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USS Kenmore (AP-62) on 25 August 1942
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Class: KENMORE (AP-62)
Design: EFC 1095
Displacement (tons): 10,911 light, 16,800 lim.
Dimensions (feet): 522.7' oa, 502.0' pp x 62.0' m x 26.0 lim.
Original Armament: 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm
Later armaments: None as hospital ship (1944)
Complement: 343 (as AH, 1944)
Speed (kts.): 14
Propulsion (HP): 7,000
Machinery: Vert. 3-exp, 2 screws
||11 Apr 42
||New York SB
||4 Mar 20
||23 Feb 21
||5 Aug 42
||2 Apr 46
||8 May 46
||29 Jun 46
||31 Dec 47
FY 1942. Between December 1917 and August 1918 the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., received orders from the Shipping Board's Emergency Fleet Corporation for 16 large troop transports of the EFC's Design 1029. (See the APA-2 class for some of these ships, along with sisters from other shipbuilders.) In March 1919 the Shipping Board asked New York Ship to provide new plans for seven of these 16 ships, which were to be placed in commercial rather than military service. (All of the Design 1029 ships were also ultimately completed for commercial service.) The resulting Design 1095 ships were commonly known as the "502 class," after their length between perpendiculars. All seven ships operated between the wars for the Dollar Line and, after 1936, the American President Lines. One was seized by the Japanese at Shanghai in December 1941, five became Army troopships in 1941-42, and one found its way into the Navy as AP-62 in 1942.
On 31 Mar 42 the Auxiliary Vessels Board noted that it had been informed that the PRESIDENT MADISON was available for acquisition by the Navy. In view of the urgent need for additional transports it recommended that the ship be acquired and converted to a convoy loaded transport. This conversion was to be limited to the minimum necessary for use as a transport, because the ship was under consideration for conversion to a Transport for Evacuation of Wounded (APH) and was to be inspected by the Bureau of Ships to determine her suitability for further conversion. On 11 Apr 42 the Board reported that inspection showed that PRESIDENT MADISON was in poor material condition--a situation which her agents refused to correct. However the Board had learned that Maritime Commission hulls 175-177 were having APH features included during construction and recommended that two of them be acquired as APHs (see the APH-1 class). Provided this occurred, the Board recommended that PRESIDENT MADISON not be converted to an APH but instead be acquired for repair and conversion to an AP. Because of the high estimated cost of this conversion, the Board recommended that she be acquired by purchase rather than by bareboat charter. Her conversion at the Maryland DD Co., Baltimore, between 11 Apr 42 and 28 Aug 42 included new boilers, new generators (removed from the battleships NEVADA and OKLAHOMA and built in 1912), and the repair or replacement of nearly every bit of machinery, equipment, piping, etc. on the ship.
On 12 Mar 43 the conversion of three older transports, HENDERSON (AP-1), CHAUMONT (AP-5), and KENMORE (AP-62), to hospital ships was approved. At this time the Navy hoped to acquire three C2's, DASHING WAVE, YOUNG AMERICA, and TYPHOON as AP 103-105 to replace the older transports. However the C2s were instead converted to civilian (WSA) manned transports, and on 18 Jun 43 VCNO asked WSA to transfer instead three larger C3 passenger and cargo ships, PRESIDENT POLK, PRESIDENT MONROE, and DELBRASIL. The crews of HENDERSON, CHAUMONT, and KENMORE were to help man them. On 26 Jun 43 VCNO directed that KENMORE be laid up for conversion before PRESIDENT MONROE and DELBRASIL completed their conversions. On 2 Sep 43 the new name REFUGE and classification AH-11 were approved for KENMORE, to take effect when the ship was recommissioned as a hospital ship. KENMORE was decommissioned as AP-62 on 16 Sep 43, converted to a hospital ship by Maryland DD, Baltimore, between 13 Sep 43 and 1 Mar 44, and recommissioned as AH on 24 Feb 44. After the war she made two Magic Carpet voyages in December 1945 and January 1946 before reporting for disposal.
||Ex PRESIDENT MADISON, ex-PRESIDENT GARFIELD 1940, ex-BLUE HEN STATE 1924, ex IDMAN 1919 (ID-4471F, completed 6 Jul 21). Converted by Maryland DD, Baltimore. Decomm. 16 Sep 43, to AH-11 and renamed REFUGE effective when recomm. 24 Feb 44. To buyer 2 Feb 48, scrapped by 16 Jul 48.
Compiled: 14 Jun 2009
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2009