- USS Niagara (APA-87)
USS "Niagara" (APA-87) was a "Gilliam"-class
attack transportthat served with the US Navyduring World War II. Commissioned late in the war, she was initially assigned to transport duties and consequently did not participate in combat operations.
She was laid down
20 November 1944under Maritime Commissioncontract by Consolidated Steelat Wilmington, California; launched 10 February 1945; acquired by the Navy 26 March 1945; and commissioned at San Pedro, California, 29 March 1945, Lt. Comdr. Allan C. Hoffman, USNR, in command.
World War II
amphibious warfaretraining out of San Diego, "Niagara" sailed 26 May 1945with cargo and 887 Marines, whom she landed at Pearl Harbor1 June. In the following weeks she transported troops, cargo, ammunition, and mail between the various Hawaiian Islands.
She stood out of Pearl Harbor 1 July bound, via the Marshalls and
Carolines, for Okinawa, arriving Buckner Bay5 August. After debarking 903 Army troops and their combat support weapons and cargo, she departed 8 August with 40 officers and 771 men of the 31st Naval Construction Battalion for debarking at Guamin the Marianas. She arrived Apra Harbor on the morning of 15 August, the day of Japan's capitulation.
"Niagara" transported Navy passengers from Guam to the
Philippines, arriving San Pedro Bay 20 August. She then set course for Cebuto embark the Army's 164th Regimental Combat Team, sailed 1 September, arrived Yokohamathe 8th, and landed her occupation troops. She again headed for the Philippines 16 September to embark men of the Army's 305th Infantry, 77th Division, landed at Otaru, Hokkaidō, Japan, 5 October. From there, she carried men of the Navy's 128th Construction Battalion to Apra Harbor.
She stood out from Apra Harbor 22 October with an Army signal battalion bound for
China. The attack transport reached Tientsin29 October and sailed 10 November for the Marianas. Joining Operation Magic Carpet, the massive operation to return demobilizing servicemen, she embarked Army troops in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, Marianas; sailed the 20th; and reached San Francisco4 December.
"Niagara" departed San Francisco 20 December for
Samar, Philippine Islands, arriving 10 January 1946. While there, she received word that she would participate in the atomic bombtests of Operation Crossroadsas a unit of Joint Task Force 1. She put to sea 3 February to prepare at Pearl Harbor, then sailed to Bikini Atollin the Marshalls, the location of the tests, arriving 31 May.
A target ship, "Niagara" survived the atomic explosions of 1 and 25 July. She departed Bikini 21 August for
Kwajaleinand Pearl Harbor en route to San Francisco, arriving 16 September.
"Niagara" remained on the west coast until she departed
San Diego7 November, steaming via the Panama Canalto Hampton Roads, Virginia. She arrived Norfolk, Virginiaon 2 December and decommissioned there 12 December 1946.
After serving to test the effects of special conventional explosives in the
Chesapeake Bay, "Niagara" was sold for scrapping on 5 February 1950to the Northern Metals Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
* [http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/amphib/apa87.txt "Niagara" (APA-87)] , DANFS Online.
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/03/03087.htm APA-87 "Niagara"] , Navsource Online.
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