USNS Geiger (T-AP-197)/USTS Bay State IV was a transport ship in the United States Navy. She was named after General Roy Geiger, who, from July 1945 to November 1946, commanded Marine Force, Pacific Fleet.
Acquired for transport service during the Korean War, Geiger operated under MSTS from 1952. Over the years she made numerous runs in support of peace-keeping operations throughout the world. She crossed the Atlantic dozens of times, deploying troops to European bases and returning troops and refugees to the United States.
Operating out of New York, Geiger provided support for the 6th Fleet on station in the Middle East. In response to the pro-Soviet takeover of the Syrian Army in August 1957, she steamed in the Mediterranean while the 6th Fleet deployed to protect independent nations in the Middle East, including the pro-Western government of King Hussein in Jordan. In July 1958 she carried troops from European bases to Lebanon to thwart an attempted Communist coup against the government of President Chamoun.
Between 1959 and 1965 Geiger continued operations out of New York, steaming to Bremerhaven, Germany; Mediterranean ports in North Africa, Italy, Greece, and Turkey; and American bases in the Caribbean. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, she made three runs between New York and Cuba to return military dependents to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base during December 1962 and January 1963. Between 6 October and 23 November 1964, she participated in the amphibious exercise, Operation "Steel Pike I", the largest peacetime amphibious exercise ever conducted in the Atlantic. She supported the movement of combat-ready troops from the United States to the southwest coast of Spain and took part in the largest American military landing operation since the Korean war.
After returning to Charleston, South Carolina, 23 November with 768 marines embarked, she resumed transport runs between New York and Bremerhaven. Arriving New York 1 June 1965, she departed the next day for the Caribbean, where from 6 to 17 June she operated off Santo Domingo to support naval forces engaged in ending civil war in the Dominican Republic.
Following two more runs to Bremerhaven, Geiger departed New York 16 August for the Pacific. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she arrived Quin Nhon, South Vietnam, 19 September to bolster the Navy's transportation capabilities during the struggle to halt Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. Between 23 September and 1 October she sailed via Yokohama, Japan, to Pusan, South Korea, where she embarked Republic of Korea troops bound for Vietnam. She returned to Qui Nhon 8 October; steamed to Cam Ranh Bay the 9th; then departed the next day for the United States, arriving San Francisco 27 October. Sailing for the Far East 5 November, she reached Qui Nhon the 23d and resumed duty as a troop transport. Between 30 November and 13 December she rotated ROK troops from Vung Tau, South Vietnam, to Inchon and back.
She departed Vietnam from the United States 13 December; and, steaming via Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal, she arrived New York 13 January 1966. Geiger resumed transatlantic service to Bremerhaven 1 February, and during the next 6 months made six runs between the United States and Europe. Departing Bremerhaven 8 August, she steamed via the Panama Canal and San Francisco to resume troop-carrying duty in the Far East. During 1967 Geiger shuttled between San Francisco and Vietnam carrying U.S. troops to bolster Allied forces fighting in the Vietnam War.
In 1979 she was reassigned to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy as the United States Training Ship (USTS) Bay State IV. In December 1981 she burned to the water line while at the pier.
On 29 Aug 1959 I reported to the US Army Port of Embarkation, Bremerhaven, APO 69. I was then given orders for the USS Geiger, destination New York, sailing date 30 Aug 1959. It took nine days for the trip. This was the only sailing that I got sick the first day on the North Sea was very rough. Again I was assigned to latrine duty. When we got to New York we were put on Century Airlines and we flew to Chicago then out to the Personnel Center, Ft Sheridan, Il.
Updated 27 Nov 2011