USS Ray W Herndon  

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Ray W. Herndon APD-121

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Raymon W. Herndon

(APD-121: dp. 2,130,1. 306', b. 37', dr. 12'7", s. 23.6 k.; cpl.
186; a. 1 5", 6 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 det.; el. Buckley)

Raymon W. Herndon (APD-121) ex-DE-688, a high-speed transport, was laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., Qufiley, Mass., 12 June 1944; launched 15 July 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Raymon W. Herndon, widow of Private First Class Herndon, USMC, redesignated APD-121 on 17 July 1944; and commissioned 3 November 1944.

She departed Boston 23 November for 3 weeks of shakedown in Bermudan waters. After ealling at Norfolk, Va., 13 December through the holiday season, she stood out of Hampton Roads 1 January 1945, transited the Panama Canal, and reported to Commander in Chief, Pacific, for duty 7 January.

Arriving San Diego 16 January, she departed 9 days later touched at Pearl Harbor 31 January, and acquired ter first combat experience in the capture and occupation of Okinawa.

Commeneing 26 March 1945, she supported her embarked Underwater Demolition Team 16 and provided antiaircraft gunnery support in the transport area of the invasion beaches. This duty continued through 19 June, only 2 days before Okinawa was finally declared secured to serve as a vital fleet and air base for the final step toward Japan itself.

During the assault phase of the Okinawa operation, Raymon W. Herndon assisted in maintaining an outer antisubmarine screen that extended completely around the Hagushi Beach Transport area and the seaplane and iogisties anchorage at Kerama Retto.

Together with the other ships, she also provided protection from enemy aircraft for the naval forces off the beachhead, and, next after the remote radar picket stations, bore the brunt of the relentless and determined attacks made by enemy torpedo, divebombing, and kamikaze aircraft. She splashed one attacking aircraft and assisted in the destruction of two others 6 April.

Upon the close of hostilities, Raymon W. Herndon transported occupation forces to the China coast and to ports in Japan. She was then directed to return to the United States. Decommissioned 15 November 1946, she berthed at C.reen Cove Springs, Fla., and then shifted to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Norfolk Group.

Struck from the Navy list 1 September 1966, Raymon W. Herndon was sold under MAP to the Republie of China the next month.

Raymon W.Herndon received one battle star for World War II service.