FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE JUST SURFED ABOARD FROM THAT BIG INTERNET TIDAL WAVE…..WELCOME ABOARD! AND BEFORE YOU DISEMBARK PLEASE BE SO KIND AS TO SIGN OUR SHIP’S GUEST LOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY YOUR VISIT AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE COMMENTS IN THE LOG ENTRY. DON’T FORGET TO DUCK AS YOU PASS THROUGH THE HATCHWAYS.
This is the official website of the USS BEXAR REUNION ASSOCIATION and supersedes and replaces any former sites. This association was started by our late brother shipmate Frank Lucanegro (’48-’52), who contacted the Military Locator and Reunion Service, Inc. for an assist in locating former shipmates and organizing reunions. MLRS, Inc. is a private company that specializes in organizing military reunions and they have been doing so for us since our inception. Their effort resulted in the first annual Bexar reunion in 1995 and they have continued, on an annual basis in different city venues, ever since. MLRS (Military Locator and Reunion Service, Inc.) is responsible for all annual reunion arrangements, our basic recordkeeping and the publishing of our newsletter. Our liason with them is shipmate Walter 'Steve' Malloy (’64-’67) who is our Shipmate Reunion Coordinator. We have an email directory for all online shipmates, which was set up and is maintained by Robert ‘Bob’ Weiss (’59-’61). He acts as Volunteer Membership Secretary initiating searches for former shipmates, assisting MLRS in maintaining an up-to-date mailing list and roster and logging on-board newly located shipmates. He is also the Webmaster for this site. This association exists on the volunteerism of it’s members and their wives and on revenues from our newsletter and annual reunion raffles. For this reason, we take pride in the fact that, we have never charged any membership, joining fees or annual dues. ALL shipmates are encouraged to participate and to provide photo and other memorabilia for this site and articles for our newsletter.
USS BEXAR (APA-237)
The Bexar’s name relates to the county of Bexar in Texas of which San Antonio is the County Seat. The correct pronunciation is ‘b-e-a-r’, with the ‘x’ being silent. The name traces its’ roots back to the 1700s and a Spanish nobleman Duke de Bejar. Due to confusion in pronunciation in English an ‘x’ was substituted for the ‘j’.
The hull designate APA stands for Auxiliary fleet Personnel complement Attack force. Her hull length was 455’ and she had a beam (width) amidships of 63’. She was capable of transporting upwards of 1500 troops along with a cargo of almost 4,300 tons. Her effect in an amphibious operation was essential and formidable. Her normal peacetime complement consisted of 29 officers and 315 enlisted personnel and that included a Combat Cargo Officer (USMC), who was considered Ship’s Company and was in charge of and liaison for embarked troops. Her peacetime complement represented only 60% of what her wartime crew consisted of. Her mission of delivering troops and equipment was made possible by the 24 amphibious assault boats she carried. They included LCMs (Landing Craft – Mechanized) and LCVPs (Landing Craft – Vehicular and Personnel). These boats were of a class known as Higgins boats. For some interesting background follow the link on the PATRIOTIC IMAGES page.
The USS BEXAR was built at the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Oregon and launched on 25 July 1945. She was acquired by the US Navy and commissioned on 9 October 1945 with Capt. R. H. Wilcox, USNR, in command.