USS HORACE A. BASS (APD-124)
Horace A. Bass (APD-124) was launched, after being
reclassified from DE-691, by Bethlehem Steel Co., Fore River, Quincy, Mass., 12 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. H. A.
Bass, Jr., widow of Ensign Bass; and commissioned
21 December 1944, Lt. Comdr. F. W. Kuhn in command.
The new high speed
transport fitted out at Boston Navy Yard and
conducted shakedown training off Bermuda, after which she sailed to New York, where she arrived 15 February 1945. Departing next day, Horace A.
Bass escorted ammunition ship Firedrake
to Panama, from where she
proceeded to San Diego 3 March. After gunnery exercises in the area the ship sailed westward to join in the climactic phase of the Pacific War.
Horace A. Bass stopped at Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Ulithi, en route to Okinawa, where the largest
fleet assembled in the Pacific was engaged in what was to be the final major amphibious strike of the long war on
the threshold of Japan. The ship
arrived off Okinawa 6 April, just in
time to take part in repelling one of the fiercest Japanese air assaults of the campaign. As the desperate attack was driven off, Horace A. Bass was
credited with at least one plane
splashed. As the battle raged ashore,
she served on the vital picket line until 10 April, when she sailed with a convoy to Guam. On the return passage she sank submarine RO-109 with
a single accurate depth charge attack
south of Okinawa 25 April. Arriving
26 April, the ship resumed the hectic picket
duty interspersed with convoy voyages to Saipan and Guam. Though the island was secured in mid-June, the air attacks
continued, and Horace A. Bass continued to provide antiaircraft and antisubmarine protection to the countless ships off
Okinawa. Early 30 July, the ship was on picket duty in the area when a low-flying suicider
through her superstructure and fell alongside, her bomb exploding close aboard. Horace A. Bass suffered hull damage and 14
casualties, but was quickly repaired. She remained off Okinawa until sailing north toward Japan 14 August.
the surrender 15 August, the transport remained off Japan with 3d Fleet units until the ships
triumphantly entered Tokyo Bay 27
August 1945. Horace A. Bass took part
in 'the occupation of the giant Yokosuka Naval Base, furnishing the prize crew
which took possession of battleship Naflato, one of the very few major
ships left to the Imperial Navy. The American ship remained at Yokosuka assisting in the occupation until sailing for the United
States 14 January 1946.
Horace A. Bass arrived San Francisco 7 February 1946, and spent the remainder
of the year in the San Diego area on training operations. The ship sailed again for the Far East 27 January
1947, this time to support American efforts to stabilize the volatile Chinese situation. Arriving Tsingtao 5 March,
Horace A. Bass acted as a station ship until sailing again for San Diego 30 July. The second half of 1947
was spent on training exercises in California waters, and in early 1948 the ship operated off
coast. She proceeded to China again 16 June 1948, and again served as station ship at Hons
Kong and Tsingtao, occasionally sailing to the Marshalls and Guam. As Communist troops
began to gain the upper hand in the Chinese civil war, Horace A. Bass evacuated
several nations from Nanking in November. The ship departed China 1 December 1948, arriving
San Diego 21
December for repairs and training.
After exercises off
San Diego and a large amphibious training
assault in Hawaii, Horace A. Bass sailed from Hawaii 14 November 1949 for another tour of duty in
China. Arriving Hong Kong 30
November, she remained in waters off
China and southeast Asian countries to protect
American interests in the area, arriving San Diesro 12 June 1950.
the outbreak of the Korean war in June 1950, American naval power moved swiftly into the Far East
and make possible land operations. Horace A. Bans sailed 14 July to join the fleet units already deployed off Korea, arriving 2 August with troops of the 2d
Marine Division. Underwater
Demolition Teams and Marine
Reconnaissance units were assigned to her, and the ship moved to the eastern
coast of North Korea to carry out
vital raids on Communist supply lines. Between 11 and 17 August she made three successful raids,
destroying three tunnels and two
bridges. During this period Horace A. Bass added bombardment
during daylight hours.
United Nations forces prepared to go on the offensive, the transport played an important part in the
the upcoming Inchon operation. Her raiding parties reconnoitered possible beaches 20-25
August, and departed
Pusan 12 September for the main Inchon assault. Horace A. Bass put her troops ashore
in the first wave
15 September, as the brilliantly successful amphibious operation suddenly
reversed the course of the war.
troops pushed northward, the fast transport resumed her raiding duties, making
two attacks on tunnels and bridges near Songjin, 6-8 October 1950. For this operation Horace A. Bass carried
Royal Marine Commandos. Late in October, she took part in operations to clear the
Wonsan for another landing, assisting minesweep-ing groups. The ship then spent 3 months on beach
before sailing for the United States 28 January 1951. For this highly successful tour of duty, Horace
A. Bass and her Special Operations Group received the
Navy Unit Commendation.
veteran ship steamed toward Korea again 24 September 1951, and after stopping at Yokosuka resumed
and raiding duties along the coast of North Korea. In 14 separate raids with
American, British, and Republic of Korea landing parties Horace A. Bass did much to interrupt the
all-important supply lines from the north, so vulnerable to mobile forces afloat. She
her second tour of duty in Korea 3 July, when she sailed from Yokosuka. The
ship arrived San Diego, 20 July 1952.
Horace A. Bass spent the next year in operations off the California coast, but
sailed 15 July 1953 for her third tour of Korean duty. Upon her arrival Yokosuka 3 August, the ship became flagship of an
Amphibious Control Squadron, and took part
in various training landings in
Japan. She also conducted three survey operations and two demolition assignments on the Korean coast, where the armistice was now in effect. The
ship visited other Pacific ports
during this period before departing
Yokosuka 5 April 1954.
ship operated off the West Coast on training cruises and antisubmarine exercises until getting
the Far East again 23 October 1954. She carried on practice landings in Korea and took part in
until February, when she moved to the Formosa Straits to evacuate Nationalist Chinese troops from
Islands. With this important Cold War operation over, Horace A. Bass steamed to
26 February to take part in operation "Passage to Freedom", as
thousands of Vietnamese from the north fled Communist domination. The
transporting of these civilians to the south was completed 20 March and the ship was underway
from Sasebo, Japan, 4 April 1955, bound for San Diego.
her arrival Horace A. Bass was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet,
transiting the Canal 2-4 June and arriving Philadelphia 10 June 1955. She was then assigned to the 4th Naval District as
a naval reserve training ship During the years that followed the fast transport
cruises with naval reservists to Caribbean ports, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, helping to
maintain the skills of hundreds of reserve
officers and men. She arrived
Orange, Tex., 3 November 1958, and decommissioned 9 February 1959. Horace A. Bass entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Orange, where she
Horace A. Bass received two battle stars for World War II service, and six
battle stars in addition to her Navy Unit Commendation for Korean.War service.
[Note: The above USS HORACE A. BASS (APD-124) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS HORACE A. BASS (APD-124), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]