16 October with the 14th Marine Replacement Draft, landing them and their equipment on 4 November at Sok-Cho-Ri, Korea, fifteen miles behind the United Nations lines.

The month of December, 1951, saw the ship participating in the rotation of the 45th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, from Japan to Inchon and the 1st. Cavalry Division, U. S. Army, from Inchon to Japan. Commencing on 6 January 1952, HENRICO assisted in moving the 21st Infantry Division, U. S. Army, from Yokohama, Japan, to Inchon.

In February of 1952 HENRICO made a fifteen day visit to Hong Kong where she represented the United States in the ceremonies marking the death of KING GEORGE VI of England.

Following the Hong Kong visit, HENRICO participated in Operation CORAL HEAD at Okinawa in March and April, then she returned to Japan to take part in operation CHIGISAKI, an amphibious landing exercise. During June the ship made two trips to Inchon, ferrying replacement troops.

On 18 July 1952 the ship arrived at Pearl Harbor for a three day visit enroute to San Diego and arrived in the United States on 26 July.

On 30 July 1952 CAPTAIN K. L. NUTTING, USN relieved CAPTAIN TAYLOR as Commanding Officer.

After leave, upkeep and local operations, the ship departed San Diego with dependents embarked, on 15 September for the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard where she underwent a two month overhaul.

Returning to San Diego in November HENRICO conducted local operations until she departed for the Western Pacific on 7 March 1953. Arriving in Japan in late March, the ship ferried troops from Japan to Baeng Yang Do, Korea, during April, participated in MARINE LANDING EXERCISE (MARLEX) ONE and TWO conducted at Yong Ni, Korea. In July, HENRICO transported troops and equipment of the 24th. Division, U.S. Army, from Shiogama and Ohara Wan, Japan, to Korea.

On 20 August 1953 in Yokosuka, Japan, CAPTAIN L. J. JONES, USN relieved CAPTAIN NUTTING as Commanding Officer.

San Diego, CA – Oct. 23, 1954, Kobe, Japan-Nov. 13, Yokosuka, Japan-Nov. 23, Inchon, Korea-Dec 8. Tok-Chok-To Island, Korea-Dec 7, Inchon, Korea-Dec 8, Sesebo, Japan-Dec 24, Nagasaki, Japan-Dec 28, Kobe, Japan-Dec 30, 1954.

Yokahama, Japan-Jan 3, 1955, Yokasuka, Japan-Jan 23, Kobe, Japan-Jan 24, Keelung, Formosa-Feb 3, Buckner BAy, Okinawa-Feb 5, Tachen Island, Formosa-Feb 12, we received the China service medal here, Keelung, Formosa-Feb 14, Subic Bay, Philippines-Feb 20, Manila, Philippines-Feb 20, Hong Kong, China-Feb 25, Manila, Philippines —, Subic Bay, Philippines —, Hong Kong, China-Mar 6, Keelung, Formosa-Mar 9, Yokasuka, Japan-Mar 12, Keelung, Formosa—, Yokasuka, Japan—, Inchon, Korea-Apr 3, San Diego, CA USA – we brought back the 1st Marine Division from Korea.

Operating out of Yokosuka and Sasebo, during July and August she transported troops and supplies to Pusan, Ulsan Wan and Pohang Hand, Korea. In the latter part of August, HENRICO, with Commander Transport Division embarked, proceeded to Koje Do, Korea, for Operation BIG SWITCH, HENRICO returned to Yokosuka to return Korean Veterans to the United States in company with the USS LENAWEE and USS BEGOR.

May and June 1956 were spent in local Operations off San Diego with a cruise to San Francisco for the Naval Reserve in late June and early July. On 23 August the ship entered a commercial shipyard in the Long Beach area for a major overhaul and conversion which was completed on 18 December.

On 28 September CAPTAIN G. T. FERGUSON, USN, relieved CAPTAIN COLEMAN as Commanding Officer.

From January to August 1957 the ship engaged in refresher and amphibious refresher training, local operation and Exercises QUICKSTEP and WORKHORSE.

HENRICO again deployed to the Western Pacific in August 1957 arriving in Yokosuka, Japan, in September. During October the ship participated in Operation MARLIFT, the movement of the THIRD Marine Division from Japan to Okinawa.

On 16 November 1957, CAPTAIN G. C. CHRISTIE, USN, relieved CAPTAIN FERGUSON as Commanding Officer.

In December the ship participated in Exercise PHIBLINK, a combined U. S., Philippine amphibious operation conducted in the Philippine Islands. Continuing to operate in the Philippine Island area, HENRICO ended the deployment with participation in Exercise STRONGBACK and returned to San Diego in March 1958.

Local operations and Exercise ROCKY SHOALS with troops of the 1st. Battle Group, 12th. Infantry Division, U. S. Army, embarked and conducted during the period 20 October to 21 November occupied HENRICO for the remainder of 1958 and until April 1959.

More Operations & Repairs

On 7 December 1958 CAPTAIN W. H. SHEA, USN, relieved CAPTAIN CHRISTIE as Commanding Officer.

