Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

USS Bayfield (APA-33)

Bayfield is a county in Wisconsin.

(APA-33: dp. 8,100; l. 492'; b. 69'6"; dr. 26'6"; s. 18.4 k.; cpl. 575; a. 2 5"; cl. Bayfield)

Bayfield (AP-78) was reclassified APA-33, 1 February 1943; launched 2 August 1942 by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., for the Maritime Commission as Sea Bass; sponsored by Mrs. Clarence A. Reiter; transferred to the Navy 30 June 1943; and placed in reduced commission the same day. Bayfield departed San Francisco 7 July 1943 and arrived at New York 29 July for conversion, was recommissioned 30 November 1943, Captain L. Spencer, USCG, in command; and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet.

After a period of training exercises as a unit of the Amphibious Training Force, Atlantic Fleet, Bayfield departed for England. Between 6 March and 5 June 1944 she engaged in amphibious maneuvers off England and Scotland, and on 5 June departed for the invasion of France as flagship of Rear Admiral D. P. Moon, CTF 125 (Utah Force). On 6 June she debarked her troops on the coast of Normandy and then lay at anchor off the coast embarking casualties until the 25th when she returned to England. During July and early August she operated in the Mediterranean before taking part in the assault on southern France (13 August-9 September) as flagship for Rear Admiral S. S. Lewis, CTF 87 (Camel Force). She arrived at Norfolk 26 September and following minor repairs moved to the Pacific in November. Between December 1944 and January 1945 she participated in amphibious training exercises around the Hawaiian Islands.

On 27 January she departed Pearl Harbor and during 19-28 February took part in the assault on Iwo Jima. She got underway 27 March and operated off Okinawa (1-10 April) and then returned to Saipan. She carried cargo throughout the Pacific islands until arriving at San Francisco 30 July 1945.

Between August 1945 and March 1946 Bayfield made one voyage to Japan and two voyages to Korea with troops and cargo. She participated in the atomic tests at Bikini between April and August 1946. From 1947 until 1949 she made two voyages (7 July 1947-12 March 1948 and 1 November 1948-30 March 1949) to China and then reported to the Atlantic Fleet at Norfolk 20 May 1949. Five days later she departed for San Diego and remained in the Pacific until 26 November 1949 when she returned to the Atlantic.

Bayfield operated along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until 15 August 1950 when she commenced her first tour in the war-torn Korean area. She arrived at Kobe, Japan, from San Diego 16 September, and departed the next day for Inchon, Korea. She spent the next seven months supporting the forces engaged in the Korean action. She took part in the landings at Inchon (15 September), Wonsan (26 October), and the Hungnam Evacuation (11-24 December). She returned to San Diego 26 May 1951. In September 1951 she completed a round trip to Yokosuka, Japan. Returning to the Far East 29 March 1952, she again furnished logistic support off Korea until 1 December when she departed for Long Beach, Calif., arriving on the 16th.

Since that time Bayfield has completed three Far Eastern cruises and has served continuously with the Pacific Fleet. During 21 August-9 September 1954 she assisted in the evacuation of the Vietnamese from northern Indochina.

Bayfield received four battle stars for her World War II service and four battle stars for her Korean service.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey