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USS Chaumont (AP-5) during the 1920s
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Class: CHAUMONT (AP-5)
Design EFC 1024
Displacement (tons): 8,400 light, 10,700 full
Dimensions (feet): 448.0' oa and pp x 58.0' wl x 23.5' mx, 23.0' mn
Original Armament: None installed
Later armaments: 4-3"/50 10<12-20mm (1942);
None (1944, as hospital ship)
Complement 274 (1929)
Speed (kts.): 15
Propulsion (HP): 6,000
Machinery: G.E. Curtis geared turbines, 1 screw
||3 Nov 21
||American International SB
||18 Nov 18
||22 Nov 21
||25 Jun 46
||31 Jul 46
||29 Aug 46
||31 Dec 47
On 6 Sep 19, the U.S. Shipping Board decided that the Navy would get four of the twelve Type B troop transports (EFC Design 1024) then under construction at the Hog Island shipyard near Philadelphia while the Army would get the other eight. On 18 Dec 19 the Navy learned that at the beginning of December the Shipping Board had reassigned all twelve Type B ships to the Army because of a bureaucratic misunderstanding, and the Navy was only able to get one back (USS WRIGHT, AZ-1, q.v.). The Army duly took over its 11 ships in 1920-1921 but quickly found that postwar force reductions had dramatically reduced its troop lift requirements. In late 1921 it laid up five of the ships (which eventually joined the merchant marine) and loaned two others, ARGONNE and CHAUMONT, to the Navy which then had only one modern transport (HENDERSON, AP-1) and needed at least one more. The transfer took place at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 3 Nov 21, and on 16 Nov 21 CNO approved the BuC&R recommendation of 10 Nov 21 that the ships be designated AP-4 and AP-5 respectively.
Both served as transports from 1921 to 1924, but on 12 Jan 24 CNO informed the Bureaus that he was planning to replace RAINBOW (AS-7) by an efficient tender and that ARGONNE might be selected for this purpose provided her services could be spared from transport duty. On 4 Feb 24 he notified the Bureaus that the Department planned to proceed with the conversion, and on 1 Jul 24 ARGONNE was reclassified AS-10 (see her full listing under that classification). On 3 Jul 24 the Secretary of the Navy asked the Secretary of War to transfer ARGONNE and CHAUMONT to the Navy Department, and the transfer was directed by Presidential Executive Order on 6 Aug 24. CHAUMONT and HENDERSON carried out all the Navy's worldwide peacetime transport duties from 1924 until WHARTON (AP-7) joined the force at the end of 1940. Four 5"/51 guns were reserved for CHAUMONT at the Norfolk Navy Yard in September 1939 but this assignment was cancelled and the guns turned in to store in August 1940. Instead an armament of 4-3"/50 guns was installed at Norfolk in September 1941.
On 12 Mar 43 the conversion of three older transports, HENDERSON (AP-1), CHAUMONT (AP-5), and KENMORE (AP-62), to hospital ships was approved. The Navy eventually obtained three modern C3 passenger and cargo ships, PRESIDENT POLK, PRESIDENT MONROE, and DELBRASIL (AH 103-105) to replace them as transports, and the crews of the old ships were to help man the new ships. On 26 Jun 43 VCNO directed that CHAUMONT be laid up for conversion before PRES. MONROE or DELBRASIL completed their conversions to facilitate the transfer of the crew. On 2 Sep 43 the new name SAMARITAN and classification AH-10 were approved for CHAUMONT, to take effect when the ship was recommissioned as a hospital ship. CHAUMONT was decommissioned as AP-5 on 28 Aug 43, converted to a hospital ship by Todd, Seattle, between 29 Aug 43 and 6 Mar 44, and recommissioned as AH-10 on 1 Mar 44.
||Ex USAT CHAUMONT, ex unnamed 1920, ex USAT ARGONNE 1919, ex USAT ST. MIHIEL 1919, ex merc. MOUNT HERRELL 1919, ex SHOPE 1918 (ID-4491D, completed Dec 20). To AH-10 and renamed SAMARITAN effective 1 Mar 44. To buyer 19 Jan 48, scrapped by 3 Sep 48.
Compiled: 28 Jul 2012
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2012