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USS General A. E. Anderson (AP-111) on 29 March 1945
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        GENERAL JOHN POPE (AP-110)
Design:        MC P2-S2-R2
Displacement (tons):        10,704 light, 20,175 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        622.6' oa, 573.0' wl x 75.5' e x 25.5' lim.
Original Armament:        4-5"/38 4-1.1"Q 16-20mm (AP 110-14)
Later armaments:        4-5"/38 4-1.1"Q 18<20-20mm (AP 110-19, 1944);
4-5"/38 4-40mmT 20-20mm (AP 110-11, 114-17, 176, 1945); 4-5"/38 4-40mmT 10-20mmT 10-20mmS (AP-111, 114-15, 1947); 4-5"/38 4-40mmT 10-20mmT (AP-111, 115, 176, 1947-49); 4-5"/38 4-40mmT 4-20mmT (AP-176, 1949); 4-5"/38 4-40mmT 18-20mmT (AP-111, 113-15, 176, 1951);
4-5"/38 9-20mmT 9-20mmS (AP 112-13, 1947-49), 4-5"/38 18-20mmT (AP-112, 1951);
[none] (AP-112-15, 176, 1955-59)
Complement:        411
Speed (kts.):        20.6
Propulsion (HP):        17,000
Machinery:        De Laval turbines, 2 screws

Construction:
AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
110 GENERAL JOHN POPE 2 Jul 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 15 Jul 42 21 Mar 43 5 Aug 43
111 GENERAL A. E. ANDERSON 25 Aug 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 7 Sep 42 2 May 43 5 Oct 43
112 GENERAL W. A. MANN 13 Oct 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 28 Dec 42 18 Jul 43 16 Nov 43
113 GENERAL H. W. BUTNER 5 Dec 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 23 Mar 43 19 Sep 43 11 Jan 44
114 GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL 15 Jan 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 3 May 43 31 Oct 43 19 Jan 44
115 GENERAL G. M. RANDALL 14 Apr 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 20 Jul 43 30 Jan 44 15 Apr 44
116 GENERAL M. C. MEIGS 2 Jun 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 22 Sep 43 12 Mar 44 3 Jun 44
117 GENERAL W. H. GORDON 27 Jul 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 2 Nov 43 7 May 44 29 Jul 44
118 GENERAL W. P. RICHARDSON 31 Oct 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 2 Feb 44 6 Aug 44 2 Nov 44
119 GENERAL WILLIAM WEIGEL 4 Jan 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 15 Mar 44 3 Sep 44 6 Jan 45
176 GENERAL J. C. BRECKINRIDGE 29 Jun 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 10 May 44 18 Mar 45 30 Jun 45

Disposition:
AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
110 GENERAL JOHN POPE 1 May 70 26 Oct 90 1 Jul 71 MA --
111 GENERAL A. E. ANDERSON 10 Nov 58 11 Dec 58 11 Dec 58 MA 14 Nov 86
112 GENERAL W. A. MANN 1966 1 Dec 66 1 Dec 66 MA 10 Apr 87
113 GENERAL H. W. BUTNER 28 Jan 60 1 Jul 61 1 May 61 MA 17 Nov 76
114 GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL 1 Dec 66 1 Dec 66 1 Dec 66 MA 10 Jul 87
115 GENERAL G. M. RANDALL 2 Jun 61 1 Sep 62 1 Sep 62 MA 8 May 75
116 GENERAL M. C. MEIGS 1956 1 Oct 58 1 Oct 58 MA --
117 GENERAL W. H. GORDON 23 Apr 70 31 Mar 86 1 Jul 71 MA 10 Apr 87
118 GENERAL W. P. RICHARDSON 14 Feb 46 12 Apr 46 14 Feb 46 Army --
119 GENERAL WILLIAM WEIGEL 7 Apr 70 31 Mar 86 1 Jul 71 MA 10 Apr 87
176 GENERAL J. C. BRECKINRIDGE 1965 1 Dec 66 1 Dec 66 MA 31 Aug 87

