The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

USS Wakefield (Coast Guard Ship)


After D-day, 6 June 1944, Wakefield began the first of her trips as a casualty-evacuation ship, bringing home wounded GI's. On occasion, she also brought back German prisoners of war for internment in the United States. Sometimes she even carried both evacuees and prisoners on the same voyage. After 13 trips to Liverpool, Wakefield was sent to the Mediterranean theatre to carry men and equipment to Italy. She made three visits to Naples and a run each to Marseilles, Oran, Taranto, Le Havre, and Cherbourg. Returning from her 22d voyage to Europe, the transport departed Boston on 4 December 1945 for Taku, China, and a "Magic Carpet" mission-returning to San Diego, Calif., on 1 February 1946. Two round trips to Guam, in February through April 1946, rounded out the ship's active service as a Navy transport.

When the war in Europe ended May 8, 1945, the ship was in the middle of the Atlantic while taking replacements to Marseilles, France. The mission changed to bringing soldiers home from France and Italy to be discharged. The largest single passenger list on the Wakefield's log was in October 1945, when it brought "8,500 Army passengers, 500 Army nurses, 26 war brides and 18 children" from Naples to the United States.


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