The uneasy peace between VJ Day and the outbreak of the Korean War was a period of austerity for the Pacific Fleet. Funds and personnel were in short supply, and steaming time was curtailed. By 1949, the fleet had been reduced to a dozen major combatants, which were infrequently deployed In marked contrast to the inactivity of combat units a group of six ships were almost continuously steaming between San Francisco and the western Pacific.
These were the troopships of the Navy's 'Grey Line,' assigned to the Naval Transport Service. These large and handsome ships ran a scheduled service between San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Guam, Subic Bay, Yokohama and the China Coast. As commissioned naval vessels manned by Navy crews, they were unquestionably the steaming queens of the West Coast, averaging 80% of their time at sea.
So...what was it like to be 'packed in' like a 'Sardine-in-a-can' heading back to the states on these huge 'troopships'? Well I've heard good things and I've heard 'not-so-good' stories...but I'm sure what made most of the 'guest' smile was "I'm going home....so I can endure anything"
Well here is a peek at how all this came about and the ships involved ...hope you enjoy the article:
STEAMING ON THE GREY LINE