USS George Clymer (AP-57) on 1 September 1942
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        ARTHUR MIDDLETON (APA-25)
Design:        MC C3-P P&C
Displacement (tons):        10,812 light, 18,000 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        489.0' oa, 465.0' pp x 69.5' e x 27.3' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1942: all)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 10<14-20mm (1942: all)
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 10<14-20mm (1943-45: all); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 2-40mm 8-20mmT (1945: APA-27); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 8>4-20mmT (1945-56: all): 4-3"/50 2-40mmT (1958-59: APA-27)
Complement:        499 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        18.4
Propulsion (HP):        8,500
Machinery:        G.E. turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
APA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
25 ARTHUR MIDDLETON 6 Jan 42 Ingalls SB, Pascagoula 1 Jul 40 28 Jun 41 7 Sep 42
26 SAMUEL CHASE 6 Feb 42 Ingalls SB, Pascagoula 31 Aug 40 23 Aug 41 13 Jun 42
27 GEORGE CLYMER 15 Jun 42 Ingalls SB, Pascagoula 28 Oct 40 27 Sep 41 15 Jun 42

Disposition:
APA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
25 ARTHUR MIDDLETON 21 Oct 46 1 Oct 58 3 Mar 59 MA/R 9 May 73
26 SAMUEL CHASE 26 Feb 47 1 Oct 58 11 Feb 59 MA/R 9 May 73
27 GEORGE CLYMER 1 Nov 67 1 Nov 67 26 Jul 68 MA/S 26 Jul 68

Class Notes:
FY 1942. The Maritime Commission ordered MC hulls 106-109 from Ingalls in October 1938 as standard C3-Cargo ships. On 9 Oct 39, before construction began, the United States Line purchased them from the MC. The MC ordered MC hulls 164-166 from Ingalls on 20 Aug 40 for the American South African Line, for whom the naval architect George Sharp produced a special C3 design designated C3-P P&C. In amended contracts signed 20 Oct 40, hulls 164-166 were traded to the United States Line, which wanted to defer delivery of its ships because of limits imposed by neutrality legislation, for the U.S. Line's hulls 106-108, which would be ready sooner. In December 1940 the United States Line decided to build its four ships as combination passenger and cargo ships under a design designated C3-IN P&C. As a result, MC hulls 106-108 were built to Sharp's C3-P P&C design (becoming the AP-55, later APA-25, class) and MC hulls 109 and 164-166 were built to the U.S. Line's C3-IN P&C design. (This quartet became Army transports during World War II and joined the Navy as the T-AP-180 class in 1950).

On 30 Dec 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board considered a verbal directive from the Secretary of the Navy to the Board's senior member to recommend the acquisition and conversion to combat loaded transports of nine C3 type vessels and also the acquisition of three C2 type cargo vessels as auxiliaries for the nine transports. The Board complied with the guidance and directed the acquisition of AP 52-60 (later APA 22-30). The ships actually acquired were the remaining three "Four Aces" (see AP-17, later APA-10) and 6 C3's.

APA-25 was taken over in early January 1942 and converted to a convoy-loaded transport at Tietjen & Lang, Hoboken, N.J. She received an armament of 1-4"/50 (aft) and 4-3"/50 (all forward) on 11 Jan 42. Later in January 1942, with a civilian crew, she left New York for the West Coast, from which she made several trips to the South Pacific with troops. She was converted to a Navy-manned combat loaded transport between July and September 1942 at San Francisco. During this conversion her 4"/50 gun was replaced by a 5"/51 and two of the 3"/50 were moved aft. APA-26 was taken over from the MC when 97.2% complete and was converted for the Navy by Tietjen & Lang. APA-27 was completed as an APA under the MC Military Program.

During the summer or fall of 1943 SAMUEL CHASE was fitted as a relief headquarters ship (see the BAYFIELD class, Part 2, for more on this subject). In November 1943 an amphibious training command reported that the temporary conversion of CHASE as a H/Q ship was unsatisfactory, and that the ship was also unsuitable as a division flagship or as a straight APA. Some of these deficiencies were probably corrected in December 1943. In April 1945 CNO approved refitting APA-27 as a transport squadron flagship and relief AGC, and the modifications were carried out at San Francisco between May and July 1945. Subsequently APA-25 was also designated to be refitted as a relief AGC, and she was modified at Todd, San Pedro, in July and August 1945.

On 28 Dec 45 CNO designated AP 18-21, 25-26, 28, and 30-32 to be converted to carry service dependents as well as officers and enlisted personnel. Two of the ships were to be converted beginning 1 Mar 46 and the rest were to be converted in FY 1947. By June 1946 the planned conversions appear to have been reduced to APA 18-21 and 30.

Ship Notes:
APA Name MC# Notes
25 ARTHUR MIDDLETON 106 Ex merc. AFRICAN COMET, ex AMERICAN BANKER. Completed and to WSA from builder 31 Dec 41, temporarily converted to convoy-loaded transport by Tietjen & Lang (Todd), Hoboken, N.J. Converted to combat-loaded transport by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco, Cal. Jul-Sep 42. Ex AP-55 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport but not converted and to USN reserve 1946-58. To buyer 10 Aug 73.
26 SAMUEL CHASE 107 Ex merc. AFRICAN METEOR, ex AMERICAN SHIPPER. Delivered at Pascagoula 97.2% complete (on 5 Feb 42 in Navy records). Converted by Tietjen & Lang (Todd), Hoboken, N.J. Ex AP-56 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport but not converted and in USN reserve 1946-58.
27 GEORGE CLYMER 108 Ex merc. AFRICAN PLANET, ex AMERICAN FARMER. Delivered at Pascagoula 100% complete, converted by builder. Ex AP-57 1 Feb 43. To buyer 13 Aug 68.

Page Notes:
APA        1942
Compiled:        12 May 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007