Class Notes:
FY 1943 (AP 110-113), 1944 (others). In late 1941 the Maritime Commission produced two designs for passenger and cargo ships, one to be built by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co, Kearny, N.J. in facilities then producing C2 cargo ships, and the other to be built by the Bethlehem Steel Co. at a new yard it would build at Alameda, Calif. The probable need for troop transports was given first consideration in the design, but provision was also made for the Federal ships to be operated by the Grace Line or Moore McCormack to South America and for the Alameda ships to be operated by the American President Line to the Orient. The former had a 25 foot and the latter a 29 foot draft, as was appropriate for the two routes. The Federal ships received standard C3 geared turbines, while the Alameda ships were given turbo electric drive. All of the ships had a design speed of 19 knots, two screws, and two turbines in divided machinery spaces, which were necessary for safety in a troop transport but less economical in commercial operation. On 16 Jan 42 Federal received contracts for 10 P2-S2-R2 transports as part of an Army program for fifty transports (the future AP 110-159).

The fifty ships were designed to be manned by civilian crews, either by the War Shipping Administration or by the Army. The Navy's first contact with the program came on 27 May 42 when it participated in a conference that decided on the armament for the ships. Subsequently the Navy agreed to provide landing boat (Welin) davits for the ships in order to facilitate "possible and probable future conversions to combat loaded transports," although while convoy loaded they would carry merchant-type lifeboats. The Army had trouble obtaining manpower for crews, and during April 1943 the Army and Navy agreed that the Navy would man and operate all fifty transports on schedules set by the Army. A conference between the Navy and the Maritime Commission was held on 8 May 43 to discuss the conversion features required to bring the ships up to Navy standards of stability, messing, berthing, and safety features. The Maritime Commission objected to some of the changes, which it argued could delay completion of the ships by four or five months, and it was soon decided that the first four Federal ships would be delivered to the Navy unmodified and ferried to Baltimore for conversion at a repair yard there. The Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended acquisition of the fifty transports on 24 May 43.

On 29 May 43 VCNO informed the Bureaus that, in the Alameda P2s only, the Welin davits and boats could be removed provided additional life rafts and floats were added in compensation. On 24 Jul 43 the Navy's representative at the builder's yard recommended a similar change to AP 111-119 because the Welins limited the arcs of fire of some of the antiaircraft guns. BuShips rejected this recommendation on 4 Aug 43 and again on 7 Sep 43 because it expected the ships to be used to evacuate wounded troops on return voyages. The Norfolk Navy Yard misunderstood the situation and applied the change to AP-110 between 26 Sep 43 and 1 Oct 43. A horrified Bureau of Ships ordered on 28 Oct 43 that the davits be reinstalled at the first opportunity, but this did not occur until the ship underwent a shipyard availability at the U.S. Naval Drydocks, Hunters Point, San Francisco, between January and March 1945.

Federal made rapid progress with its ships—it had five ships in the water before Alameda launched its first—and on 2 Sep 43 it received a contract for four more of a slightly modified design (P2-S2-R4) for postwar operation by the United States Lines in the North Atlantic. The Navy objected to this plan on 17 Jan 44, noting that the present requirements of the war effort made it essential that the four ships be built as Navy-manned troopships, but agreed that "in view of the possibility of changes in circumstances in the interim," their construction as combination passenger and cargo vessels could continue for the time being provided the material needed to fit them as troop transports was procured. On 17 Apr 44 the MC informed the Navy that the first of the four ships would be fitted as a troop transport for naval service, and on 2 May 44 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended acquiring the ship (which became AP-176). She was not covered by the April 1943 agreement with the Army over AP 110-159 and therefore did not have to be operated according to Army schedules, and the Navy named her for a Marine Corps rather than an Army general. The other three ships remained under construction to the commercial P2-S2-R4 design until they were cancelled on 17 Aug 45.

