The second USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 201) on 4 December 1942, launched on 7 March 1943, delivered to the Navy on 15 March 1943, converted for naval service as an amphibious force command ship at the Bethlehem Steel Co. yard in Brooklyn, N.Y. and commissioned on 27 September 1943, with Lt. Comdr. Lewis R. McDowell as the first commanding officer.
After completing trials the USS Blue Ridge put to sea on 7 October and conducted a brief shakedown training period. USS Blue Ridge first deployment destination was Australia and, along the way, she made stops in the Society Islands, the Tonga Islands, and at Noumea on the island of New Caledonia before arriving in Brisbane on 16 December.
During WWII USS Blue Ridge participated in planning for the Hollandia invasion, operations at Leyte Gulf and Lingayen Gulf invasions and, after the war, occupation duty at Shanghai until February 1946.
On 28 June 1946 at Kwajalein in the Marshalls, USS Blue Ridge embarked 100 observers--including many flag and general officers--for Operation "Crossroads" and carried her VIP passengers to the Bikini Atoll area to observe the atomic bomb tests conducted there. The ship remained in commission until 14 March 1947 when she was formally decommissioned.
USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) earned two battle stars during World War II.
For more history on the second USS Blue Ridge visit the Navy Archive page at: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b7/blue-ridge-ii.htm