USS Appalachian (AGC-1)
Amphibious Force Flagship Vessel
The AGC-1 took part in some of the bloodiest amphibious landings of World War 2.
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The USS Appalachian was an amphibious support ship in service with the United States Navy during the course of World War 2. Her exploits took her into some of the most intense landing operations of the entire conflict in support of US Marine units. Her support of such operations was vital in the progress made by US Navy forces in the Battle of the Pacific. The Appalachian was the lead ship of her Appalachian-class that sported three other vessels in the USS blue Ridge, USS Rocky Mount and the USS Catoctin.
Powered by a single shaft turbine engine, the Appalachian could exceed speeds of 16 knots while crewed by a complement of 368 personnel. She was listed at a displacement in nearing the 14,000 ton range. Her armament consisted of 2 x 5" main guns and augmented by a collection of 8 x 40mm cannons and 14 x 20mm cannons. Her profile was dominated by a single midship superstructure and twin masts at forward and aft. A single funnel sat atop her superstructure as did a communications array mast.
The USS Appalachian was called to action when it first took part in the invasion of the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands then later operating in the Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands. The vessel was then part of the bombardment of Guam with her 5" guns in support of US Marine landing forces there. She later supported other vessels in the landings at Leyte in the Philippines then later (early 1945) at Luzon. On her return from the invasions, she was assaulted by some Japanese aircraft but was able to repel and avoid any critical damage. Beyond her support of American fleets and landing parties, the vessel was also called to train new crops of sailors in support operations. She ended her World War 2 career near Manila, Philippines in 1945 until the end of the conflict.
The USS Appalachian was laid down in 1942, with construction handled by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company (Kearney, New Jersey), and launched the following year. She was officially commissioned in 1943 and decommissioned in 1947. Her name was finally struck from the Naval Vessel Register some time later in 1960. Her remains were sold for scrapping. The USS Appalachian earned herself and her crews 4 Battle Stars for service in World War 2.