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USS Harcourt (IX-225) circa April 1946
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        E. A. POE (IX-103)
Design        MC EC2-S-C1
Displacement (tons):        3696 light, 14,230 full load
Dimensions (feet):        441.5' oa, 416.0' wl x 56.9' e x 27.75' full load
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 1-3"/50 (1945: IX-103)
Later armaments:        
1-5"/50 1-3"/50 4-20mm (1944: IX-104);
1-3"/50 9-20mm (1944: IX-109); 1-3"/50 8-20mm (1945: IX-225);
3-20mm (Later in 1944: IX-109);
2-3"/50 8-20mm (1945: IX-215, 223);
1-5"/38 1-3"/50 8-20mm (1944: IX-228 as merchant ship)
Complement        54 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        12
Propulsion (HP):        2,500
Machinery:        1 screw, vertical triple expansion (IX-223, 225, 226, 228); non-self propelled (IX-103, 104, 109, 215).

Construction:
IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
103 E. A. POE 18 Nov 42 Oregon SB 29 Jan 42 26 Mar 42 ca May 44
104 P. H. BURNETT 2 Jul 43 California SB 29 Jun 42 10 Aug 42 30 Aug 43
109 ANTELOPE 4 Oct 43 Permanente Metals #2 15 Jun 43 6 Jul 43 4 Oct 43
215 DON MARQUIS 31 May 45 California SB 31 Jul 43 23 Aug 43 31 May 45
223 TRIANA 24 May 45 California SB 27 Dec 43 24 Jan 44 24 May 45
225 HARCOURT 22 Jun 45 California SB 23 Nov 42 27 Dec 42 22 Jun 45
226 ARANER 23 Sep 45 Oregon SB 15 Nov 42 27 Dec 42 23 Sep 45
228 JUSTIN 2 Sep 45 Todd Houston SB 14 Apr 44 22 May 44 4 Sep 45

Disposition:
IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
103 E. A. POE 15 Mar 46 28 Mar 46 15 Mar 46 MC/D 2 Feb 48
104 P. H. BURNETT 7 Aug 46 8 Oct 46 8 Aug 46 MC/R 20 Oct 58
109 ANTELOPE 3 May 46 21 May 46 3 May 46 MC/D 2 Feb 48
215 DON MARQUIS 30 Nov 45 5 Jun 46 30 Nov 45 MC/D 25 Oct 48
223 TRIANA 20 Feb 46 12 Mar 46 20 Feb 46 MC/R 12 Sep 58
225 HARCOURT 17 May 46 5 Jun 46 17 May 46 MC/R 18 Oct 62
226 ARANER 22 Aug 46 29 Oct 46 22 Aug 46 MC/D 2 Feb 48
228 JUSTIN 23 Jan 46 25 Feb 46 23 Jan 46 MC/R 29 Apr 54

Class Notes:
FY 1943 (IX-103, 109), 1944 (others). The Liberty ships that the Navy classified IX were all ships that had been damaged during the war and could no longer be used as seagoing cargo ships. Some had had their engine rooms destroyed, while others had had the hulls severely weakened. Two of these Liberty ships, GAMAGE (IX-227) and INCA (IX-229), are listed here on a separate page because of their complex and intertwined history. One additional ship, WILLIAM WILLIAMS, appeared destined to join this group as a result of torpedo damage suffered on 2 May 43, but she was fully restored in Australia and appeared on the Navy List instead as VENUS (AK-135).

