DAVID C. SHANKS
Original name was GULFPORT but never operated as such. Named in honor of Major General David Carey Shanks, who was Commanding General of the Port of Hoboken during WW I, and who also commanded the 16th Division.
She was accepted by the Army 24 Apr 1943 at Pascagoula, Mississippi.
In 1946 she was altered slightly for use as a combination vessel for carrying 430 dependents and 678 troops.
Photo provided by Rick Glascock
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An "extract" of a family history type letter to her son's [Bill and Sam] from one of the 1st dependents to go to the Pacific after WW II, aboard the David Shanks.
Mom writes ...departed July 13, 1946 and arrived on Okinawa July 27th.
"We had 30 wives and about 32 children. Most were going to Okinawa but some families were going on to Clark Field. We didn't see any land from San Francisco to Okinawa, but we saw lots of flying fish. All the children got heat rash, as it was hot and humid and there was no air conditioning. We stayed on deck as much as we could. They showed movies on deck at night and we all sang songs following the bouncing ball on screen. We finally saw land in the afternoon and several B 29s came out and flew over saluting us. Everyone waved! We got near the island and just sat there for hours. The Captain eventually got permission to go into Port Naha. We went in real slow. I understand the port hadn't been dredged and ours was the first big ship to go into the port after combat and there were still ships from the war on the bottom.
Our ship was the David Shanks, an Army contract ship, not the troop carrier type. This was MATS [MSTS] or something and was painted white and looked like a cruise ship. In the meantime the forces on the island were busy. Having a list of families on board they had those men present down on the dock. We sailed in about dark and it was all lit up with spotlights.
We were the first Army and Air Corps dependents to arrive as the Peace Treaty was signed only eleven months before. Servicemen were standing as far as I could see from the deck. After we docked they would announce a man's name and rank and say, report to the deck for your family. There were lots of hugs and kisses. Army photographers took pictures and ours was quite awful. The wind was blowing my hair and dress; the spotlights were glaring in my face. Everyone cheered as each family came down the gangplank. It was wonderful like nothing before or since. Dad had lost some weight and his summer khaki uniform was sweated through, as he had waited so long in the heat. Dad had a jeep with a top. We loaded bag and baggage and headed for Kadena Base about 20 to 25 miles away.
There were guards posted ever so often along the way. They would wave their flashlights for us to stop, introduce themselves and tell me how glad they were that the wives and kids were coming and usually say they had a four year old back home. Our car came on the same ship and we returned to Naha to get it the next afternoon. We then drove up to the squadron area on the Bishigawa and I met Sam's fellow officers. One took our picture with Sammy drinking a coke and Dad holding Bill, me smiling in the middle.
Home was a Quonset hut in Area A on Kadena Airbase. It had beautiful pine trees around it and a deep ravine depression on the backside, away from the street. Rain drained off to the sea. It had some rattan chairs, a handmade table and chair set, some army cots...
Wilhemina Andrew, wife C.W.O. Sam Houston Andrew Jr."
First Dependents to Okinawa departed from Fort Mason, San Francisco July 13, 1946.
Arrived Port Naha,Okinawa, July 27, 1946, SS David C. Shanks.
Partial list of 30 Wives and 32 Children.
|1.||Kendrick, Lillian B||Wife||Kendrick, Wm L, Lt Col|
|2.||Hall, Almira K||Wife||Hall, F. B. Jr, Col|
|Hall, Fredrick B||Son||"|
|Hall, Alice K||Dau||"|
|3.||Friedman, Mildred Y||Wife||Friedman, Charles E, Capt|
|4.||Stetson, Catherine||Wife||Stetson, Loring Z Jr, Col|
|Stetson, Craig L||Son||"|
|5.||Sefton, Betty L||Wife||Sefton, James L, Capt|
|Sefton, Bonnie Jean||Dau||"|
|6.||Courtney, Jean S||Wife||Courtney, Harold D, Lt Col|
|7.||Kimball, Dahrl Jeanne||Wife||Kimball, Charles T, Capt|
|8||Morningstar, Marjorie||Wife||Morningstar, Chas J, 2nd Lt|
|9.||Rodewald, Bell S||Wife||Rodewald, Frederick A, Capt|
|10.||Schremp, Patricka B||Wife||Schremp, John E, Major|
|Schremp, John K||Son||"|
|11.||Behn, Nancy||Wife||Behn, Milton A, Capt|
|Behn, Jacqueline L||Dau||"|
|12.||Wolfe, Edith B||Wife||Wolfe, Donald C, 1st Lt|
|13.||Coil, Trellis M||Wife||Coil Fred L, Capt|
|Coil, Judith a||Dau||"|
|Coil, Marc P||Son||"|
|14.||Stewart, Marian F||Wife||Stewart, Wm R Jr, Capt|
|Stewart, Wm F||Son||"|
|Stewart, Suzanne F||Dau||"|
|15.||Hayden, Mildred H||Wife||Hayden, Frederick, Brig Gen|
|16.||Dany, Kathleen H||Wife||Dany George M, Col|
|Dany, George Jr||Son||"|
|17.||Wadsworth, Bernice S||Wife||Wadsworth, Joseph L, Capt|
|Wadsworth, Jeanne A||Dau||"|
|18.||Paschall, Mary Irene||Wife||Paschall, James V, 2n Lt|
|19.||Patton, Venclie||Wife||Patton, Byron A, Lt Col|
|20.||Kelly, Vera A||Wife||Kelly, Aidan C, Lt Col|
|21.||Herrmann, Georgia||Wife||Herrmann, Jacob, Major|
|22.||Worley, Marianne J||Wife||Worley, Wm A, Capt|
|Worley, Wm A III||Son||"|
|Worley, Joan M||Dau||"|
|23.||Carroll, Tessin B||Wife||Carroll, Samuel, CWO|
|Carroll, Nancy O||Dau||"|
|24.||Andrew, Wilhelmina||Wife||Andrew, Sam H Jr, CWO|
|Andrew, Sam Houston III||Son||"|
|Andrew, Albert W||Son||"|
|25.||Stitt, Althea W||Wife||Stitt, Kenneth W, Capt|
|26.||Fitzpatrick, Estelle G||Wife||Fitzpatrick, Newton G, 1st Lt|
|Fitzpatrick, James G||Son||"|
|27.||Cain, Madeleine||Wife||Cain, W J, Colonel|
|Cain, Mary Jo||Dau||"|