On 16 April HENRICO sailed for the Western Pacific and arrived in Yokosuka on 4 May, then proceeded to Okinawa to embark the THIRD Marine Division Drill Team. This began an interesting “People to People” tour from 23 June to 26 July with visits to Bangkok, Thailand, Manila, Philippine Islands, The Crown Colony of Hong Kong and Keelung, Formosa. On 10 August the ship participated in Exercise SEA HORSE with U. S. Army troops embarked. The remainder of the deployment was spent in visiting Kobe, Yokosuka and Okinawa. HENRICO departed the Western Pacific on 4 November and arrived in San Diego on 23 November 1959.

Following leave, upkeep, a change of command whereby CAPTAIN J. L. RHODEMYRE, USN, relieved CAPTAIN SHEA on 15 December 1959 and the holiday period the ship conducted local operations and on 15 February 1960 participated in Exercise SWAN DIVE at camp Pendelton with personnel of the 1st. Marines embarked. This was followed by Exercise BAY ISLAND with personnel of the 1st. Battle Group, 32nd. Infantry Division U. S. Army, who were embarked at Tacoma, Washington. In May the ship participated in an Armed Forces Day demonstration at Camp Pendelton and Exercise BIG TOP with the 1st. Battalion, 3rd. Marines, embarked.

On 21 June HENRICO departed for the Western Pacific with the 2nd. Battalion, 7th. Marines, and five tons of Handclasp materials for Korean people.

Operations during the deployment included visits to several ports in Japan, Hong Kong, Inchon, Manila, and Okinawa and participation in Exercise JOLLY ROGER with personnel of the 1st. Battle Group, 32nd. Infantry Division, U. S. Army, and Exercise PACKBOARD with personnel of 1st. Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Departing the Western Pacific on 1 December, the ship arrived in San Diego on 16 December 1960.

On 20 January 1961 CAPTAIN R. M. HAYES, USN, relieved CAPTAIN RHODEMYER as Commanding Officer.

In February 1961 the ship entered a San Francisco shipyard for a two month overhaul period. From April to October 1961 the HENRICO participated in several exercises in the San Diego area which included WAGON MASTER, PAPER CUTTER, MARLEX 61, PACNARMIDLEX 61 and a NATO demonstration. Amphibious refresher and refresher training immediately preceded the ship’s departure for the Western Pacific on 16 October. With Commander Amphibious Squadron ONE embarked, the ship participated in Exercise SILVER SWORD in the Hawaiian area with units of Service Force Pacific, Cruiser Destroyer Force Pacific and personnel of the 1st. Marine Brigade, 1st. Division; this exercise was conducted during the period 27 October to 4 November 1961.

Western Pacific operations included visits to Okinawa, Sasebo, Yokosuka, Iwakuni, Keelung and Hong Kong. The deployment ended with participation Exercise TULUNGAN conducted in the Philippine area with Amphibious Squadrons ONE and SEVEN. Departing WESTPAC on 17 April the ship arrived in San Diego on 5 May 1962.

During the Competitive Year 1962 HENRICO was awarded the Green “E” for Operations, the Red “E” for Engineering and the Amphibious Assault Award for the third consecutive year.

On 12 July the ship entered the Willamette Iron and Steel Works shipyard in Portland, Oregon for overhaul and returned to San Diego on 7 September. On 18 July CAPTAIN J. H. DOLAN, USN, relieved CAPTAIN HAYES as Commanding Officer. On 28 September the ship entered the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard in San Diego for additional engineering work.

With the Cuban Crisis at hand the ship loaded troops, stores, equipment and ammunition and departed for the Caribbean on 27 October as a part of Task Group 53.2 Transiting the Panama Canal on 5 November 1962 the ship entered the Caribbean and steamed in the vicinity of Cuba, in readiness for any overt action that may occur. As tension in Cuba subsided the force departed the Caribbean on 6 December returning to San Diego on 15 December.

During the period 14 January to 15 February 1963 the ship underwent refresher and amphibious refresher training, followed by Exercise STEELGATE at San Clemente Island and Camp Pendelton from 28 February to 8 March under the command of Commander Amphibious Group THREE.

On 26 March the HENRICO deployed for the Western Pacific with Amphibious Squadron ONE. Highlights of the deployment included participation in Exercises FLAGPOLE and BAYONET BEACH which took place at Pohang, Korea, and the transporting of dependents from Sasebo to Hong Kong for recreation.

Returning to San Diego in September CAPTAIN H. J. ROSANIA, USN, relieved CAPTAIN DOLAN as Commanding Officer on the 16th. of the month.

On 9 January 1964 HENRICO entered the Todd Shipyard at San Pedro for overhaul and returned to San Diego on 16 April. On 21 April the ship was presented the Battle Efficiency Award for Amphibious Squadron ONE for the Competitive Year 1964.

For the remainder of the spring and the summer the ship conducted refresher training, local operations and participated in Exercise SEA BAR which was concluded on 10 September.


