Originally launched in 1928 as the passenger steamer Santa Maria then purchased by the Navy on 9 August 1940.
Commissioned on 25 September and re-named USS Barnett. From 25 September until the end of the year, Barnett was engaged in training Marines in the Culebra-Vieques Islands area.
1941 - 1945
In January 1941 she returned to Norfolk for an overhaul which was completed on 3 April. Between April and December she again participated in amphibious and gunnery exercises with Marines. During World War II Barnett alternately operated in the Atlantic and Pacific, constantly engaged in the transport of troops, casualties, and occasionally cargo. She furnished logistic support during the following major operations: Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings (7-9 August 1942); capture and defense of Guadalcanal (9 August-28 November); Sicilian occupation (10-15 July 1943); Salerno landings (9-21 September), invasion of Normandy (6-19 June 1944), invasion of southern France (15 August-25 September); and the assault and occupation of Okinawa (1-9 April 1945). She was reclassified APA-5 on 1 February 1943. During a bombing attack off the coast of Sicily on 11 July 1943, a bomb burst close aboard Barnett's port bow abreast of the forward hatch putting a hole in the hull and causing subsequent flooding. The ship was made to list to starboard to bring the hole above the water line. Seven men were killed and 35 injured, all were Army personnel. Barnett steamed under her own power to Algiers, Algeria, for repairs, arriving 15 July. She operated in the Pacific until 26 September 1945 when she returned to the United States.
She was decommissioned on 21 May at Newport, RI, and was transferred to the Maritime Commission 3 July.
These specifications and ship histories are adapted from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (US Naval Historical Center) and from various other sources. These summaries may not reflect the most recent information concerning the ships' status or operations. If you find an error or discrepancy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online crossing submission form.