U.S.S. Pictor (AF-54)

The Pictor and Operation Passage to Freedom

Operation Passage to Freedom (August 18, 1954 - May 20, 1955) began in August 1954 when the South Vietnamese requested American assistance in the regrouping of northern refugees under the command of Admiral Lorenzo Sabin and Task Force 90. In the fall of 1954, as the operation began to wind down, it was re-cast as Task Force 90.8. Under the terms of the Indochina accords of 1954, the USN and USMC assisted in the relocation of civilians and materiel from North to South Vietnam (Haiphong to Saigon). Over the course of Operation Passage to Freedom, 310,848 civilian and military personnel, 68,757 short tons of cargo, and 8,135 vehicles were evacuated. The operation involved 109 ships and craft, 59 of which were from the amphibious forces.

Statistical summary of Task Group 90.8, period 15 November 1954 through 18 May 1955

The Pictor tows the MS Codington to Tourane Bay and replenishes

Tabular Data of MS CODINGTON Employment, Task Group 90.8, period 15 November 1954 through 18 May 1955, taken from pages 2 and 3 in the statistical summary PDF file:

Sailing Date Ship Name Loading Date Destination Cargo
1/2 MS CODINGTON 28-31 Dec Saigon 3,139 S/T
2/5 MS CODINGTON 28 Jan - 4 Feb Saigon 2,208 S/T/36 Veh

20 February 1955: CODINGTON suffered main engine casualty and was towed by PICTOR to safe anchorage in TOURANE BAY.

28 February 1955: CODINGTON departed TOURANE BAY for SUBIC BAY for repairs to main engine.

Overall solution to logistics problems (taken from page 7 of the statistical summary PDF file)

AO monthly and an AF occasionally provided adequate logistical support. Sufficient advance notice was given of replenishment ship schedules to enable the Task Group ships to requisition needed supplies. AO supplied, in addition to fuel, limited quantities of fresh and dry provisions and ship's store stock, and brought fleet freight from Subic Bay. The following replenishment trips were made:

Ship Date
1. TALUGA (AO 62) 19-23 Jan 1955
2. ASHTABULA (AO 51) 11-13 Feb 1955
3. PICTOR (AF-54) 22-23 Feb 1955
4. CACAPON (AO 52) 9-12 Mar 1955
5. CHIKASKIA (AO 54) 3-8 Apr 1955
6. REGULUS (AF 57) 11-14 Apr 1955
7. GUADALUPE (AO 32) 26-27 Apr 1955

A record of the Pictor's support of Operation Passage to Freedom is recorded in the ship's Log Book (February 1955).