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USS Thomas Jefferson (APA-30) on 6 December 1944.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        PRESIDENT JACKSON (APA-18)
Design:        MC C3-P&C, C3-A P&C
Displacement (tons):        10,210 light, 16,000 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        491.8' oa, 465.0' pp x 69.5' e x 26.5' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 (1941-42: APA 18-20)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8<16-20mm (1942-43: all)
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 14<18-20mm (1943: APA-30); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 2-40mmS 12<16-20mm (1944-45: APA 18-20); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 16>8-20mm (1946-47: APA-19); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 6<10-20mmT (1946-55: APA 18-20, 30)
Complement:        509 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        18.4
Propulsion (HP):        8,500
Machinery:        Newport News turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
APA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
18 PRESIDENT JACKSON 30 Jun 41 Newport News SB & DD 2 Oct 39 7 Jun 40 16 Jan 42
19 PRESIDENT ADAMS 5 Jun 41 Newport News SB & DD 10 Jun 40 31 Jan 41 19 Nov 41
20 PRESIDENT HAYES 7 Jul 41 Newport News SB & DD 26 Dec 39 4 Oct 40 15 Dec 41
29 THOMAS STONE 14 Jan 42 Newport News SB & DD 12 Aug 40 1 May 41 18 May 42
30 THOMAS JEFFERSON 1 May 42 Newport News SB & DD 5 Feb 40 20 Nov 40 31 Aug 42

Disposition:
APA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
18 PRESIDENT JACKSON 6 Jul 55 1 Oct 58 1 Dec 58 MA/R 23 Apr 73
19 PRESIDENT ADAMS 14 Jun 50 1 Oct 58 15 Dec 58 MA/R 22 Jan 73
20 PRESIDENT HAYES 30 Jun 49 1 Oct 58 23 Oct 58 MA/R 8 May 75
29 THOMAS STONE 1 Apr 44 8 Apr 44 25 Nov 42 Lost --
30 THOMAS JEFFERSON 18 Jul 55 1 Oct 58 14 Nov 58 MA/R 1 Mar 73

Class Notes:
FY 1942. This type, designed by the MC, was designated C3-Passenger & Cargo (MC hulls 53-58) and C3-A P&C (the nearly identical hull 110, later AP-103) by the MC. Six ships were ordered to replace the seven passenger-cargo ships of the World War I 502-foot type then being operated by the American President Lines, and a seventh was soon added. All but PRESIDENT ADAMS saw merchant service before joining the Navy.

On 11 Feb 41, in its first report, the Auxiliary Vessels Board stated that the Navy's peacetime needs for 1941 included 15 additional transports of at least 16 knots. These would have followed AP-19, which the Navy had acquired in late January. The CNO, however, noted in a cover memo that the President had recently directed that the Navy not make arrangements to take over any other commercial vessels because of shortage of shipping, in effect disapproving the acquisition of 21 ships including the 15 transports. On 29 Apr 41 the CNO's War Plans Division listed 33 merchant ships, including 18 transports, that the Navy would need to carry out the initial movements for which commitments had been made and to give early support to U. S. forces beyond the continental limits. On 14 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board reassessed this list and its own previous recommendations and came up with a total of 33 ships including 16 transports. On 26 May the President directed the Maritime Commission to turn over to the Navy 19 ships, but, while he granted the Navy all of the cargo ships it had requested, he provided for the transfer of only five transports: the liner AMERICA (AP-23) and four ships of the C3-passenger type or ships of equivalent size and speed, to be delivered by 30 Jun 41. In the meantime the Navy had agreed to man 16 Army transports as AP 20-22 and 24-36, so the new ships became AP 37-40 (later APA 18-21). On 27 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended acquisition of the four ships.

On 30 Dec 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board considered a verbal directive from the Secretary of the Navy to the Board's senior member to recommend the acquisition and conversion to combat loaded transports of nine C3 type vessels and also the acquisition of three C2 type cargo vessels as auxiliaries for the nine transports. The Board concurred with the guidance and recommended the acquisition of AP 52-60 (later APA 22-30). The ships actually acquired were the remaining three "Four Aces" (see AP-17, later APA-10) and 6 C3's, plus AK-53 and 55-56 (later AKA 12-14). AP-60 (later APA-30) carried a mercantile armament of 1-4"/50 and 3-3"/50 from March to May 1942 while serving under time charter as the convoy-loaded transport SS PRESIDENT GARFIELD.

On 28 Dec 45 CNO designated APA 18-21, 25-26, 28, and 30-32 to be converted to carry service dependents as well as officers and enlisted personnel. The conversions were to be done in such a way that their readiness for service as APA's could be restored quickly. Berthing in staterooms was to be provided for 60 to 100 dependent and officer passengers, but existing troop berthing was to be used for enlisted men and NCO's. A nursery was to be provided and a hold was to be fitted for carrying automobiles. Landing craft were to be replaced with 36-foot motor launches and their number reduced, but all boat stowage and davits were to be retained. Two of the ships were to be converted beginning 1 Mar 46 and the rest were to be converted in FY 1947. By June 1946 the planned conversions appear to have been reduced to APA 18-21 and 30.

Ship Notes:
APA Name MC# Notes
18 PRESIDENT JACKSON 53 Ex merc. PRESIDENT JACKSON (ID-5009, completed 25 Oct 40). Ex AP-37 1 Feb 43. On 5 Jul 41 CNO directed she be put in commission in ordinary upon receipt of sufficient personnel. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport and later scheduled to begin the conversion 1 Nov 46 at NSY Norfolk. From the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) to MSTS as commissioned naval vessel 1 Oct 49. In USN reserve 1955-58. To buyer 15 May 73.
19 PRESIDENT ADAMS 57 Ex merc. PRESIDENT ADAMS (probably ID-5009D, completed 5 Jun 41). Ex AP-38 1 Feb 43. Converted by Newport News SB & DD, Newport News, Va. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport and later scheduled to begin the conversion 1 Apr 47 at NSY Norfolk. From the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) to MSTS as commissioned naval vessel 1 Oct 49 but designated for inactivation 5 Oct 49. In USN reserve 1950-58. To buyer 7 Feb 73.
20 PRESIDENT HAYES 55 Ex merc. PRESIDENT HAYES (probably ID-5009A, completed 20 Feb 41). Ex AP-39 1 Feb 43. Converted by Bethlehem Steel, Hoboken, N.J. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport and later scheduled to begin the conversion 1 Nov 46 at NSY New York. In USN reserve 1949-58. To buyer 2 Jun 75.
29 THOMAS STONE 58 Ex merc. PRESIDENT VAN BUREN (probably ID-5009E, completed 11 Sep 41). Converted by Newport News SB & DD. Ex AP-59 1 Feb 43. Torpedoed by German aircraft off Spain 7 Nov 42, bombed at Algiers 24 Nov 42 and grounded 25 Nov, in reduced commission 17 Jun 43, used as a storeship until flooded out in storm Nov 43, declared a constructive total loss 5 Jul 44, wreck sold locally (officially "destroyed"), scrapped by Apr 45.
30 THOMAS JEFFERSON 56 Ex merc. PRESIDENT GARFIELD (probably ID-5009C, completed 26 Mar 41). Acquired at and converted by Newport News SB & DD, Newport News, Va. Ex AP-60 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport and later scheduled to begin the conversion 1 Jan 47 at NSY Norfolk. From NTS to MSTS as commissioned naval vessel 1 Oct 49. In USN reserve 1955-58. To buyer 27 Mar 73.

Page Notes:
APA        1941
Compiled:        12 May 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007