How can I find out the name of the ship my father was on from the Philippines in Operation Magic Carpet on November 16, 1945?

I am researching my father's military history during WW2. He was a member of the 13th Air Force, 42nd Bomb Group, 390th Bombardment Squadron. I can request ship logs for that time period if I knew the ship's name. He was stationed at Puerta Princessa on Palawan Island and departed November 16th, 1945. His name is Francis W. Holden and he was a 1st Lieutenant.

Thanks, Chris Holden

  • The 29th Replacement Depot served as a collecting center for returning soldiers in the Pacific.  Passengers were transported from various locations to collecting centers and then transported on to the United States. Thirty percent of personnel left from the Philippines.  Manila is mentioned multiple times in The Crusaders: a history of the 42nd Bombardment Group (M)   as troops were sent from Palawan Island to Manila as the first step towards home. 

    The Stars and Stripes article, Nov. 12, 1945, below details the number of ships departing Manila during late November 1945.  You can check your father's ASR score in Box 55 of his discharge papers.  His date of departure from Manila and the Pacific Theatre (PTO) will be listed in box 36.

    Below is a list of troop ship arrivals for Dec. 4, 1945.  I circled in red the ships that departed Manila.  Most of the circled ships are Liberty ships with Merchant Marine crews operated by the War Shipping Administration or the U.S. Army Transport service and do not appear on the list Defendress posted which lists Navy only ships. I could not find a date of departure listing for ships departing Manila.  Is the Nov. 16th, 1945 date from your father's discharge paper, box 36?

  • Thank you so much! The date is Nov 16, 1945. I have a letter with an APO 714, which is Manilla and his Last Pay Statement which has Fort Lewis (which is in Tacoma) .. Looks like it's the SS Sea Star. I'm going to research that.


Reply Children
  • Below are newspaper clippings concerning the arrival of the Sea  Star in Tacoma on Dec.4, 1945:

  • Hi Jo,

         Thanks so much for tracking down this information! Is there a fee for this? Id be happy to pay you for your time. I looked up the SS Sea Star and my research showed that the Navy purchased it, commissioned it as the USS Elizabeth C. Stanton; I requested Deck Logs for November 16, 1945 to December 4, 1945, but these articles show it as the SS Sea Star still.

    I'm confused.


  • Are Deck Logs available for Liberty ships with Merchant Marine crews operated by the War Shipping Administration or the U.S Army Transport service?



  • Two ships were named Sea Star, the first was built in 1939 by Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland, California, for Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. The ship was renamed the Mormacstar in 1940, then transferred to the US Navy in 1942 and renamed "USS Elizabeth Stanton".  After the war, the Elizabeth Stanton was transferred back to Moore McCormack Lines Inc., on 3 April 1946 and renamed SS Mormacstar.

    The second SEA STAR was built in 1943 at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi by the United States War Shipping Administration as a 7,868-ton, 492 foot long, 69-foot-wide troop transport ship. She had two decks and an open shelter deck,and was built solely for transporting troops.  The SS Sea Star was transferred to the U.S. Maritime commission, and in 1948 underwent an extensive overhaul in preparation for her sale to the Luckenbach Steamship Company of New York. The Luckenbach Steamship company renamed the ship the GEORGE LUCKENBACH and operated her from 1948 to 1960 as a cargo transport ship making transit runs between New York, San Francisco and the Philippines.

    The Sea Star referenced in the newspaper articles would be the second Sea Star built by Ingalls. The first Sea Star was renamed the Elizabeth Stanton in 1942 and never returned to that name.