(APA-180: dp. 6,873; 1. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17 k.;cpl. 536; a. 1 5", 12 40mm.; cl. Bayfleld; T. VC2-S-AP5)
Lavaca was launched 27 November 1944 by the Oregon Shiphuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., under a Maritime Commission contract, sponsored by Mrs. Charles Harper Jr.; acquired by the Navy 17 December 1944 and commissioned the same day, Capt. Walter S. Gabel, USNR, in command.
After shakedown off Calitornia, Lavaca arrived San Diego 30 December and on 29 January 1945 became the flagship for Commander, Transport Division 65.
Lavaca arrived Pearl Harbor 25 February. Leaving 8 March, she transported Seabees to the Philippines, arriving Samar 27 March. From 27 March to 2 August Lavaca shuttled troops and equipment between the Admiralty and Philippine Islands.
On 2 August she arrived Markham Bay, New Guinea. That night an Australian plane crashed into Huon Gulf. Lavaca's salvage crew rescued five men and towed the plane to shore.
On 27 August following Japan's capitulation, Lavaca joined TF 33.1 at Luzon, prepared for the occupation of Japan, and arrived Yokohama 2 September. The attack transport shuttled passengers from Pearl Harbor and San Francisco to Sasebo, Japan, 7 September 1945 to 6 July 1946.
She departed Sasebo tor the east coast via Colon, Panama, and arrived Norfolk, Va., 12 July. Lavaca decommissioned 31 January 1947 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk. She was struck from the Navy list 1 October 1958 following transfer to the Maritime Administration and place in National Defense Reserve Fleet at Wilmington, N.C., in September. In October 1964 Lavaca was moved to the James River, Va., where she remains into late 1967.