U.S.S. Talladega (APA-208)
Talladega was a Haskell-class attack transport. She served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
She was laid down on June 3, 1944 at Richmond, CA. She commissioned on October 31.
Talladega loaded cargo and passengers at San Francisco and sailed for Pearl Harbor. She arrived on December 11 and took aboard the 28th Regimental Combat Team of the 5th Marines for training exercises. She sailed on January 27, 1945 for Iwo Jima. The transport sent her boys ashore on February 19 in the main assault on that island. She remained off Iwo Jima for six days taking aboard wounded. Talladega transferred her casualties and headed south, arriving at Espiritu Santo on March 24 to take on soldiers of the 27th Infantry and their equipment. The transport sailed the next day, headed for Okinawa, where her troops would serve as a reserve force. She unloaded on April 14 and headed to the U.S. anchorage at Ulithi Island.
Talladega spent the remainder of the war in the Philippines training U.S. Cavalry divisions for an invasion of Japan. Nuclear strikes precluded that event, and the transport sailed for Yokohama, Japan with the 1st Cavalry as occupation troops. After another occupation run, she began “Magic Carpet” voyages, bringing war-weary American servicemen back home. Talladega returned to San Francisco in July 1946 and was deactivated and placed in reserve there on December 27.
As with many of her WWII-era contemporaries, the transport was called back to service following the invasion of South Korea in 1950. Recommissioned on December 8, 1951, Talladega remained off the west coast until November 1952, when she sailed for Japan. She loaded the 1st Cavalry there and sailed for Korea. The transport disembarked 1st Cavalry at Pusan on December 14 and took on regular cargo and personnel runs between Japan and Korea until August 15, 1953, when she sailed for San Diego.
For the remainder of the 1950s and into the 1960s she conducted routine deployments and exercises from Southern California. In 1964, two U.S. Navy destroyers were attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Tonkin Gulf. The incident sparked a massive increase in U.S. Military participation in the Vietnam War, and Talladega was mobilized. She sailed from Long Beach on April 27, 1965. After loading supplies at Guam, she made port in Da Nang on May 30. On July 6, she landed Marines near Qui Nhon for a search-and-destroy mission. She made another landing near Chu Lai on August 15. In October, she conducted the first joint Navy-Marine Corps raid of the war. Afterwards, Talladega headed for home.
She returned to Vietnam on January 14, 1966 and began transporting personnel to Chu Lai via Okinawa. She then took up supply runs to the country, usually unloading at Vung Tau, near the Mekong River Delta. On October 31, 1967, she began her last voyage home, arriving at Long Beach on December 1.
Talladega was decommissioned on October 20, 1969. She was struck from the Naval Register on September 1, 1976 and sold for scrap on October 1, 1982.
Risk of Asbestos Exposure
Talladega was a steam-powered ship built during WWII. Ships of her type were heavily insulated with asbestos during this era, especially in their machinery spaces and boiler rooms.
Asbestos products break down into tiny fibers when worn or damaged. These fibers spread quickly through the air, making them easy to inhale. Asbestos inhalation is a proven cause of mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the lung. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as chemotherapy can be used to fight the disease.
If you or someone you know served aboard Talladega or worked on her in a shipyard and has contracted mesothelioma, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page to receive free information regarding your rights to compensation.
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