APA 159 USS Darke
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Displacement 6,873 t. (lt) 14,837 t (fl);
Complement 56 Officers 480 Enlisted;
Troop Capacity 86 Officers 1,475 Enlisted;
Cargo Capacity 150,000 cu. ft, 2,900 tons;
Boats; 2 LCM, 12 LCVP, 3 LCPU;
Armament 1 5"/38 dual-purpose gun mount, 4 twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 single 20mm gun mounts;
Propulsion 1 Westinghouse geared turbine, 2 Combustion Engineering header-type boilers, single propeller,
Design shaft horsepower 8,500.
A county in Ohio.
Darke (APA-159) was launched 29 August 1944 by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. Hanson; transferred to the Navy 10 October 1944; and commissioned the same day, Captain McF. W. Wood in command.
Departing Port Hueneme, Calif., 4 December 1944, Darke joined in training in Hawaiian waters from 10 December to 27 January 1945, then sailed to Saipan for rehearsal landings. On 16 February she cleared for Iwo Jima, landing men of the 5th Marines during the assault on 19 February. She lay off the bitterly contested island unloading cargo and receiving casualties until 25 February when she sailed for Saipan, arriving 5 March. She sailed to Espiritu Santo to embark Army troops, and carried them by way of Saipan to Ulithi, staging point for the invasion of Okinawa. Darke landed these men as reinforcements at Okinawa from 9 to 14 April, returning to Ulithi 23 April to replenish. Loading two new LCMs at Guam, she got underway for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, arriving 29 May for duty training Army troops until the end of the war.
From 27 August to 6 October 1945 Darke made two voyages carrying troops from San Pedro Bay to Japan for the occupation. Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty returning servicemen eligible for discharge to the United States, she cleared Hiro, Honshu, 11 October, embarking passengers at Guam, Guadalcanal, and Noumea and arriving at San Francisco 18 November. From 30 November 1945 to 3 February 1946 she made two more voyages to bring home veterans from Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Kwajalein. On 10 February she got underway from San Francisco for the east coast, arriving at Norfolk 27 February. Darke was decommissioned 17 April 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 22 April 1946.
Darke received two battle stars for World War II service.