-- IX-103: The Liberty ship EDGAR ALLEN POE was torpedoed near New Caledonia on 8 Nov 42 and towed into Noumea by New Zealand warships. The Navy took protective custody of her on 18 Nov 42 after she was towed into Noumea and used her as a storage ship, in the process installing donkey boilers and auxiliary machinery for furnishing steam and electric services and bins and racks for storage of heavy ship repair materials. On 12 May 43 the Navy asked WSA to charter the ship to the Navy as of 18 Nov 42, noting that her main propulsion plant had been completely wrecked and underwater damage was extensive. On 24 May 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board reported that, after limited hull and auxiliary machinery repairs and installations, the ship would greatly contribute toward meeting the storage problem in the area and recommended that she be acquired "as is" for use as a receiving and storage ship at advance based in the South Pacific. Her hull number and shortened Navy name were assigned on 1 Jun 43. She was used as receiving and storage ship at Noumea from 18 Nov 42 to 7 May 44 and arrived at Espiritu Santo 9 May 44 for drydocking and limited conversion work. The date this ship was placed in service is uncertain--the 1945 Ships' Data Book indicates 30 Aug 43 (the same date as IX-104 and possibly a misprint) and the first surviving log is 1 May 44 (shortly before the movement to Espiritu Santo).

-- IX-104: The Liberty ship PETER H. BURNETT was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-21 on 22 Jan 43 off eastern Australia and several days later was towed to Sydney by USS ZANE (DMS-14). Commander Service Force, Pacific Fleet requested that this ship be acquired for use as a floating storage ship in the South Pacific, and on 11 Jun 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended she be acquired. Her hull number and shortened Navy name were assigned on 18 Jun 43. She was towed back to Seattle via Midway after the war.

-- IX-109: The Liberty ship M. H. DE YOUNG was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19 on 13 Aug 43 while enroute Espiritu Santo and was towed into Tongatabu by a Canadian merchant ship. Commander Service Squadron, South Pacific Force recommended that temporary repairs be made at Espiritu Santo to this ship and another torpedo-damaged Liberty ship, MATTHEW LYON, to permit their use as dry cargo storage ships in the South Pacific. On 7 Sep 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended the ships be acquired, and they were designated IX-107 and IX-109 respectively. The Navy asked WSA for M. H. DE YOUNG on 9 Sep 43, noting that the damage appeared to be confined to the engine room, which was completely wrecked. The ship's back was not broken and her holds were dry. The former MATTHEW LYON was later fully restored to service as ZEBRA (AKN-5) and is listed as such here.

-- IX-215: On 26 Sep 44 the Liberty ship DON MARQUIS, which was carrying Army troops and their equipment including gasoline and ammunition, was in collision with the T2 tanker MISSIONARY RIDGE whose bow penetrated 22 feet into the freighter on the starboard side forward between Nos. 1 and 2 holds. A rescue tug was able to put out the fires and tow the ship into Seeadler Harbor, Manus. After the explosion of USS MOUNT HOOD (AE-11) there in November damaged ships and repair activities were authorized to strip the Liberty ship for needed equipment. In February 1945 the WSA representative at Manus concluded that the extent of the damage and stripping along with the higher priority of other ships for drydocking precluded repairing her for towing back to the U.S. and recommended that she be handed over to the Navy "as is" for use as non-self-propelled floating dry storage. On 21 Feb 45 VCNO, citing this recommendation, asked WSA for the ship, and on 23 Feb 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board citing a similar request from Commander Seventh Fleet recommended that she be placed in service as a non-self-propelled IX for this use. CNO informed Com7thFlt on 27 Feb 45 that WSA had approved the transfer and authorized him to place her in service as IX-215. This, however, was only done on 31 May 45, plans to cut off the damaged bow and convert the rest of the hulk to a dry storage vessel were never carried out, and no other repairs were made. An inspection board recommended in October 1945 that she be towed to sea and sunk, and on 18 Oct 45 CNO directed that she be placed out of service and returned to WSA. The date the ship was placed out of service was not recorded and is estimated here.

