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USAT James Parker during World War II.
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Class:        JAMES PARKER (AP-46)
Design:        P&C, 1939 (PANAMA class)
Displacement (tons):        9,946 light, 14,150 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        493.0' oa, 471.5' pp x 64' e x 26.75' lim
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 4-3"/50 (1942: as USAT)
Later armaments:        --
Complement:        --
Speed (kts.):        18
Propulsion (HP):        10,000
Machinery:        --

AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
46 JAMES PARKER -- Bethlehem Steel, Quincy 25 Oct 37 24 Sep 38 --

AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
46 JAMES PARKER -- -- 30 Mar 42 Canc. --

Class Notes:
FY 1942. PANAMA (later JAMES PARKER) was the first of three sisters built privately for the Panama Railroad Co. that were similar to the early C3 passenger and cargo types. They replaced three much older and slower ships on the express run between New York and the Panama Canal. PANAMA sailed on her maiden voyage from New York to Cristobal on 26 April 1939. She was converted for the Army in August 1941 by the Atlantic Basin Iron Works, Brooklyn, N.Y. The second sister became USAT and then USS ANCON (AP-66, later AGC-4), q. v. The third sister, CRISTOBAL, was laid down on 15 Nov 37, launched on 4 Mar 39, placed in merchant service on 17 Aug 39, taken over by the Army in December 1941, returned to the Panama RR Co. on 14 Jun 46, and scrapped in 1982.

On 26 May 41 the President directed the Maritime Commission to turn over to the Army seven ships of C3 passenger type, or ships of equivalent size and speed, by 30 Jun 41 in addition to 19 ships that it was to deliver to the Navy. Earlier in May the Army and Navy had agreed to a plan to replace the civilian crews of the large ships of the Army Transport Service with Navy crews and place the ships under Navy jurisdiction, and on 27 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended that the seven transports be acquired and manned with Navy crews for the use of the Army. Personnel shortages prevented the Navy from implementing this plan, however, and on 13 Jun 41 PANAMA was taken over by the Army. She served as USAT PANAMA until August 1941, when she was converted to a troopship and renamed JAMES PARKER. On 17 Sep 41 the Joint Board approved a Navy request that the Army convert ten of its ships (the future AP-30, 34-35, 42-44, and 46-49), to combat unit loaded transports as soon as Army operating schedules permitted. On 29 Sep 41 the Acting CNO stated that six of the seven Army vessels in the President's directive, along with two under construction by the Maritime Commission, were to be eventually taken over by the Navy and asked the Bureau of Ships to assign hull numbers to them. They were designated AP 42-49 before the end of October 1941. (The seventh ship in the directive, PRESIDENT COOLIDGE, was never listed for Navy manning and never received a Navy hull number.) Ultimately the Navy was only able to man AP 42-43, and JAMES PARKER remained in Army service throughout the war instead of entering Navy service as AP-46. Her Navy manning was officially cancelled on 30 Mar 42. She was returned to the Panama RR Co. on 15 May 46 and scrapped in 1985. The technical data shown here are those of ANCON as AGC-4.

Ship Notes:
AP Name Notes
46 JAMES PARKER Ex USAT JAMES PARKER (Aug 41), ex USAT PANAMA (to Army 13 Jun 41), ex merc. PANAMA (ID-5007, completed Apr 39). Not taken over by the Navy. Merc. PANAMA 1946. Scrapped 1985 as REGINA PRIMA.

Page Notes:
AP        1942
Compiled:        05 Jun 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007