Special Ships




USNS General George M. Randall (AP-115) - I was assigned to RAF Alconbury, England in 1956 and traveled aboard the Randall from Brooklyn, New York to Southampton, England. Elvis Presley also traveled aboard this ship to Germany in 1958.

While researching the Randall's history, I discovered she was the ship that brought back the first bodies from Korea in March 1951. My cousin, Gilmer W. Wilson, was Killed in Action while defending his position along the Pusan Perimeter on September 01, 1950. His body was transported back to the states on the Randall.

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Gilmer W. Wilson, PFC, U.S. Army Gilmer W. Wilson, PFC, U.S. Army, 13305392
19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division
KIA, South Korea, September 01, 1950

Awards: Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
General George M. Randall (AP-115) General George M. Randall (AP-115) departs Yokohama, Japan on 11 March 1951 with the first Korean War dead to be returned to the United States.
Source: NavSource Photo Archives.
General George M. Randall (AP-115) General George M. Randall (AP-115) departing Yokohama, Japan on 11 March 1951. Note the Armed Services honor guards in attendance, Army Band, and press area at left.
Source: NavSource Photo Archives. Photo by C. K. Rose
General George M. Randall (AP-115) General George M. Randall (AP-115) underway in 1952
Source: NavSource Photo Archives
USS Randall postcard mailed 1945 Christmas card mailed December 5, 1945 from the USS Randall anchored in Tokyo Bay.
USS Randall postcard mailed 1945
Inside of card

Source: LaWanda Pennington


USS Stokes (AKA-68) - While searching through some old newspaper articles in The Danbury Reporter from 1944, I discovered an article, by accident, about a naval ship, USS Stokes (AKA-68), being launched at Wilmington, North Carolina and named in honor of Stokes County. Until this time, I did not realize there was a ship named for Stokes County, nor did other residents that I spoke with. I pursued the history of the USS Stokes with assistance from the Fleet Reserve Association (no internet at this time).

There is now a picture and history of the USS Stokes (AKA-68) on public display in the Stokes County Library (Historical Room), Danbury, North Carolina.

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USS STOKES (AKA-68) USS STOKES (AKA-68) in her war time camouflage colors.
USS Stokes (AKA-68), LCVP-3, Iwo Jima 1945 USS Stokes (AKA-68), LCVP-3, on the beach at Iwo Jima, unloading supplies and material. Many of her small boats were lost or disabled while supplying rockets, ammunition, and gasoline to the marines.
circa February 1945 Source: NavSource Photo Archives
USS Stokes (AKA-68) in drydocks Seattle USS Stokes (AKA-68) in dry dock for repairs at Seattle, Washington during December 1945.
Source: Alex H. Anderson, EM2c, crewmember