-- IX-223: The Liberty ship ELINOR WYLIE was mined off the southern French coast on 6 Oct 44 and was towed to Toulon. She later returned to the United States after major repairs in a foreign port (most likely Toulon). On 22 Mar 45 VCNO asked WSA for confirmation that WSA planned to make available to the Navy for use as mobile dry cargo storage the Liberty ship ELINOR WYLIE, then undergoing repairs at Newport News. In early April WSA allocated the ship to the Navy for a voyage from New York to Pearl Harbor with a light cargo of net material. On 25 Apr 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board reported that Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Area had on at least two recent occasions requested that merchant vessels not suitable for regular employment on long sea voyages be acquired when available for mobile dry cargo storage. It recommended that ELINOR WILEY be acquired from WSA upon arrival in the forward area, where she would be manned by a crew of 70 men and be commissioned as an IX. In view of the ship's structural weakness, the Board recommended that ComServPac be cautioned not to overload her and not to employ her on continuous voyages for dry cargo transportation. The ship arrived at Pearl Harbor on 15 May 45 and was turned over to the Navy nine days later. While she was serving as a storage ship at Eniwetok on 20 Sep 45 with 4,500 tons of cargo on board, Number 2 hold began to leak, a casualty that the history of the ship written by the crew stated was unquestionably caused by the weakness and strain resulting from the October 1944 underwater explosion.

-- IX-225: The Liberty ship JOHN M. CLAYTON was beached and abandoned after a Japanese aircraft bomb blew a large hole in the side and bottom of Number 3 hold on 1 Jan 45. The merchant master and crew of the more severely damaged JUAN DE FUCA (see IX-126) were transferred to her on 31 Jan 45, and after the ship was salvaged they sailed her to Pearl Harbor for repairs. On 11 Jun 45 Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Area requested that arrangements be made to acquire this ship for use as dry cargo mobile storage in the forward areas. On 25 Jun 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended her acquisition with the same caveat that it had specified for IX-223. Based on a verbal understanding with WSA, CNO had already on 19 Jun 45 authorized CinCPOA to take over the ship, which was done on 22 Jun 45. Later in 1945 the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard completed repairs that largely restored the ship's strength and she was declared safe for normal loading.

-- IX-226: The Liberty ship JUAN DE FUCA was damaged by a kamikaze 21 Dec 44 near Mindoro, then torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off Mindoro 31 Dec 44 and run aground on a reef off Ambulong Island, Philippines. Both hits were in Number 2 hold. Her merchant crew was transferred to the more easily recoverable JOHN M. CLAYTON (see IX-225, above) on 31 Jan 45. On 10 Feb 45 the former master of the JUAN DE FUCA authorized the local WSA salvage officer to try to salvage the ship and concurred with him that there was a fair chance of success using locally available resources. The ship was refloated on 20 Feb 45 and moored near the salvaged JOHN M. CLAYTON. On 29 Jun 45 Commander Service Force, Pacific, requested that arrangements be made to acquire three damaged Liberty ships for self-propelled floating storage of lubricants and drummed petroleum products at Leyte, Ulithi, and Eniwetok, and on 10 Jul 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended their acquisition. The ships specified were JOHN C. FREMONT, HENRY L. ABBOTT, and GUS W. DARNELL, and these were duly given Navy names and numbered IX 226-228 on 14 Jul 45. The first two of these, however, were soon found to be unsuitable for this use because of their poor hull condition and CNO cancelled their acquisition on 20 Jul 45. (Both had been mined in Manila Bay, the first on 31 Mar 45 and the second on 1 May 45.) WSA nominated JUAN DE FUCA as a replacement for JOHN C. FREMONT on 1 Aug 45 and on 16 Aug 45 directed that she be placed in service as IX-226. An inspection in October 1945 concluded that repairs had restored 80 percent of the original hull strength of the ship but that she was still not seaworthy and that she was missing much equipment, including most of her electrical systems, due to extensive stripping. For IX-227 see the separate page on "GAMAGE/INCA."

