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USS Ray K. Edwards (APD-96)
USS Ray K. Edwards (APD-96).jpg
USS Ray K. Edwards
Name: USS Ray K. Edwards
Namesake: Corporal Ray K. Edwards (1923-1942), U.S. Marine Corps Silver Star recipient
Builder: Charleston Navy Yard
Laid down: 1 December 1943
Launched: 19 February 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Lena M. Edwards
Commissioned: 11 June 1945
Decommissioned: 30 August 1946
Reclassified: From destroyer escort (DE-237) to high-speed transport (APD-96) 17 July 1944
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold for scrapping 15 June 1961
Notes: Laid down as Rudderow-class destroyer escort USS Ray K. Edwards (DE-237)
General characteristics
Class & type: Crosley-class high speed transport
Displacement: 2,130 long tons (2,164 t) full
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Troops: 162
Complement: 204
Armament: • 1 × 5 in (130 mm) gun
• 6 × 40 mm guns
• 6 × 20 mm guns
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Ray K. Edwards (APD-96), ex-DE-237, was a United States Navy high-speed transport in commission from 1945 to 1946.

Construction and commissioning

Destroyer escort Ray K. Edwards bring launching at Charleston Navy Yard, on 19 February 1944, prior to her conversion into a high-speed transport.

Ray K. Edwards was laid down as the Rudderow-class destroyer escort USS Ray K. Edwards (DE-237) on 1 December 1943 by the Charleston Navy Yard and was launched on 19 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Lena M. Edwards. The ship was reclassified as a Crosley-class high-speed transport and redesignated APD-96 on 17 July 1944. After conversion to her new role, she was commissioned on 11 June 1945 with Lieutenant Caldwell R. Keyser in command.

Service history

Following shakedown off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Ray K. Edwards steamed for the Pacific. World War II ended on 15 August 1945 while she was en route. She reached San Diego, California, on 21 August 1945 and Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 12 September 1945. There she became flagship of Transport Division 104.

Ray K. Edwards departed Pearl Harbor on 14 September 1945 bound for Eniwetok and Okinawa, whence she steamed to Japan. She passed through the Bungo Strait and anchored in Fukuru Wan on 8 October 1945 to replenish minesweepers, tank landing ships (LSTs) and infantry landing craft (LCIs) assigned to that area. She remained in Japan through the end of 1945.

Returning to the United States, Ray K. Edwards transited the Panama Canal on 24 April 1946 and, after visits to Boston, Massachusetts, Jacksonville, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina, she was towed to Mayport, Florida, where she arrived on 13 August 1946.

Decommissioning and disposal

Decommissioned on 30 August 1946, Ray K. Edwards was berthed at Green Cove Springs, Florida, as part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was stricken from the Navy List on 1 June 1960, and sold on 15 June 1961 to Diamond Manufacturing Company of Georgia for scrapping.


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