USS Drew (APA-162)
The USS Drew (APA-162) was a 6,873-ton Haskell-class attack transport built in 1944 and named for Drew County, Arkansas.
The Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Oregon, laid down the hull for the USS Drew on June 30, 1944. The vessel was launched on September 14, then commissioned on October 22, 1944, under Commander D. H. Swinson. The ship was 455 feet long and sixty-two feet wide and could reach speeds of seventeen knots. It had a crew of fifty-six officers and 490 sailors and could carry up to eighty-six officers and 1,440 enlisted men. The Drew was armed with one five-inch gun, one quad-40mm antiaircraft mount, four twin 40mm guns, and ten single-mount 20-mm AA guns.
The Drew left San Diego, California, on December 10, 1944, and after dropping off passengers and picking up cargo at Seattle, Washington, sailed for Hawaii on December 18, arriving at Pearl Harbor on January 8, 1945. The ship delivered cargo at Guam and Ulithi before reaching Leyte on February 10. The Drew underwent training for island landings there and set out to participate in the Okinawa landings on March 21. It transported troops to Kerama Retto and other small islands near Okinawa five days later.
The Drew delivered assault troops to Ie Shima and brought off casualties on April 16, then performed demonstration landings on Okinawa three days later. Bringing reinforcements to Ie Shima on April 20, it again left with wounded troops aboard. On April 26, the Drew sailed to Ulithi for an overhaul before sailing to San Francisco, California, on June 14, 1945, with a load of U.S. troops from the Admiralty Islands. After the war ended, the Drew sailed to Japan twice, dropping off occupation troops and bringing victorious soldiers back to the United States.
The USS Drew sailed to Tacoma, Washington, on December16, 1945, and was decommissioned on May 10, 1946. It was transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on May 19, 1946, having earned one combat star for service on Okinawa.
For additional information:
“Drew.” Dictionary of American Fighting Ships. https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/d/drew.html (accessed July 13, 2018).
“USS Drew.” Hullnumber.com. http://www.hullnumber.com/APA-162 (accessed July 13, 2018).
“USS Drew (APA-162).” NavSource.org. http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/03/03162.htm (accessed July 13, 2018).
Mark K. Christ
Little Rock, Arkansas
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