Happy Birthday, George Owen Squier!
The CECOM History Blog has included a number of blog articles that have celebrated the accomplishments and the rather insightful predictions of former Chief Signal Officer General George Owen Squier. This blog is somewhat of a departure from our routine blogs about Squier, in that its intent is more to commemorate GEN Squier on the anniversary of the date of his birth. Squier was born on this day, 21 March, in 1865, in Dryden Michigan to Almon Justice and Emily Gardner Squier.
After some thought, a fitting way of commemorate Squier’s birth seemed to be to present some information about the “USS G. O. Squier,” a Navy transport ship named after him. The USS G. O. Squier was launched 11 November 1942 under a Maritime Commission contract by the Kaiser Company, out of Richmond, CA. The sponsor was Miss Mary Ann Somervell. The ship was acquired by the Navy on 30 August 1944 and commissioned on 2 October 1943 with Captain A. E. Uehlinger in Command.
Classified as a Transport Ship, she had a displacement of 17,250 tons. Her length was 522’-10’ inches, beam 71’6”, draft 26’6”. She was capable of 18 knots. As a wartime ship, she carried armament. She was capable of transporting up to approximately 4,000 troops and crew. She was powered by 8,500 horsepower single screw turbine engines that included a Westinghouse geared turbine and two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers.
During the War, the USS G. O. Squier was involved in troop-carrying voyages and in the transport of casualties and prisoners of war. Her last official voyage brought the ship to Norfolk, on 22 June 1946, it was decommissioned on 10 July 1946. A listing of her missions is included on www.history.navy.mil. According to one information source, she entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet upon being decommissioned.
USS G. O. Squier was the lead ship for a class of ships, the “General G. O. Squier Class Transports.”
The USS G. O. Squier was awarded on battle star for her service in WWII. In 1964, she was sold to Bethlehem Steel Corporation and converted to a cargo ship (7 April 1964) and renamed Pennmar (27 May 1965). She was later sold for scrap as reported by one internet source.
Do any of our readers know any other information about the USS G. O. Squier?
Note: This blog written by Floyd Hertweck, and edited/posted by Chrissie Reilly. This post was edited in February 2015. based on comments, to correct city where ship was launched.