Wishes for a merry Christmas season to all readers of wwiiafterwwii.
Below is Christmas 1945, the first after peace came, aboard the WWII attack transport USS Selinur (AKA-41).
(photo by Richard LeDonne)
Santa Claus has exchanged his red cap for a US Marine Corps campaign cover.
USS Selinur was an Artemis class attack transport. The Artemis class could not beach itself but could put 264 troops directly ashore via LCVPs and LCMs. They also transported 980t of supplies. The 426′-long Artemis class displaced 7,080t fully loaded however the hullform was optimized with a full draught of only 16′, allowing it to get close to shore during amphibious assaults and also use minor staging ports in the Pacific. They had one Mk12 5″ gun, four Mk2 twin 40mm AA guns, and several 20mm light guns.
(USS Selinur in the Marshall Islands during August 1945, when the final invasion of the Japanese home islands was being planned.) (photo via navsource website)
USS Selinur commissioned on 21 April 1945. A peaceful Christmas after WWII’s end in September 1945 was probably extra-welcomed by the ship’s crew as it had been slated to participate in operation “Olympic”, the first amphibious landings in the Japanese home islands; set for either the end of 1945 or early 1946. The US Navy expected heavy amphibious ship losses and was probably correct. Postwar interviews with Imperial Japanese Army pilots revealed that, with the sea war already effectively lost, they were going to ignore American battleships and cruisers and instead direct everything against amphibious ships.
Instead, USS Selinur ended WWII repositioning forces in the Philippines and landing occupation troops in Japan.
USS Selinur and the Artemis class overall had a very limited career after WWII, other than two ships sold to the Chilean navy. The US Marine Corps was downsizing after WWII and correspondingly there was a lesser need for ships to move them. USS Selinur decommissioned in 1946 after only 13 months of service, an expensive thing seeing little use which was common in the late-1940s US Navy.
(USS Selinur being deactivated at Philadelphia, PA in 1946. The small WWII subchaser tied up was presumably also doing the same.) (photo via Philadelphia Evening Bulletin newspaper)
The disarmed ex-USS Selinur was loaned to the Pennsylvania Maritime Academy as T.S. Keystone State for training merchant sailors. It only served one year in that role, before being mothballed in 1947. It was never reactivated and scrapped in 1968.