-- IX-228: The Liberty ship GUS W. DARNELL was hit by a Japanese aircraft torpedo in Number 2 hold off Leyte 23 Nov 44 and was beached to prevent sinking. She was quickly refloated but was extensively damaged forward, including two complete fractures in the keel. On 29 Jun 45 Commander Service Force, Pacific, requested that arrangements be made to acquire three damaged Liberty ships, JOHN C. FREMONT, HENRY L. ABBOTT, and GUS W. DARNELL (to become IX 226-228 respectively), for self-propelled floating storage of lubricants and drummed petroleum products at Leyte, Ulithi, and Eniwetok. On the same day CNO advised Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Area that WSA was agreeable to the transfer, and on 1 Jul 45 CinCPOA asked ComServPac to determine the details of their damage and arrange for their repair. On 10 Jul 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended that they be acquired if their condition was determined to warrant temporary repairs for use as dry cargo mobile storage, subject to the same caveat specified for IX-223 and IX-225. The Board also recommended that WSA replace the cargo gear and equipment that had been removed from the GUS W. DARNELL.

Ship Notes:
IX Name MC Notes
103 E. A. POE 186 Ex merc. EDGAR ALLEN POE (completed 28 Apr 42). Torpedoed near New Caledonia 8 Nov 42 and towed into Noumea. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To buyer 3 Mar 48,
104 P. H. BURNETT 300 Ex merc. PETER H. BURNETT (completed 29 Aug 42). Torpedoed by I-21 22 Jan 43 off eastern Australia and towed to Sydney. To Navy there 2 Jul 43, placed in service 30 Aug 43. To buyer 17 Nov 58, scrapped by 20 Apr 59.
109 ANTELOPE 158 Ex merc. M. H. DE YOUNG (completed 19 Jul 43). Torpedoed by I-19 13 Aug 43 while enroute Espiritu Santo and towed into Tongatabu. Placed in service 4 Oct 43 at Espiritu Santo as non- self propelled dry storage. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To buyer 3 Mar 48, either scrapped in the Far East or sunk 1951 off Taiwan.
215 DON MARQUIS 187 Ex merc. DON MARQUIS (completed 11 Sep 43). Rammed by T2 tanker MISSIONARY RIDGE 26 Sep 44 near Manus Is., constructive total loss. Towed into Seeadler Harbor, Manus Is., 28 Oct 44 and later turned over to Navy there as dry floating storage. To MC at Manus 30 Nov 45, to buyer there 23 Nov 48 for scrapping, completion date not reported.
223 TRIANA 255 Ex merc. ELINOR WYLIE (completed 10 Feb 44). Mined in Mediterranean 6 Oct 44 and towed to Toulon. To Navy at Pearl Harbor for use as mobile dry cargo storage. Merc. ELINOR WYLIE (MC) 1946. To buyer 1 Oct 58, scrapped by 2 Apr 59.
225 HARCOURT 687 Ex merc. JOHN M. CLAYTON (completed 8 Jan 43). Bombed by Japanese aircraft 1 Jan 45 off Mindoro and beached 2 Jan 45. To Navy at Pearl Harbor. Merc. JOHN M. CLAYTON (MC) 1946. To buyer 3 Nov 62, scrapped by 22 Jan 63.
226 ARANER 174 Ex merc. JUAN DE FUCA (completed 11 Jan 43). Hit by kamakaze 21 Dec 44 near Mindoro, then torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off Mindoro 31 Dec 44 and beached. To Navy at Tacloban, Leyte, and placed in service 23 Sep 45. To MC at Subic Bay 1946 as JUAN DE FUCA. To buyer 3 Mar 48. Was at Shanghai 1949, captured by Nationalist Chinese 26 Sep 50 and
228 JUSTIN 293 Ex merc. GUS W. DARNELL (completed 31 May 44). Torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off Leyte 23 Nov 44 and beached. To Navy at Guinan, Samar. Merc. GUS W. DARNELL (MC) 1946. To buyer 25 May 54, scrapped by 8 Jul 55.

Page Notes:
IX        1943
Compiled:        28 Aug 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010