R.O. Bingham’s Naval Service in WWII

Bob was assigned to 4 different ships during WWII:

USS Adriadite PYc-11

The USS Anradite was Built in 1927 as the yacht Comeco, by Defoe Boat and Motor Works, Bay City, Michigan. It was renamed Caronia and acquired by the Navy March 16, 1942. It was commissioned USS Andradite (PYc-11) April 17, 1942. The ship was decommissioned December 19, 1945 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on June 22, 1947. Struck From the Naval Register, (date unknown); fate unknown. (NavSource Online: Patrol Craft / Gunboat / Submarine Chaser Photo Archive PYc-11 Andradite). Specifications: Displacement 322 t.; Length 140′ 2″; Beam 23′ 6″; Draft 9′ 4″; Speed 11.5k; Complement 56; Armament one single 3″/50 gun mount.

USS Bolinas CVE-36

The USS Bolinas was an Ameer class Escort Carrier, built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in Seattle, Washington. It was launched on 11/11/1942, commissioned on 07/22/1943, and decomissioned on 08/02/1943. It was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Begum (D38) on 08/02/1943; and returned to the U.S. Navy on 01/04/1946. On 06/19/1946, it was stricken and sold into merchant service on 04/16/1947 as Raki. It was scrapped in Taiwan in March 1974.

USS Fremont APA44

The USS Fremont was a Bayfield class attack transport built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, MS. It was launched and later decommissioned and refitted as a relief flagship. It was fully commissioned 11/22/1943 as USS Fremont APA-44. Captain Clarence Conlan was the ship’s first commanding officer. She was named for several U.S. counties of the same name. The Fremont received 5 battle stars for her World War II service. She was stricken in 1973 after being sold. Fate unknown.

Displacement: 8,100 t.(lt), 16,100 t.(fl)
Length: 492′ 6″
Beam: 69′ 6″
Draft: 26′ 6″
Speed: 18 kts.
Complement: 51 Officers, 524 Enlisted
Flag Accommodation: 43 Officers, 108 Enlisted
Troop Accommodation: 80 Officers, 1,146 Enlisted
Cargo Capacity: 175,000 cu. ft., 4,700 t.
Boats: 12 LCVP, 4 LCM (Mk-6), 3 LCP(L) (MK-IV)
Armament: 1 single 5″/38 dp gun mount, 2 single 40mm gun mounts, 3 twin 40mm gun mounts, 18 single 20mm gun mounts
Propulsion: General Electric geared turbine, 2 Foster-Wheeler D-type boilers, 1 propeller, Design shaft horsepower 8,500

USS Massey DD778

Bob had some interesting stories about his Naval service.  The most harrowing were the engagements with Kamikaze aircraft.  They shot down several during his tour.

USS Massey was a 2200-ton Allen M. Sumner class destroyer, built at Seattle, Washington. Commissioned in November 1944, she went to the Pacific war zone early in the new year and took an active part in the Okinawa campaign. Late in the war, Massey made an anti-shipping sweep in the East China Sea, then operated in support of occupation activities until she returned to the United States late in 1945.

Massey transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in January 1946. Except for a trip to Chile during that year, she operated in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean area until mid-1950, when she was sent to the Far East for Korean War service. The destroyer returned to the Atlantic in 1951 and resumed her previous operations in that ocean, with regular deployments to the Mediterranean and Northern European waters.

A “FRAM II” modernization in 1963 enhanced Massey’s anti-submarine capabilities and extended her service life. In the course of a 1966 Vietnam War deployment, she steamed around the World. She was in the Mediterranean during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and went to the assistance of USS Liberty (AGTR-5) after that ship was attacked by Israeli forces. In 1969, Massey became a Naval Reserve training ship and operated in that role along the U.S. East Coast and in the Caribbean until she decommissioned in September 1973. USS Massey was sold for scrapping in November 1974.

USS Massey was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Lance E. Massey, USN, who was killed in action during the Battle of Midway.

Builder: Todd Shipyards, Seattle. Laid Down: January 14, 1944 Launched: August 19, 1944 Commissioned: November 24, 1944 Decommissioned: (?) 1969, Stricken Septembe,r 17 1973 Fate: Sold November 13, 1974 and broken up for scrap.

Ship veteran's reunion picture

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