You are here:

Military History/S.S. President Garfield


Nancy Reeves Casey wrote at 2014-02-17 08:49:28
Perhaps a couple more clues will help:

During late 1941, the SS President Garfield was involved in "Operation Plum", shipping Army and Army Air Forces to Manila, Philippines. She sailed out of San Francisco on 6 Dec 1941. With the 7 Dec attack on Pearl Harbor, the Garfield was immediately recalled to San Francisco without completing the trip.

The 2nd Marine Brigade originally shipped out from San Diego on 6 Jan 42 on one of the Matson liners (Monterey/Matsonia or Lurline) accompanied by the USS Yorktown CV-5, destroyers & cruisers.  Their destination was Pago Pago, Samoa. They disembarked in Samoa on 20 Jan.

Perhaps the Garfield sailed again from San Francisco early in March 1942 to deliver more of the 2nd Marine Brigade to Samoa before going on to its next destination. Longitude 154 & the equator is not far from Christmas Island and would easily head straight for Samoa. Your dad would have received his "shellback" certificate after being initiated during the ship's ceremonies for crossing the equator on 16 March. Another day or two and he would be in Samoa.  

WW 2 Connections wrote at 2014-02-24 13:01:31
The SS Monterey, SS Matsonia, SS Lurline & USS Jupiter  AK-43 all had elements of the 2nd Marine Division onboard when the ships departed San Diego Port of Embarkation on January 6, 1942.

Richard V. Horrell

Military History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Richard V. Horrell


Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.


A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

Past/Present Clients
Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

©2017 All rights reserved.