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Cullman Citizen Ernest White presenting Mayor Max A. Townson with a framed USS Cullman photo and fact sheet.

Many people in our community are unaware that there was a U.S. Navy ship operating during World War II named after Cullman! Special thanks to Cullman resident Ernie White for making us aware of this important and interesting bit of history.

According to the U.S. Naval Historical Center site, the USS Cullman, was a 4,247-ton Gilliam-class attack transport built at Wilmington, California, and commissioned in January 1945.


Click on this photo to enlarge.The USS Cullman sailed from San Francisco, California, in March of 1945 for Pearl Harbor, where she operated in training and inter-island transport duties. In July she sailed for San Pedro, where she embarked troops and cargo for Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Luzon.


Cullman then traveled to the Philippines and loaded Army occupation troops, which she delivered to Tokyo Bay in September. Cullman was present in Tokyo Bay during the Japanese Surrender Ceremony on September 2, 1945.


After stops at Okinawa and Guam, the USS Cullman landed Marines at Taku Bar, China, in September and October for the reoccupation of northern China. During two voyages in October and November she lifted Chinese troops from Hong Kong to Taku and Tsingtao.


She then carried out two "Magic Carpet" voyages, returning one load of returning servicemen to San Francisco from Manila in December 1945 and another from Okinawa in February 1946.


Cullman was decommissioned at San Francisco in May 1946. In July she was stricken from the Navy list and returned to the Maritime Commission. Placed in reserve, she was sold for scrapping in August 1965.


Further Reading:

Quick Facts about the USS Cullman:

Name: USS Cullman (APA-78)
Namesake: A county in Alabama.
Building: Consolidated Steel
Acquired: January 24, 1944
Launched: November 17, 1944
Commissioned: January 25, 1945
Decommissioned: May 22, 1946
Fate: Sold for Scrap - August 1965

Class & Type: Gilliam-class attack transport
Displacement: 4,247 t.(lt), 7,080 t.(fl)
Length: 426'
Beam: 58'
Draft: 16'
Speed: 16.9 kts.
Complement: 27 Officers 295 Enlisted
Troop Accomm.: 47 Officers, 802 Enlisted
Cargo Capacity: 85,000 cu. ft., 600 t.
Armament: 1 single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, 4 twin 40mm gun mounts, 10 single 20mm gun mounts
Propulsion: Westinghouse turbo-electric drive, 2 boilers, 2 propellers, Design shaft horsepower 6,000

Source: NavSource Naval History

USS Cullman
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Cullman, AL  35055
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Cullman, AL  35056-0278
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