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USS U. S. Grant (AP-29) on 30 January 1942
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Class: U. S. GRANT (AP-29)
Design: Pass. & Cargo, 1907
Displacement (tons): 10,352 light, 14,940 lim.
Dimensions (feet): 508.2' oa, 488.0' wl x 55.2' x 27.0' lim.
Original Armament: 1-5"/51 4-3"/23
Later armaments: 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1942)
Complement: 397 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 15
Propulsion (HP): 7,200
Machinery: Vert. 4-exp., 2 screws
||16 Jun 41
||23 Mar 07
||16 Jun 41
||14 Nov 45
||28 Nov 45
||14 Nov 45
||21 Jan 48
No FY assigned. In 1907 the Hamburg-America line built a single ship, KONIG WILHELM II, for a route from Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. She was moved in 1914 to a route from New York to the West Indies and was interned in New York at the outbreak of World War I. She was one of 87 German ships whose seizure by the U.S. Shipping Board was authorized by a Presidential Executive Order of 30 Jun 17. She was operated by the Navy as the transport MADAWASKA (ID-3011) until being transferred to the Army on 2 Sep 19 and then to the Shipping Board. The Army reacquired her in late 1921, modernized her, and on 3 Jun 22 christened her as USAT U. S. GRANT. The ship remained in service throughout the interwar period and received additional upgrades at the Mare Island Navy Yard in early 1928.
In 1935 the Army and Navy agreed that the Army would operate its own ships except where naval opposition was expected, in which case the ships would be Navy manned. However, experience in the first part of World War II indicated that naval opposition by the enemy, in the form of submarines, could be encountered anywhere. In April 1941 the CNO proposed to the Chief of Staff of the Army that a board review the issue. The Board recommended on 28 Apr 41 that the Army "surrender operation of its transport service for the term of the present emergency" following procedures that it enumerated, the first of which was that the Navy would commission the Army transports with Navy crews as soon as possible. (The Army used the term "transports" for all ships in the Army Transport Service, including cargo ships and other types.) On 14 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended the implementation of this plan, which then covered 26 Army ships, and on 22 May 41 the Secretary of War approved the transfer of the ships, noting that jurisdiction over each ship was to pass at the time it was manned by the Navy. On 5 Jun 41 the Secretary of the Navy approved names for the 26 ships, all but three of which (AP 21-22 and AK-39) retained their Army names. The hull numbers AP 20-36 (less 23), AK 32-40, and APL-1 (for the barracks ship in Newfoundland) were soon assigned to them. The Navy manned, took over and commissioned AP 20-29 and 31-33 before the end of July. U. S. GRANT was commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard in June 1941 and underwent additional conversion there in January 1942. Through the end of 1944 the elderly transport operated primarily in the Alaskan theater, with occasional voyages to Hawaii. Her troop capacity in 1945 was 1,147 men. After the war the Army laid her up at Seattle and soon turned her over to the Maritime Commission for disposal.
||Ex USAT U. S. GRANT, ex USS MADAWASKA (ID-3011) 1921, ex German KOENIG WILHELM II 1917 (completed Jul 07). To MC reserve fleet from Army 4 Sep 46. To buyer 24 Feb 48, scrapped by 5 May 49.
Compiled: 31 May 2009
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2009