James C. Marshall
James Clarence Marshall was born
Living in the
What was the U.S. Army Transport Service?
The Army Transport Service (ATS) was organized in late 1898 as an
integral part of the Army Quartermaster Department. The concept for an Army
operated fleet had its origins with the experiences of the military sealift
during the Spanish-American War when
During the early twentieth century, the Army operated a large transpacific
sealift consisting of its own ships as well as a number of commercial bottoms
partly of foreign registry which it time-chartered for support of American
troops during the Philippine Insurrection and for the Relief of Peking.
Following 1904, a somewhat skeletonized fleet remained in service until the
entry of the
Rapidly expanded, by early 1918 the Army was manning with its own crews in
excess of fifty ships in support of the American Expeditionary Force in
Starting in early 1919, the Army began taking back its historic sealift function. With the severe reduction in military requirements which took place beginning in 1921, the fleet reverted to a small nucleus of mainly transports engaged in serving American holdings in the Pacific.
With the beginning of World War II, the fleet was again expanded. In 1942, the Army Transport Service was absorbed into the Army's Transportation Corps, becoming part of the Water Division, its civilian seamen employees being classified as members of the Water Division's "Civilian Branch."
At peak force during WWII, the Army's owned and bareboat chartered fleet have been enumerated as follows:
Self Propelled Vessels Over 1,000 gross tons and over 200 feet LOA:
35 large troop transports
2 cable laying
1 news and communication
36 floating, self-propelled warehouse, repair, spare parts, and miscellaneous
With but few exceptions, the large tonnage ships were manned by civilian seamen of the Water Division. Of the large tonnage fleet, 31 vessels were lost to either enemy action or marine casualty.
Self propelled vessels less than 1000 gross tons and less than 200 feet LOA but which were over 65 feet in length:
510 freight supply
104 Y class tankers
746 tugs of various classes
[All of the above statistics are inclusive of both the Army Transport Service and the later Transportation Corps (Water Division)]
The small craft were in part manned by the Civilian Branch of the Water Division and in part by military crews. The military crews were Army and/or Coast Guard, the latter operating under Army control. Of the small tonnage fleet, 28 vessels were lost to either enemy action or marine casualty.
During WWII, the Army's civilian seamen labor force numbered at its
peak strength approximately 15,000 men. Taken throughout the war, it has
been estimated that around 20,000 civilians in the aggregate were
employed by the Army aboard those vessels which saw service outside of the
From 1941 to 1945, the Transportation Corps moved 30 million
soldiers within the
Starting in January 1945, Jim was assigned to the United
States Army Transport vessel USAT George Washington. His first assignment was
as a waiter. The USAT George Washington was berthed in the New York Port of
721 feet long; 23,788 tons displacement.
6,341 troops embarked.
Operated by a Merchant Marine crew.
Jim’s tour on the USAT George Washington expired with his
debarkation in April, 1945, in the
Jim’s next assignment was on the USAT Shawnee, berthed at
the San Francisco Port of Embarkation,
The USAT Shawnee was once again a troopship carrying
supplies and new troops to the war effort that was raging in the Pacific. Jim
spent two terms of employment on the
OFFICE OF THE MASTER
TO: Commander Albert T. Berry, U.S.N.R.
From: Niels P. Sorensen, Master
At approximately 1215,
Mr. E. W. Daughtery, 3rd Officer, and Mr. Stanley Wasser, Third Assistant Engineer were eating lunch in the Officer’s Mess. When the alarm sounded, they immediately went to their fire stations. The Third Assistant Engineer, Mr. Wasser supervised the starting of the fire pump in the Engine Room. The Ship’s crew assisted in fighting the fire.
At approximately 1225, Army Fire Tugs
#367 and 368 arrived along side and assisted in fighting the fire. At
approximately 1230, Army fire trucks from
The fire, cause of which is as yet undetermined. Started in room 232, port side of “B” deck. Damage was confined to room 232 and adjoining room 230, outside passageway, and the overhead in the area of these rooms.
Fire Chief Sweeny of the Fort Mason Fire Department stated that due to the prompt action of the Ship’s crew, the fire was prevented from getting out of control and spreading to a larger area which might have resulted in much more serious damage.
