So, I was noodling around looking for information on US Army FS series small freighters built during World War II. Most of you would be familiar with the FS as the USS Reluctant, the ship featured in Mr. Roberts. Several FS were transferred to the US Navy as AKL or Auxiliary Cargo Ship, Small.*
The FS ships were assets of the US Army’s Transportation Corps, but were operated by civilian crews, or toward the end of the war, by US Coast Guard crews on behalf of the Army.
After the war, one FS, the former FS-395, was transferred to the US Navy in 1947. I was pleasantly surprised to learn she was commissioned as a Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG-141) and named USS Whidbey. Given I grew up on Whidbey Island, I was pleased.
USS Whidbey provided medical services and survey to those inhabitants of the islands and lands under US control after the war. During the Korean War, she provided epidemiological survey services to troops returning from the war to the US.
Long time readers will recall I too have an association with a former Army vessel, with a similar name.
And today, the USS Whidbey Island (note the slightly different name) serves as LSD-41.
*USS Pueblo, an intelligence gathering ship seized by the North Koreans, was a converted AKL.