Originally built in 1919 as Steadfast. Later as City of Baltimore she made New York-San Francisco passenger runs for the Panama Pacific Lines throughout the 1930's.
Acquired by the Navy on 26 October and renamed Heywood. Fitted out as a troop transport at Portland, Oreg., where she commissioned on 7 November. Heywood cruised as far west as Hawaii before transiting the Panama Canal for Charleston, SC, arriving there on 14 June 1941.
She carried garrison forces for the defense of Iceland and performed neutrality patrols in waters of the West Indies until the infamous raid on Pearl Harbor.
She departed Norfolk on 10 April with reinforcements for the Soman Islands, then replenished at San Pedro before sailing for Wellington, New Zealand. She embarked Marines for amphibious warfare training, then sailed to land them in the amphibious assault in the Tulagi-Guadalcanal area on 7 August. She shot down an enemy plane 8 August and frequently repelled air attacks as she shuttled desperately needed supplies and troops into Guadalcanal from the New Hebrides, New Caledonia and ports of Australia. Outbound from the besieged Solomons, she evacuated wounded Americans and Japanese captives.
Heywood returned to San Pedro on 16 January for repairs. She sailed north 24 April, carrying fighting men who landed 11 May in an amphibious assault on Attu, Aleutian Islands. She returned nearly 500 wounded veterans of the campaign to San Francisco arriving 6 June, then put to sea with occupation troops landed to occupy Kiska on 15 August. Heywood returned to Wellington, New Zealand, 1 October to train and embark fighting men landed in amphibious assault on bloody Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands 20 November. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 3 December for amphibious warfare training culminating in the amphibious assault for the capture of the Marshall Islands which commenced 31 January 1944.
She put garrison troops ashore at Kwajalein and Majuro, then landed assault units as Americans swiftly swept on to Eniwetok. With the Marshalls secured, the transport overhauled in San Pedro, CA, then returned to the Marshalls on 11 May to prepare for the invasion of the Marianas Islands. She landed assault troops at Saipan 16 June and on nearby Tinian 24 July as America took a giant sea step toward Japan herself. Heywood participated in the long overseas sweep to Leyte in the Philippines, landing assault troops in the initial invasion of 20 October.
She had a brief rest at Manus in the Admiralties where she embarked assault troops landed on the shores of Lingayen Gulf on 9 January. She landed reinforcements to assist in securing Mindoro 9 February then returned to the States for overhaul before embarking reinforcements for the capture of Okinawa, the last stepping stone to Japan. The close of hostilities with Japan on 15 August found Heywood in the Philippine Islands. She carried occupation troops into Tokyo Bay on 8 September and continued trooplift operations between Japan and the Philippines until 25 October when she set course for the western seaboard.
After setting veterans ashore at San Diego and at Philadelphia, she arrived in Boston on 3 February. She decommissioned there on 12 April and transferred 2 July to the custody of the Maritime Administration. She was subsequently renamed City of Baltimore.
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.