The disposition of the eleven ships following the war effectively broke the class up in to three groups. The first group (six ships) was retained in the Navy as commissioned naval transports. The second group (three ships) was turned over to the Army, while the third group (two ships) was returned to the Maritime Commission (WSA) and chartered out to a commercial operator.

The Navy selected six ships (AP 111-115 and 176) to be retained in the postwar commissioned fleet as part of the Naval Transportation Service. All were converted at navy yards in 1946-47 to peacetime transports with special facilities for military dependents. They retained her armaments but lost some of their lifeboats and davits. In October 1949 all the ships in the Naval Transportation Service were reassigned to the newly-created Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS). As ships operationally subordinate to MSTS the prefix "T" was added before their hull designation (for example, T-AP-176), but because they were commissioned vessels with Navy, not civilian, crews, they retained the designation "USS" instead of becoming "USNS." Following the outbreak of the Korean War, some or all of them were hastily converted back to troop transports, but after Korean War duty they returned to regular MSTS transport duty, carrying both military and civilian passengers. In the mid-1950s the ships were modernized, losing their guns and Welin davits and receiving additional lifeboats served by merchant-type davits. All retained their military crews throughout their careers, although AP-115 was inactivated early so the Navy could save money by replacing her with the civilian-manned AP-117.

Three ships, AP-110, 118, and 119, were turned over to the Army in 1946. The Army gave them quick initial conversions, primarily to fit them for operation by civilian instead of Navy crews, and put them in service in mid-1946. On 7 May 46 the MC transferred title of 89 ships to the Army for its postwar fleet but retained title to these three ships plus three of the AP-120 class in the belief that they might shortly be wanted for merchant operation. In the meantime the Army was to continue to operate them. The Army asked twice more for unrestricted titles to the ships or, if not, unrestricted titles to at least three (preferably the AP-110 type), but on 17 May it had to agree to restricted titles to all but AP-126. The MC soon found a commercial customer for AP-118, which the Army returned in March 1948. On 28 Dec 48 the Army tried again, telling the MC that in order to retain AP-110 and AP-119 in Army service it would have to spend a large amount of money to comply with stringent Coast Guard regulations and make other necessary modifications and stating that the Army could not consider such expenditures on ships for which it did not have title. After receiving no response, the Army wrote again on 2 May 49, this time stating that conditions had changed to the extent that the Army no longer needed the passenger lift of AP-110 and AP-119 and asking the Maritime Commission to take them back, which it did in mid-1949. The Maritime Commission put the two ships up for sale for commercial operation, and following the closing of bids on 10 May 50 it appears that a sale was to be concluded with the Arnold Bernstein Line, Inc. However the Korean War intervened and on 18 Jul 50 CNO authorized the new Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) to acquire and activate both ships (along with AP-154 and AP 188-195). As the Korean War wound down, the two ships were modernized in 1953, receiving air conditioning, an increased troop-carrying capacity, and improved safety-at-sea features, including the replacement of their World War II vintage lifeboats and Welin davits with a new arrangement of boats. But the need for large troop transports continued to decline and they were placed in Reduced Operating Status (with only cadre crews) in 1955, in MSTS Ready Reserve (without crews) in 1957, and in the Maritime Administration reserve fleet in 1958. Both were reactivated in 1965 to support the Vietnam War buildup.

