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De Grasse AP-164

De Grasse

Admiral Comte de Grasse (1722-1788) commanded the French Fleet which defeated the British in the Battle off the Virginia Capes, 6 September 1781. Lord Cornwallis' army, cut off from sea support by De Grasse, surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown the most decisive victory of the Revolutionary War.

The first De Grasse (No. 1217), a yacht, was carried on the Navy List from July to November 1918.

De Grasse II

(AP-164: dp. 4 023; 1. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4";
s. 12 k.; cpl. 206; a. 1 6", 4 3"; cl. Crater)

The second De Grasse (AP-164) was launched 24 February 1943 as Nathaniel Wyeth by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. V. Palmer; Acquired by the Navy 28 October 1943; converted by United Engineering Co. Alameda, Calif., and commissioned 8 November 1943, Lieutenant Commander W. Jordon, USNR, in command. She was reclassified AK-223, 20 August 1944.

De Grasse sailed from Port Hueneme, Calif., 22 November 1943 with construction battalion troops and cargo, arriving at Pearl Harbor 2 December. Along with training assault troops in the Hawaiians, she carried men and equipment to the Marshalls and Gilberts on two voyages in February and March 1944. On 29 May she departed Pearl Harbor for the invasion of the Marianas, and between 20 and 26 June and again on 2 and 3 July lay off Saipan to land reinforcements. De Grasse returned to Pearl Harbor 27 July and until the end of 1944 transported troops among the Marshalls, the Gilberts, and the Marianas, and trained men in the Hawaiian area for amphibious assaults.

De Grasse sailed from Pearl Harbor 17 January 1945 to carry troops from Eniwetok, Guam, Saipan, and Majuro to Ulithi, staging point for the Okinawa operation. De Grasse arrived off Okinawa 26 April and the following day landed men and supplies at Le Shima. After two voyages to carry Army hospital units from Noumea and Espiritu Santo to Okinawa, she sailed from Okinawa 6 August for San Francisco and overhaul. De Grasse was assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty after the war. She returned to San Francisco 23 January 1946, was decommissioned 28 March 1946, and delivered to the War Shipping Administration the same day for disposal.

De Grasse received three battle stars for World War II service.