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USS President Monroe (AP-104) at Kodiak, Alaska, on 15 September 1943
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Class:        PRESIDENT POLK (AP-103)
Design:        MC C3-P&C, C3-A P&C
Displacement (tons):        8,422 light, 15,475 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        491.8' oa, 465.0' pp x 63.0' e x 25.75' lim.
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1943: AP-103)
Later armaments:        1-4"/50 4-3"/50 10<14-20mm (1943-44: both);
1-5"/38 4-3"/50 16>10-20mm (1944-45: both); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 10-20mmT (1945: AP-104)
Complement:        289 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        18.4
Propulsion (HP):        8,500
Machinery:        N. News turbine, 1 screw

AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
103 PRESIDENT POLK 6 Sep 43 Newport News SB & DD 7 Oct 40 28 Jun 41 4 Oct 43
104 PRESIDENT MONROE 18 Jul 43 Newport News SB & DD 13 Nov 39 7 Aug 40 20 Aug 43

AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
103 PRESIDENT POLK 26 Jan 46 25 Feb 46 26 Jan 46 RTO --
104 PRESIDENT MONROE 25 Feb 46 12 Mar 46 25 Feb 46 RTO --

Class Notes:
FY 1944. This type was designated by the MC C3-Passenger & Cargo (MC hulls 53-58) and C3-A P&C (the nearly identical MC hull 110). Five of these seven ships were taken over by the Navy early in the war and became the APA-18 class (q.v.). The remaining pair, PRESIDENT POLK and PRESIDENT MONROE, were operated by the War Shipping Administration with commercial crews under allocation to the Navy. In July and August 1942 they received limited conversions at San Francisco to increase their passenger capacity (troop officers and troops) to 2000 and augment their merchant ship armaments. Their subsequent armaments while under WSA were 1-4"/50, 3-3"/50, 8-20mm (POLK) and 1-4"/50, 2-3"/50, 10-20mm (MONROE), reflecting the addition of 2-3"/50 to PRESIDENT MONROE and the replacement of small anti-aircraft machine guns with 20mm guns on both ships.

In March 1943 the Navy hoped to acquire three C2's as transports to replace three older transports that were to be converted to hospital ships. Thus, DASHING WAVE (AP-103), YOUNG AMERICA (AP-104), and TYPHOON (AP-105) were to replace HENDERSON (AP-1), CHAUMONT (AP-5), and KENMORE (AP-62). However transfer of the C2s to the Navy was deferred on 20 Mar 43 and instead they were converted by WSA to transports able to carry 60 officers and 1,500 enlisted passengers and allocated to the Navy on a voyage basis. (Their AP designations were cancelled on 3 Jul 43.) On 18 Jun 43 the VCNO wrote to WSA that the operations for which the three C2's were to have been acquired had intensified during the past few months and that the need for additional Navy-manned troop transports for operation in combat areas had become most urgent. In view of their greater capabilities, speed, size, and readiness for Navy manning with a minimum of conversion he requested that three C3 passenger and cargo ships, PRESIDENT POLK, PRESIDENT MONROE, and DELBRASIL, be transferred to the Navy in place of the three C2's. The crews of HENDERSON, CHAUMONT, and KENMORE were to help man them. On 16 Jul 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board agreed that the necessity for transportation of troops and military cargoes directly to combat areas required additional Navy-manned tonnage and recommended acquisition of the ships. PRESIDENT MONROE was to be additionally fitted for duty in extremely cold climates (specifically, Alaska). They were acquired as AP 103-105, these two retaining their "President" names. Although all were subsequently used in direct support of amphibious operations, they did not receive Welin davits and normally carried no landing craft. See the AP-47 class for GEORGE F. ELLIOTT (AP-103), ex DELBRASIL.

Ship Notes:
AP Name MC# Notes
103 PRESIDENT POLK 110 Ex merc. PRESIDENT POLK (completed Nov 41). Converted by the U. S. Navy Repair Base (Destroyer Base), San Diego, Cal. Merc. PRESIDENT POLK 1946. Scrapped 1970 as MINOTAUROS.
104 PRESIDENT MONROE 54 Ex merc. PRESIDENT MONROE (probably ID-5009B, completed Dec 40). Converted by Poole, McGonigle & Jennings, Portland, Ore. Merc. PRESIDENT MONROE 1946. Scrapped 1969 as MARIANNA V.

Page Notes:
AP        1943
Compiled:        05 Jun 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007