History of The USS Montrose (APA-212)

May 14, 1999


Montrose (APA-212) was laid down under Maritime Commission Contract 17 June 1944, by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; launched 13 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Marcia C. Barnhart; and commissioned 2 November 1944, Comdr. H. G. Davis in command.

After shakedown off California, Montrose embarked troops at Seattle, Wash., and steamed to the Philippines, arriving at Leyte 21 February to prepare for the invasion of the Ryutus. She participated in the landings in Kerama Retto 26 March, and on 2 April, splashed two kamikazes. She steamed to Menna Shima off Okinawa 15 April, and disembarked units of the 306th Field Artillery. Four days later she took part in a diversionary feint on the southwest tip of Okinawa, returning to Menna Shima 23 April. Leaving the Ryukus she sailed to IJlithi with Army casualties, en route to San Francisco to embark more troops.

She debarked these units at Manila 27 July. For the next 2 months she shuttled troops between the Philippines and Hawaii. From 25 August to 24 October, Montrose was busy carrying occupation troops to Sasebo, Kyushu. She decommissioned 26 October 1946, and was assigned to the Reserve Fleet at Stockton, Calif.

After hostilities broke out in Korea, Montrose recommissioned 12 September 1950, and arrived Yokosuka, Japan, 8 January 1951 to help repel the Communist invasion. She took troops to Inchon early in 1951; and, in April, after a run to Hong Kong, she steamed for the California coast. She returned to Yokosuka 30 July 1952, and joined TF 90, supporting operations off Korea, until returning to San Diego 6 December.

She returned to Japan in March 1954 and took part in training exercises from Iwo Jima to Korea. When Communism threatened in Indochina, she sailed to Saigon. Leaving Saigon 9 August, she proceeded to Haiphong to evacuate refugees from there to Saigon as part of operation “Passage to Freedom.” By 12 September Montrose had evacuated 9,060 people. She sailed home, arriving San Diego 21 November.

In March 1955, she steamed again for Japan, disembarking members of the 3d Marine Division. Between April and November she helped train South Korean amphibious forces and operated off the Japanese coast, until steaming to San Diego in November. She spent the early part of 1956 in training, before proceeding to the Far East for operations in the Bay of Siam in October. She arrived San Diego 13 April 1957, and operated off the California coast for the next 5 months. In September she took part in cold weather landing exercises near Kodiak, Alaska, then remained on the west coast until 12 June, when she steamed for Japan. Between 1959 and 1965, she operated off the California coast, and made several voyages to the Far East. With the situation in South Vietnam becoming more precarious, she left San Diego 23 August 1965, to begin training off Okinawa. In November, she conducted several successful strikes against the Vietcong, the first attack coming at Lang Keaa. The following month she participated in a massive attack on the Vietcong near Da Nang. She sailed 25 January 1966 for Gu Lao Re, and assisted in an attack on a Vietcong stronghold there. She arrived 14 April at San Diego, and returned for her 12th deployment in the western Pacific early in 1967. She anchored at the mouth of Long Tau river, South Vietnam, on 23 March, and took part in the establishment of a powerful riverine force. While delivering supplies at Dong Ha 25 May, Montrose came under hostile fire. She arrived 16 September 1967 at San Diego, and began preparation for a return trip to the western Pacific into 1968.

Montrose received (1) Battle Star for World War II service, (3) Battle Stars for Korean service, Vietnam Service Medal with multiple Battle Stars, Combat Action Ribbon, RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm, RVN Civil Action Medal, First Class, with Palm, RVN Campaign Medal with 60’s device.