USS Rockwall (APA-230) Howard's hand-written comments: A fast transport carried about 2800 men
Attack transport Rockwall (APA-230) was laid doun for the Maritime Commission 9 September 1944 hy Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash., launched 5 November 1944 acquired by the Navy on loan-charter 14 January 1945, and commissioned the same day at Astoria, Oreg., Capt. Charles W. Roland in command.
After shakedown off the California coast, Rockwall sailed for Saipan, w here she debarked a Marine Rocket Detachment and a Naval Construetion Regiment 12 April. With other attack transports, she practiced amphibious operations and maneuvers off Lanai and Maui, 1-5 May. She then made a hydrographic survey on Palahinu Beach, Lan.ti, before arriving at Pearl Harbor the 7th. She departed the 2 Ith, with Marines and debarked them at Okinawa l0 June. Tl~e next day, Rockwall sailed for Ulithi, and on the 18th, tool; on board the 5th Military Police Battalion of the U.S. Marines at Guam and carried them to Iwo Jima.
Rockwall began her homeward voyage with officers and enlisted men from Iwo Jima 29 June, piekecl up further troops at Tinian 4 July, and arrived at San Francisco the 24th. She carried Army replacements to Manila 9 September and loaded stores and embarked Army troops at Leyte Gulf the 13th. She sortied the 18th with Appalachiarz (AGC-1),the amphibious
force flagship, and a convoy of 24 attack transports and attack cargo ships for Honshu, Japan The force arrived the 25th and began unloading. Rockwail sailed the 29th for Shanghai, China, joining Woodson (DE-359) as escort on 4 October and arrived the 6th. She embarked 1,728 passengers the llthand arrived et Seattle, Wash., the 26th.Rocku~all made two more voyages to the Philippines.
During the spring of 1946 she took part in the atomic homb test at Bikini. She was then transferred to the Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and soon began amphibious training operations in the Caribbean.
On 15 March 1947 Rockwall decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The ship recommissioned 3 March 1951 at San Francisco. Her duties during the next 4 years were varied. Rocku~all carried 1,500 Army troops to Bremerhaven, Germany, in August 1952. The next spring she took part in refresher training off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In January 1954 the transport embarked Marines at Morehead City N.C., for a 5-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet. She returned to Norfolk, Va., 27 May and began a series of amphibious operations off the beaches of Virginia and Vieques Island near Puerto Rico.
Rockwall entered the Reserve Fleet again 4 June 1955 and decommissioned 28 September. On 1 December 1958 she was struck from the Navy list and was transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration. She is now berthed in James River, Va.
For her service in World War II Rockwall earned one battle star.