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USS Charles Carroll (AP-58) on 2 September 1942.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        CRESCENT CITY (APA-21)
Design:        MC "Pass. & Cargo" (Delta Line)
Displacement (tons):        8,889 light, 14,247 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        491.0' oa, 465.0' pp x 65.5' e x 25.7' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/23 8-20mm (1941-42: APA-21)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8<14-20mm (1942: APA-28); 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 13<15-20mm (1943-44: APA-21); 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 2-40mm 17-20mm (1944: APA-21);
1-5"/38 4-3"/50 8<14-20mm (1942-43: APA 31-32); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 1-40mmT 11<18-20mm (1943-57: APA-31); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 1-40mmT (1958-59: APA-31)
1-5"/38 3-3"/50 2-40mmT 18-20mm (1943: APA-32); 1-5"/38 3-3"/50 2-40mmT 4-20mmT 10>2-20mm (1945-47: APA-32); 1-5"/38 3-3"/50 2-40mmT 12-10mmT (1951-52: APA-32); 1-5"/38 3-3"/50 2-40mmT (1957: APA-32);
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 14<18-20mm (1943-44: APA-28); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 2-40mm 14-20mm (1945: APA-21); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 14-20mm (1946: APA-21); 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 6-20mmT (1946-47: APA-21)
Complement:        513 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        16.5
Propulsion (HP):        7,800
Machinery:        G.E. turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
APA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
21 CRESCENT CITY 9 Jun 41 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 8 May 39 17 Feb 40 10 Oct 41
28 CHARLES CARROLL 13 Aug 42 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 4 Sep 41 24 Mar 42 13 Aug 42
31 MONROVIA 1 Dec 42 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 26 Mar 42 19 Sep 42 1 Dec 42
32 CALVERT 1 Oct 42 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 15 Nov 41 22 May 42 1 Oct 42

Disposition:
APA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
21 CRESCENT CITY 30 Apr 48 1 Oct 58 3 Sep 58 MA/R --
28 CHARLES CARROLL 27 Dec 46 1 Oct 58 29 Oct 58 MA/R 12 Apr 77
31 MONROVIA 31 Oct 68 1 Nov 68 25 Aug 69 MA/S 25 Aug 69
32 CALVERT 30 Jun 66 1 Aug 66 14 Feb 77 MA/S 14 Feb 77

Class Notes:
FY 1942. This privately designed type was designated simply "Passenger & Cargo" by the MC, although it was the same size as a C3. A total of six ships of this type were built under the MC shipbuilding program by the Mississippi Shipping Corp. (the Delta Line) for its coffee and passenger trade with South America. The first three (APA-21, AP-47 and AP-105) saw merchant service before being taken into military service, while the second trio went directly from their builders to 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. On 27 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended acquisition of the four C3's, of which AP-40 (later APA-21) was the last.

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). Of the C3's, the MC transferred AP-58 (MC hull 150, later APA-28) from its regular program to the MC Military Program on 17 Jan 42.

On 11 Apr 42 the Auxiliary Vessels Board considered a letter of 8 Apr 42 in which the Bureau of Ships stated that the Maritime Commission was prepared to include in its hulls 151-152, while building, Navy features for combat-loaded transports. The Board recommended that the Navy purchase the two ships, which were designated AP 64-65 (later APA 31-32). The MC moved the two ships to its Military Program, adding them to the contract for AP-58. All three ships were completed and converted by their builder using the plans developed for AP-58.

APA-31 was initially modified for service as a relief headquarters ship at Norfolk in April and May 1943. APA-28 and 32 were designated in around April 1945 to be refitted as transport squadron flagships and relief AGCs. APA-32 was modified during an overhaul at Puget Sound between June and August 1945, while APA-31 may have had her installation upgraded during repairs at Portland, Ore., in April-July 1945. APA-28 arrived at the assigned shipyard, Moore DD, Oakland, in late August 1945 too late to be modified.

On 28 Dec 45 CNO designated AP 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 stowages 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
21 CRESCENT CITY 49 Ex merc. DELORLEANS (I) (ID-5003B, completed 23 Aug 40). Ex AP-40 1 Feb 43. Converted by Alabama DD & SB, Mobile, Ala. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport and later scheduled to begin the conversion 15 Sep 46 at NSY New York. In USN reserve 1947-58. Merc. GOLDEN BEAR (California Maritime Academy) 1971-1995. Donated by MA as a floating art center at Oakland, Calif., and renamed ARTSHIP 7 Aug 99. Sold for scrap and moved to Mare Island 23 Feb 04, disposition held up by legal action as of 2006. Renamed PACIFIC STAR 2007 for use as a data center, project failed and ship arrived at Brownsville, Tex., 21 Feb 2012 for dismantlement.
28 CHARLES CARROLL 150 Ex merc. DELURUGUAY. Converted by builder. Completed and to WSA from builder 12 Aug 42. Commissioned at Norfolk. Ex AP-58 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport but not converted and in USN reserve 1946-58. To buyer 2 May 77.
31 MONROVIA 152 Ex merc. DELARGENTINO. Converted by builder. Completed and to WSA from builder 30 Nov 42 at Baltimore, commissioned after transit to Norfolk. Ex AP-64 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport but cancelled 11 Mar 46. In USN reserve 1946-50. To buyer 15 Sep 69, scrapped by 4 Aug 70.
32 CALVERT 151 Ex merc. DELORLEANS (II). Converted by builder. Completed and to WSA from builder 30 Sep 42 at Baltimore, commissioned after transit to Norfolk. Ex AP-65 1 Feb 43. Designated 28 Dec 45 for conversion to a dependent transport but cancelled 11 Mar 46. In USN reserve 1946-50. Stationary cargo-handling training ship 1966 at Naval School, Transportation Management, Oakland, Cal., replacing the Liberty ship GEORGE ROSS, in use there since 1952. To buyer 11 Mar 77 at Oakland.

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