was laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co. Inc., Vancouver,
Wash., 12 July 1944; launched 11 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Clarence Gustaveson;
acquired by the Navy 31 October 1944; and commissioned the same day at
Astoria, Oreg., Comdr. James B. Bliss in command.
After shakedown and training along the West Coast, MENARD embarked troops
and loaded cargo at Port Hueneme, Calif., before sailing for Hawaiian waters
4 January 1945. Arriving 10 January, she participated in amphibious training
exercises out of Pearl Harbor until 22 February when she joined a convoy
bound for the western Pacific. She touched at American bases in the
Marshalls, the Carolines, and the Palaus, and on 16 March reached Leyte
Gulf, Philippines, where she staged for the impending invasion of Okinawa.
Assigned to Transport Division 14, she cleared the approaches to Leyte 27
March and sailed northward for the Ryukyus.
MENARD closed the coast of Okinawa early 1 April and boat loaded her assault
troops for the amphibious sweep to the invasion beaches. Thence, she began
off-loading support cargo; despite numerous antishipping strikes by Japanese
bombing and suicide planes, she continued these vital supply operations
during the next week. On 6 April, an enemy suicide plane attacked her from
starboard. Intense gunfire from MENARD splashed it off the transport's port
Departing Okinawa 9 April, MENARD steamed in convoy via the Marianas and the
Marshalls to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on the 25th. After conducting
training operations in preparation for possible invasion of the Japanese
mainland, she steamed to San Francisco between 11 and 18 May. She embarked
1,101 troop reinforcements on the 29th and the following day cleared the
Golden Gate en route to the Philippines. She reached Samar 23 June and
discharged her troops. After embarking more than 300 wounded veterans, she
departed for the West Coast 4 July and returned to San Francisco the 23d.
Following a brief overhaul at Seattle, MENARD again sailed for the western
Pacific 8 August. For more than a month she shuttled troops to U.S. bases in
the Marshalls, the Carolines, and the Marianas. She departed Saipan 18
September and carried 1,467 occupation troops to Japan. She arrived at
Nagasaki 23 September, debarked her troops, and sailed the 28th for "Magic
Steaming via the Philippines, MENARD embarked 1,898 homeward bound troops at
Okinawa and sailed 22 October for the United States. She reached Portland,
Oreg. 6 November; during the rest of 1945 she carried returning veterans to
various ports along the West Coast. Between 2 January and 5 February 1946,
she steamed to Guam and back, arriving at Seattle with 2,057 troops
MENARD proceeded to San Francisco 27 February and on 8 April, reported to
the 19th Fleet at Stockton. Remaining there, she was placed in commission,
in reserve, 27 November 1946. On 20 March 1947, she was placed in service,
in reserve. She decommissioned 14 June 1948 and remained at Stockton with
the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
In light of the conflict in Korea and corresponding demands on American sea
power, MENARD recommissioned 2 December 1950. After intensive shakedown, she
steamed to the Far East in early 1951 to support the movement of men and
supplies to the war-torn Korean peninsula. For more than 3 years, she
operated between Japanese and South Korean ports and from the west coast to
the Far East to bolster the vital ocean supply lines to ground forces in
South Korea. She provided valuable support to the U.S. effort of repelling
Communist aggression in the Republic of Korea.
Following the Armistice agreement, which ended overt hostilities, MENARD
continued to operate in the Pacific in support of peacekeeping operations.
As a unit of the ever-vigilant 7th Fleet, she steamed to the troubled waters
of Vietnam and during the latter part of 1954, participated in the vital
"Passage-to-Freedom" operations. During this period, she made runs from
Communist controlled North Vietnam and carried refugees and supplies to
freedom in the South.
MENARD returned to the West Coast in mid-1955 and on 1 July reported to the
Pacific Reserve Fleet at Long Beach for deactivation. She decommissioned 18
October 1955 and remained berthed at Long Beach. Ordered to be transferred
to the Maritime Administration in 1961, her name was struck from the Navy
list 1 September 1961. At present, (1969) MENARD is berthed in the National
Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisan Bay, Calif.
Menard was sold to the Gillette Razor Company in 1975 for scrap.
MENARD received 1 battle star for WWII service and 3 battle stars for Korea
Precedence of awards above are from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign
Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) Second Row - World War II
Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National
Defense Service Medal Third Row - Korean Service Medal (2) - United
Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)
Sources: Dictionary of American Naval
Fighting Ships - NavSource Online