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USS Storm King (AP-171) on 3 April 1944.
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Class:        STORM KING (AP-171)
Design:        MC C2-S-AJ1
Displacement (tons):        6,363 light, 12,200 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        459.2' oa, 435.0' pp x 63.0' e x 23.0' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/38 4-3"/50 12-20mm (1944: both)
Later armaments:        --
Complement:        265 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        16.5
Propulsion (HP):        6,000
Machinery:        G.E. turbine, 1 screw

AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
171 STORM KING 3 Dec 43 North Carolina SB 20 Jul 43 17 Sep 43 10 Feb 44
175 STARLIGHT 15 Feb 44 North Carolina SB 9 Oct 43 23 Dec 43 29 Apr 44

AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
171 STORM KING 2 Aug 46 15 Aug 46 6 Aug 46 MC 3 Sep 47
175 STARLIGHT 12 Aug 46 28 Aug 46 14 Aug 46 MC 2 Apr 48

Class Notes:
FY 1944. On 30 Oct 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board noted that CinCPac had recently requested that 11 Navy-manned Liberty cargo ships (AKs) be given facilities for transporting about 1,000 troops on short hauls in order to relieve regular transports now being retained in the Third Fleet area for that purpose. The Board identified 11 candidates for this conversion (AK 114-123 and 129), but subsequently WSA agreed to make five C-type cargo vessels available in lieu of five of these conversions (AK 120-123 and 129). On 23 Nov 43 the Board recommended that five C2-type vessels or equivalents be acquired after conversion by WSA to carry troops, that they be manned by Navy crews as soon as possible, and that as their operations permitted they be made available for improvements and alterations to bring them up to Navy standards as APs. The APs were designated AP 171-175. The Navy ferried STORM KING and STARLIGHT, both MC C2-S-AJ1 cargo ships, from their builder in North Carolina to New York, where it returned them to WSA for conversion by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y.

The two ships differed in appearance when they emerged from conversion. STORM KING essentially retained her merchant ship configuration, to which the Navy simply added guns, numerous other fittings such as life rafts, and a radar mast on the central superstructure forward of the stack. She had deck stowage positions for two LCM(3)'s forward and 4 LCVP's aft. In STARLIGHT, converted two months later, the radar mast was stepped on the foremast, displacing the lookout station to the two kingposts in the bow, which had to be connected by a lattice crossbar to receive it (giving the ship a third goalpost mast). Unlike STORM KING, STARLIGHT also received two Welin davits, which were placed on the main deck just aft of the central superstructure.

The former STARLIGHT, after a nine-day battle against a shifting cargo of ammunition for Vietnam, was abandoned with heavy loss of life on 26 Dec 69 after a bomb exploded. She remained afloat, on fire, for another ten days.

Ship Notes:
AP Name MC# Notes
171 STORM KING 1346 Ex merc. STORM KING. Ferry commission 4-14 Dec 43. Converted for WSA by Bethlehem Steel, Staten Is., N.Y., 14 Dec 43-1 Mar 44. Merc. SANTA CRUZ 1947, GULF FARMER 1947. Scrapped 1970 as RANGER.
175 STARLIGHT 1358 Ex merc. STARLIGHT. Ferry commission 15-19 Feb 44. Converted for WSA by Bethlehem Steel, Staten Is., N.Y., 19 Feb-29 Apr 44. Merc. FLORENCE LUCKENBACH 1948. Lost 5.1.70 as BADGER STATE.

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