March 1945 shortly after commissioning

Photo and History submitted by Leonard R. Homan, crewmember.
Mr. Homan donated the Cavallaro Deck Logs to the USS Slater DE 766 museum.

History of APD 128

(APD-128: dp. 1,460; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'; s. 24 k.; cpl. 256; a. 1 5"; cl. Crosley)

Originally classified DE-712, Cavallaro was reclassified APD-128 on 17 July 1944 and converted to a high speed transport during construction.

The USS Cavallaro APD-128 was built in Bay City, Michigan and launched 15 June 1944. She was commissioned March 13, 1945 in New Orleans, Louisiana after an eventful trip down the Mississippi River.

Shakedown at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba and a short shakedown availability at Norfolk, Virginia proceeded her passage through the Panama Canal. She then reported to the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet on May 13, 1945, exactly two months after commissioning.

Proceeding via San Diego in company with other APD's, she arrived in Pearl Harbor on 29 May 1945 and reported to the Administrative Commander Amphibious Forces Pacific in the Maui Oahu area. She received two weeks of special traning. Departed from Pearl Harbor on 13 June 1945.

She acted as escort to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, by way of Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. On arrival in Ulithi she was assigned as escort to convoys running between Okinawa and Ulithi. These runs continued for two months without incident except for seasonal Typhoons characteristic of this area, the almost inevitable air raids at Okinawa and the infrequent sound contacts.

On 25 August she was assigned duty as escort to the USS Auburn AGC-10, the flag ship of Vice Admiral Harry Hill, Commander Fifth Amphibious Forces. This assignment took her to Manila to prepare for the invasion of the Japanese home islands of Kyushu and Honshu. Weighing anchor on 14 September 1945, she proceeded with the USS Auburn, General Krueger Commanding General 6th Army and Vice Admiral Hill aboard, to the major base at Sasebo Kyushu, arriving there 20 September. The occupation of Sasebo having been accomplished on 21 and 22 September, the Cavallaro and the Auburn proceeded to Nagasaki, Kyushu and Wakayama, Honshu. On complete occupation of these areas, Cavallara, still escorting the Auburn, proceeded to Tokyo Bay 6 October, one week later.

The Cavallaro left the Auburn and headed for Pearl Harbor, where she received orders to return to the States. She departed Tokyo Bay 12 October 1945 , bound for San Francisco. After operating along the west coast, she was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego 17 May 1946.

Cavallaro was recommissioned 4 September 1953 and after intensive training, sailed for Japan 12 March 1954. She served as primary control ship in several large amphibious exercises during this tour of duty in the Far East, and transported underwater demolition teams in day and night practice reconnaissance missions. In the fall of 1954, she was stationed at Haiphong and Saigon, Vietnam, as headquarters for those supervising the debarkation of refugees from Communist North Vietnam carried south by the U.S. Navy in Operation "Passage to Freedom." She returned to San Diego 23 November.

From March 1955, Cavallaro was homeported at Long Beach, conducting operations along the California coast and exercising with marines. Between 12 January 1956 and 4 October, she served again in the Far East, joining in a reenactment of the assault on Iwo Jima made for training purposes, and visiting ports in Japan and the Philippines, as well as Hong Kong. Her final cruise to the Orient, between 10 February 1959 and 23 May, found her exercising with both Korean and American Marines. Cavallaro returned to Long Beach to prepare for transfer to the Republic of Korea, and was decommissioned and transferred 15 October 1959. She served in the Korean Navy as Kyung-Nam (APD-81). She was scheduled to be sunk as a target in May 2002.

*Special thanks to web volunteer Harold Roth for transcribing this history*


Named for Ensign Salvatore John Cavallaro, b. 6 September 1920, New York City, NY;
KIA 9 September 1943 aboard LCT-221 struck by shell fire at Salerno;
posthumous Navy Cross for 07/10/43 heroism at Sicily

Type: TEV
Builder: DBC
Keel laid 03/28/44
Launched 06/15/44
Redesignated 07/17/44
Commissioned as APD 05/13/45
First CO: Lt Cdr Edward P. Adams (2)
Decommissioned 05/17/46
Recommissioned 09/04/53-10/15/59
to ROK as KYONG NAM (APD-81) 10/15/59
Stricken (US) 11/15/74
Stricken 1984

From the research of Anne McCarthy,
with contributions by Pat Perrella and Pat Stephens, webmaster. March 2006


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