On 24 Jan 46 CNO instructed Com-12 to put the remaining two ships, AP-116 and AP-117 out of commission and deliver them to WSA, which planned to assign them to the American President Line under a General Agency Agreement to transport outbound passengers and for homebound military use. The ships were transferred to the shipping line simultaneously with their delivery by the Navy in March 1946, given austere conversions for peacetime use (probably primarily to fit them for civilian crews), and chartered to American President Lines in June 1946. A design designated P2-S2-R10 was prepared, probably for the full conversion of these two ships to passenger liners, but the project was not carried out. While in civilian service they were painted in American President Line colors but retained their Navy names. American President Lines renewed the charter for AP-117 in July 1950, but in June 1949 it returned AP-116 to the Maritime Commission reserve fleet. Following the outbreak of the Korean War SecNav on 31 Jul 50 directed that AP 116 and five other transports be reacquired and assigned to the Navy's new Military Sea Transportation Service. Upon expiration of her charter in November 1951 AP-117 was also immediately also taken into MSTS. As the Korean War wound down, the two ships were modernized between June and February 1954 at Portland, Oregon. Their World War II vintage lifeboats and davits were replaced with a new arrangement of boats, and eight new empty positions for 3"/50 twin gun mounts were fitted on the centerline fore and aft, presumably to allow the ships to be recommissioned in the regular Navy and armed if needed. But the need for large troop transports continued to decline, and AP-116 was placed in Reduced Operating Status in May 1955 and in MSTS Ready Reserve in April 1956. AP-117, after periods of inactivity beginning in October 1954, was transferred to the Atlantic in late 1956 and was placed in ready reserve status in June 1957. Both ships were transferred to Maritime Administration reserve fleets in 1958. In May 1961, in a cost cutting move, the Navy reactivated the civilian-manned AP-117 to replace AP-115, which was in commission with a Navy crew.

The Maritime Administration began closing the Olympia, Washington, reserve fleet in 1971, and in January 1972 AP-116, left Bremerton, Washington, under tow by the MSTS salvage ship GEAR (T-ARS-34) bound for the reserve fleet in Suisun Bay, California with supplies and equipment from Olympia, including a small tug, loaded on board. The ships encountered a gale off Cape Flattery, Wash., the tow lines parted, and the transport blew ashore just south of Portage Head and broke in half around a large rock pinnacle. Portions of the wreck were still visible in 2006.