Fire Tugs 367 and 368 stood by the vessel until all danger of fire was over and were then dispatched back to their berths.
Fire tugs 367 and 368 and the
Niels P. Sorensen, Master, Page 2
Certified True Copy:
ARMY SERVICE FORCES
SAN FRANCISCO P. of E.
OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Captain Niels P. Sorensen, Master
Dear Captain Sorensen:
It has been brought to my attention that the alertness and attention to duty of certain members of your crew undoubtedly saved your vessel from a disastrous fire on 23, September 1945. I desire to commend these members of the ship's crew, listed below, for the prompt and intelligent action each of them took during this emergency. This commendation, together with copies of your own letter, will be placed on each individual's 201-"File.
E. W. Daugherty, 3rd Officer
Arthur E. Hayden, Master-at-_ms
Roque C. Lachica, Quartermaster
P. Timtiman, Quartermaster
E. Nasalga, Quartermaster
Ivan H. Hargrave, Jr. 3rd Ass't Engineer Anthony Oreo. Chief Refrigeration Engineer
Virgil H. HiId. Oiler
Raymond Siedal. Ass't Refr. Engineer
J. W. Logan, Watertender
William Hill, Fireman
T. J. Ramey, Wiper
Paul Sabo, Jr., 3rd Ass't Engineer
R. L. Hefflefinger, Fireman
C. G. Sigalas, Oiler
William Pruitt, Fireman
John Newton, Fireman
William E. Berkley. Watertender
Mr. Lefler, Oiler
Mr. Griffin, Oiler
Thomas Hardman, Watertender
J. Marshall. Steward Department
L_ Kerst, Steward Department
R. Cabellero. Steward Department
W. Pestel. Steward Department
S/S Glasco. Army
Michael Sorvillo. Administrative
CERT1FIED TRUE COPY: /s/ John R. Reilly
JOHN R. REILLY
Superintendent, Water Division
201-fi1e- : J. Marshall, Steward Department “SHAWNEE”
USAT Shawnee- The only 2 stack troopship in the Pacific.
In November 1945, Jim was debarked from the USAT Shawnee.
His next assignment was with the USAT George Washington Carver. The Liberty ship George Washington Carver was built in November, 1943, acquired by the War Department, renamed Dogwood, and converted to a hospital ship. In January 1946 she was converted to a troop transport and reverted to her former name. George Washington Carver was scrapped in 1964 in Oakland, California.
was assigned in January, 1946, to the USAT George Washington Carver as an
Assistant Steward/ Storekeeper. Again this vessel was assigned to the Pacific
Theater. She like the USAT Shawnee was
based out of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation,
USAT George Washington Carver
service ended on the USAT George Washington Carver in May, 1946. He was
disembarked at the port in
In April of 1999 the efforts of the men and woman that served in the Army Transport Service were recognized for the contributions to the war effort. They were awarded veterans status by the Department of Defense. Below is a copy of the letter changing the status of these individuals to veterans.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs
The Honorable Diana DeGette
Dear Congresswoman DeGette:
Thank you for your inquiry in behalf of your constituent who contacted your office in regard to his entitlement to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits based on his service in the Merchant Marines.
The Department of Defense (DoD)
Merchant Seamen who engaged in active
ocean-going service from
Also, Civil Service crew members aboard U.S. Army Transport Service and Naval Transportation Service vessels in ocean-ongoing service or foreign waters were included in the DoD action.
Generally, the newly designated veterans and their survivors are eligible to apply for the same benefits that are now available to other World War II veterans. These benefits include medical care, service connected disability compensation, pension, VA-guaranteed home loans, burial benefits, and certain survivors' benefits. They are not eligible for VA-administered education programs, although, in certain limited circumstances they may establish eligibility for vocational rehabilitation. Legislation would be required to authorize any additional benefits to Merchant seaman; however, during the last session of Congress, no legislation was introduced to extend or grant additional benefits to Merchant seaman.
Your interest is appreciated.
PHILIP R. MAYO. .
Congressional Liaison Services
James Clarence Marshall passed on