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USS George F. Elliott (AP-13) on 1 January 1942
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Class:        GEORGE F. ELLIOTT (AP-13)
Design:        Pass. & Cargo, 1919
Displacement (tons):        7,431 light, 13,301 full
Dimensions (feet):        507.0' oa, 486.0 pp x 56.0' e x 23.8 mn
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1941)
Complement:        --
Speed (kts.):        16
Propulsion (HP):        9,500
Machinery:        De Laval turbine, 1 screw

AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
13 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT 4 Nov 40 Bethlehem Steel, Alameda 30 Apr 18 4 Jul 18 10 Jan 41

AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
13 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT -- 2 Oct 42 8 Aug 42 Lost --

Class Notes:
FY 1941. The five ships of this class (AP 12-16, of which four later became the APA-6 class, q.v.) began life as large 440-foot, 10.5-knot, 2,900-horsepower freighters ordered by the British during World War I (except that the future AP-12 was built on yard account) and requisitioned by the U. S. Shipping Board before completion. The EFC later built some ships of this type that it designated its Design 1032. In 1929 the Baltimore Mail Line purchased five of these ships and took advantage of the Jones-White Act of 1928 by converting them to passenger and cargo ships for a new transatlantic service between Baltimore and northern Europe. The act provided mail subsidies as an incentive for shipping companies to build their ships in U.S. shipyards and man them with U.S. crews. The freighters were transformed by the Federal SB & DD Co., Kearny, N.J. on plans by Gibbs and Cox, into 506-foot, 16-knot, 9,500 horsepower passenger and cargo ships with new raked bows and new sterns. The lead ship, CITY OF BALTIMORE, was floated out of drydock on 18 Dec 30 and ran trials on 28 May 31, making 18 knots on her fastest run. The service between Baltimore and northern Europe closed down when the line lost its mail contract and government subsidy at the end of 1937, and in 1938 the ships were sold to the Panama Pacific Line and operated in the New York-San Francisco coastal trade.

On 20 Jun 40 CNO, acting as Secretary of the Navy, wrote to the Maritime Commission stating that world conditions made it necessary for the Navy to acquire 18 additional auxiliary vessels, ranging in size and type from transports to tugs. These included two transports in addition to two (AP 8-9, later APA 2-3) that were being requested separately. The Navy asked that the two ships be provided from a list of six candidates, but on 2 Jul 40 the MC replied that all six were considered by their owners as indispensable and suggested several alternatives, including the five Baltimore Mail vessels and two Grace Line ships. The Navy replied on 10 Jul 40 that the Baltimore Mail vessels "were not suitable on account of design" but that it would take the Grace ships, which became AP 10-11 (later APA 4-5). In October 1940 the Joint Board ordered the Navy to provide sufficient amphibious lift for an entire division of 15,000 men, and on 9 Oct 40 the Secretary of the Navy directed the acquisition of six more transports (AP 12-17) along with one provision store ship (AF-11), and seven high speed tankers (AO 27-33). This time the Navy accepted the five Baltimore Mail vessels (AP 12-16, of which four later became APA 6-9) and got one of the "Four Aces" (AP-17, later APA-10) to fill the requirement for the sixth ship. Since January 1935 the five Baltimore Mail vessels had been designated in Navy mobilization plans for conversion to destroyer tenders (XAD) and plans for these conversions had been distributed in 1936 and updated in 1939, but further work on these plans was postponed on 19 Nov 40 after the ships instead became combat loaded transports.

GEORGE F. ELLIOT (AP-13) was lost before APA hull numbers were assigned; she would otherwise have become an APA along with her four surviving sisters of the HEYWOOD (APA-6) class (q.v.). Her original light boat davits were replaced with Welin davits during an overhaul at the Norfolk Navy Yard in November and December 1941.

Ship Notes:
AP Name Notes
13 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT Ex merc. CITY OF LOS ANGELES, ex CITY OF HAVRE (1938), completed 19 Oct 18 as VICTORIOUS (ID-3514). Served in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service as USS VICTORIOUS from 19 Oct 18 to 25 Feb 19. Rebuilt and lengthened in 1931 by Federal SB & DD, Kearny, N.J. Converted by Maryland DD, Baltimore, Md. Commissioned in ordinary 4 Nov 40. Sunk off Guadalcanal by a Japanese aircraft that crashed into the ship amidships.

Page Notes:
AP        1940
Compiled:        05 Jun 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007