Ship Notes:
AP Name MC# Notes
110 GENERAL JOHN POPE 668 Ferry commission 2-8 Jul 43. Conversion by Maryland DD, Baltimore, completed 11 Aug 43. Decomm., to MC, and to Army 12 Jun 46, stk. 3 Jul 46. Initial Army peacetime conversion by Bethlehem Steel, Hoboken, ca. June-September 1946. From Army to NDRF 29 Aug 49 without further conversion. From MA 20 Jul 50, reinst. and to MSTS 1 Aug 50. Modernized at Portland, Ore. from February to May 1953. In reduced operational status at Seattle 14 May 55, inactivated (Ready Reserve) by MSTS at Everett, Wash., 1 Jun 57, then to MA and stk. 5 Sep 58. From MA 17 Aug 65. To NDRF 1 May 70, title to MA 28 Sep 92. Still in the MA Suisun Bay reserve fleet in disposal status 30 Jun 2009.
111 GENERAL A. E. ANDERSON 669 Ferry commission 25-31 Aug 43. Conversion by Maryland DD, Baltimore, completed 14 Oct 43. Converted to carry dependents at NSY Boston Apr-Jun 46. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1957. To buyer 9 Mar 87.
112 GENERAL W. A. MANN 670 Ferry commission 13-18 Oct 43. Conversion by Maryland DD, Baltimore completed 20 Nov 43. Converted to carry dependents at NSY Boston Dec 46 to Feb 47. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1957. To NDRF 20 Jan 66. To buyer 26 May 87, scrapped by 21 Nov 87.
113 GENERAL H. W. BUTNER 671 Ferry commission 5-13 Dec 43. Conversion by Maryland DD, Baltimore completed 14 Jan 44. Converted to carry dependents at NSY Boston Mar-Jun 47. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1956. To NDRF 7 Mar 60. To buyer 25 Jan 77.
114 GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL 672 Converted to carry dependents at NSY Philadelphia Mar-Jun 47. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1956. To NDRF 24 Nov 65. To buyer 1 Oct 87, scrapped by 15 Jan 88.
115 GENERAL G. M. RANDALL 673 Converted to carry dependents at NSY Philadelphia Jan-Apr 47. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1955. Inactivated 1961 in exchange for civilian-manned AP-117, to NDRF 16 Aug 61. To buyer 24 May 75.
116 GENERAL M. C. MEIGS 674 Decomm. and to MC 4 Mar 46, stk. 20 Mar 46. Converted for civilian use by Moore DD, Oakland, beginning 12 Apr 46 and chartered 8 Jun 46 by MC to American President Lines for operation. Charter expired and to NDRF 8 Jun 49. From MA 21 Jul 50, reinst. and to MSTS 1 Aug 50. Modernized Sep 53 to Feb 54 at Portland, Ore. To reduced operational status 1955, inactivated (Ready Reserve) by MSTS at Everett, Wash., in April 1956, then to MA and stk. 1 Oct 58. Withdrawn from MA Olympia reserve fleet 2 Nov 71 for transfer to Suisun Bay, grounded and broke up at Cape Flattery (Portage Head), Wash., 8-9 Jan 72, while being towed by the commercially-operated salvage tug GEAR (ex ARS-34). Stricken again on USN records effective 9 Jan 72.
117 GENERAL W. H. GORDON 675 Decomm. and to MC 11 Mar 46, stk. 28 Mar 46. Converted for civilian use by Moore DD, Oakland, beginning 29 Mar 46 and chartered 28 Jun 46 by MC to American President Lines for operation. Charter renewed 10 Jul 50. From MA 7 Nov 51, reinst. 20 Nov 51. Modernized Jun-Dec 53 at Portland, Ore. In reduced operational status Oct 54 to Nov 56, inactivated (Ready Reserve) in the Hudson River NDRF 20 Jun 57. From NDRF 7 May 58 for transfer to James River reserve fleet, to MA and stk. 20 Jun 58. Reactivated 1961 in exchange for Navy-manned AP-115, from MA 3 May 61. To NDRF 23 Apr 70. To buyer 4 Jun 87, scrapped by 4 Nov 87.
118 GENERAL W. P. RICHARDSON 676 Ex GENERAL R. M. BLATCHFORD 10 Jun 44. Decomm, to MC, and to Army 14 Feb 46. Initial Army peacetime conversion by Todd SYs, Hoboken, 11 Mar 46 to 21 May 46. From Army to MC 10 Mar 48 for commercial operation and converted by Ingalls SB, Pascagoula, to Design P2-S2-R7. To American Export Lines as LA GUARDIA 6 May 49, to NDRF 25 Nov 52. Sold 9 Feb 56 as LEILANI, seized by Federal Marshal 10 May 59 and to NDRF 28 Aug 59. Sold 11 Aug 60 as PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, became Greek ATLANTIS 10 Apr 70, later EMERALD SEAS, SAPPHIRE SEAS, and OCEAN EXPLORER 1. Scrapped in India 2004.
119 GENERAL WILLIAM WEIGEL 677 Ex GEN. C. H. BARTH 17 Aug 44. Decomm, to MC, and to Army 10 May 46, stk. 21 May 46. Initial Army peacetime conversion by Todd SYs, Hoboken, ca. May-July 1946. From Army to NDRF 7 Jul 49 without further conversion. From MA 20 Jul 50, reinst. and to MSTS 1 Aug 50. Modernized beginning Apr 53 by Kane Ship Repair Yard, Brooklyn. To reduced operational status 1955, moved to Everett, Wash. To MA and stk. 12 Jun 58. From MA 18 Aug 65. To NDRF 7 Apr 70. To buyer 12 Jun 87, scrapped by 30 Sep 87.
176 GENERAL J. C. BRECKINRIDGE 2080 Converted to carry dependents at NSY Philadelphia Oct 46 to Jan 47. To MSTS 1 Oct 49 as commissioned naval vessel. Modernized ca. 1956. To NDRF 16 Dec 65. To buyer 29 Sep 87, scrapped by 11 Jan 88.

Page Notes:
AP        1943
Compiled:        23 Aug 2009
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2009