On 17 September 1964, CAPTAIN E. G. DANKWORTH, USN, relieved CAPTAIN ROSANIA as Commanding Officer.

November 16 found HENRICO again enroute to the Western Pacific where she arrived at Yokosuka on 9 December. From 16 December to 27 January 1965 the ship operated between Subic Bay and Okinawa transferring troops. On 8 March HENRICO was part of the task group that landed the first U. S. combat unit in Viet Nam at Da Nang, Hue, and Chu Lai. The ship departed Yokosuka on 2 June and arrived in San Diego on 16 June.

On 2 August 1965, CAPTAIN H. D. DURHAN, USN, relieved CAPTAIN DANKWORTH as Commanding Officer. Immediately following the change of command the ship departed on a troop lift deployment to Okinawa and returned to San Diego on 30 September 1965.

The remainder of 1965 was spent conducting local operations in the San Diego area. In January 1966 the ship commenced refresher and amphibious refresher training which was followed by more local operations. During the period 12-16 April HENRICO participated in the amphibious phase of Exercise GRAY GHOST. Conducting unit training, from 19 to 29 April HENRICO earned her sixth consecutive Amphibious Assault Award and her fourth consecutive Engineering Excellence Award.

On 18 July the ship departed San Diego with Commander Amphibious Squadron ONE embarked for the Western Pacific with stops at the Naval Ammunition Depot Seal Beach to load ammunition and Pearl Harbor for fuel where CAPTAIN H. D. WILLIAMS, USN, relieved CAPTAIN DURHAN as Commanding Officer on 5 August 1966.

The period 21 August to 5 September was spent operating between Okinawa and Viet Nam carrying troops. In addition to American Troops the ship made stops at Da Nang and Cam Rahn Bay to embark Korean personnel for off loading at Chu Lai. On 8 October the ship joined the Seventh Fleet Amphibious Ready Group in Subic Bay and with the Ready Group participated in Operation HILLTOP VII from 10 to 12 October at San Jose, Mindoro Island and Operation MUD PUPPY I from 17 to 20 October at Navotas, Mindoro Island. Returning to Subic Bay the ship departed that port on 25 October 1966 with the Special Landing Force embarked for Da Nang and the Demilitarized Zone for Ready Group operations.

Following a trip to Okinawa in early November the ship returned to Subic Bay to prepare for Operation MUD PUPPY II at Navotas, Mindoro. Proceeding to Vung Tau, Viet Nam, on 29 December the ship embarked Brigade Force Bravo, South Viet Nam Marine Corps for Operation DECKHOUSE V which was conducted during the period 2 to 15 January 1967 in the Mekong Delta.

Following a visit to Hong Kong in late January the ship proceeded to Okinawa to embark troops which were off loaded at Hue, Viet Nam, on 6 February. On 8 February troops were embarked at Da Nang and off loaded at Okinawa. The period 18 to 21 February was spent in Subic Bay and on 25 February the HENRICO relieved the USS WHITFIELD COUNTY in Vung Tau as Station Support Ship for Commander River Flotilla ONE and remained in that duty until 23 March.

Departing Vung Tau on 23 March, HENRICO proceeded to Pearl Harbor for fuel and returned to San Diego on 18 April 1967 after a nine month deployment.

Following leave and upkeep the ship participated in Exercise GOLDEN SLIPPER at Camp Pendelton from 31 July to 4 August. Local operations and an inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey completed the summer.

The end is near!

On 10 October 1967 CAPTAIN R. B. PEREZ relieved CAPTAIN H. D. WILLIAMS as Commanding Officer.

Results of the Board of Inspection and Survey indicated that the HENRICO was fit for further service but recommended that the ship be deactivated and placed in the reserve flee.

On 13 November 1967 USS HENRICO (APA-45) made her final departure from San Diego for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for deactivation and decommissioning on 14 February 1968.



17 NOVEMBER 1967 T0 14 FEBRUARY 1968






14 February 1968


Commander George M. HERSHBERGER, CHC, USN

Chaplain, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard




Seaman Charles Allen McLean, USN

Presentation of Special Awards


Reading of Commanding Officer’s Orders

Captain Raul B. PEREZ, USN


Lieutenant Commander Richard L. HILL, USN

Executive Officer


As the bugler sounds “Retreat” the National Ensign, Union Jack and the Commission Pennant are hauled down, signifying that the ship is officially out of commission.


By the Officer in Charge, Naval Inactive

Ship Maintenance Facility, Bremerton

Captain Donald B. RAMAGE, USN


Commander George M. HERSHBERGER, CHC, USN

Chaplain, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard




Credits for the amount of information on this page goes to “Ed Knudsen” who got the “Book” to me,  my wife “Kathy”, who without her typing expertise this page wouldn’t look the way it does and to “Frenchy” who when I need to find graphics or information always seems to find it for me on the internet and most of all to “Betty Mom” who without her constant vigilance the upkeep might just lag a bit!

Signed By:  Bruce Hartog

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