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USS Barnett (AP-11) off the Norfolk Navy Yard on 30 March 1941
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        MCCAWLEY (APA-4)
Design:        Pass. & Cargo, 1928
Displacement (tons):        9,432 light, 14,080 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        486.5' oa, 465.0' pp x 63.75' e x 25.3' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 (1941: both)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8<14-20mm (1942: both);
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 18-20mm (1943: APA-5)
Complement:        516 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        15
Propulsion (HP):        8,000
Machinery:        Busch-Sulzer diesel, 2 screws

Construction:
APA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
4 McCAWLEY 26 Jul 40 Furness SB -- 1928 11 Sep 40
5 BARNETT 9 Aug 40 Furness SB -- 1928 25 Sep 40

Disposition:
APA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
4 McCAWLEY -- 15 Jul 43 30 Jun 43 Lost --
5 BARNETT 30 Apr 46 21 May 46 3 Jul 46 MC/D 27 Feb 48

Class Notes:
FY 1941. In 1928 to meet new competition on its South American routes the Grace Line took delivery of two new ships, SANTA BARBARA and SANTA MARIA. These were a great improvement over the previous World War I-vintage ships in this service (of which AP-28, AP-36, and AS-9 were examples). As it was then permissible to build ships abroad for U.S. flag operation without losing eligibility for mail contracts, these two ships were constructed by the Furness Shipbuilding Company in Haverton-on-Tees, England. Each had two 8-cylinder Sulzer diesel engines of 4000 hp. apiece, making them the first large motor passenger ships to sail under the U.S. flag. They carried 150 passengers at a service speed of 16 knots. A similar 18 knot ship, the American-built turbo-electric SANTA CLARA (later SUSAN B. ANTHONY, AP-72, q.v.), followed in 1929. A project for increasing the speed of the earlier pair was later considered, involving the installation of a third 4000 hp. diesel engine which would transmit power to the two propeller shafts through a generator and two electric motors, but in view of the ships' somewhat outdated passenger accommodations these plans were not carried out. All three ships had two smokestacks, but the forward one was a dummy which on each ship the Navy cut down to a stump during conversion.

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 to 21 additional auxiliary vessels ranging in size and type from transports to tugs, including two transports in addition to two (AP 8-9, later APA 2-3) that were being requested separately. The Navy asked that the two transports be provided from a list of six candidates that included all of the "Four Aces" plus DELBRASIL (see AP-105) and ORIENTE (see AP-45). Before the ships had been selected SecNav on 28 Jun 40, at CNO's request, authorized the Bureau of Ships to acquire and convert seven of these auxiliaries, presumably those for which funds were then available, including AP 8-11, AS-13, AV-8, and AH-5. On 2 Jul 40 the MC replied that all six of the Navy's candidate transports were considered by their owners as indispensable and suggested several alternatives, including the five Baltimore Mail vessels that ultimately became AP 12-16 and the SANTA BARBARA and SANTA MARIA of the Grace Line. The Navy replied on 10 Jul 40 that the Baltimore Mail vessels "were not suitable on account of design" but that if SANTA BARBARA passed the inspection she was then undergoing both vessels of her type would be desired. The measurements of APA-4 were slightly different: 9,432 tons light, 489.0' oa x 65.0' e.

Ship Notes:
APA Name Notes
4 McCAWLEY Ex AP-10 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. SANTA BARBARA (ID-4873, completed Aug 28). Converted by Atlantic Basin IW, Brooklyn, N.Y. Commissioned in ordinary 6 Aug 40. Torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off New Georgia, sunk in error by U.S. PT boats.
5 BARNETT Ex AP-11 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. SANTA MARIA (probably ID-4873A, completed Apr 28). Converted by Tietjen & Lang (Todd), Hoboken, N.J. Commissioned in ordinary 9 Sep 40. Merc. SURRIENTO (Italian), delivered by MC to buyer 13 Apr 48. Arrived at La Spezia 30 Sep 66 for scrapping.

Page Notes:
APA        1940
Compiled:        11 May 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007