The Army transport J. W. McAndrew circa late 1945 or early 1946. Photo courtesy Garnett Blackburn
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        J. W. McANDREW (AP-47, 105)
Design:        MC "Pass. & Cargo" (Delta Line)
Displacement (tons):        6,590 light, 14,247 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        491.0' oa, 465.0' pp x 65.0' e x 25.7' lim.
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 2-3"/50 (1942: AP-47 as USAT)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1943: AP-105);
1-5"/38 4-3"/50 8-20mmT (1945: AP-105)
Complement:        --
Speed (kts.):        17.8
Propulsion (HP):        7,800
Machinery:        G.E. turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
47 J. W. McANDREW -- Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 21 Dec 39 13 Jul 40 --
105 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT 25 Aug 43 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. SY 10 Apr 39 16 Dec 39 23 Sep 43

Disposition:
AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
47 J. W. McANDREW -- -- 30 Mar 42 Canc. 22 Dec 48
105 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT 10 Jun 46 19 Jun 46 11 Jun 46 MC/D 22 Dec 48

Class Notes:
FY 1942 (AP-47), 1944 (AP-105). This type was designated simply "Passenger & Cargo" by the MC, although it was the same size as a C3. On 26 May 41 the President directed the Maritime Commission to turn over to the Army seven ships of C3 passenger type, or ships of equivalent size and speed, by 30 Jun 41 in addition to 19 ships that it was to deliver to the Navy. Earlier in May the Army and Navy had agreed to a plan to replace the civilian crews of the large ships of the Army Transport Service with Navy crews and place the ships under Navy jurisdiction, and on 27 May 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended that the seven transports be acquired and manned with Navy crews for the use of the Army. Personnel shortages prevented the Navy from implementing this plan, however, and on 28 Jun 41 DELTARGENTINO was acquired by the Army after about seven months of commercial service. She soon became U. S. Army Transport (USAT) J. W. McANDREW. On 17 Sep 41 the Joint Board approved a Navy request that the Army convert ten of its ships, later designated by the Navy AP-30, 34-35, 42-44, and 46-49, to combat unit loaded transports as soon as Army operating schedules permitted. On 29 Sep 41 the Acting CNO stated that six of the seven vessels in the President's May directive, along with two under construction by the Maritime Commission, were to be eventually taken over by the Navy and asked the Bureau of Ships to assign hull numbers to them. They were designated AP 42-49 before the end of October 1941. (The seventh ship in the President's directive, PRESIDENT COOLIDGE, was never listed for Navy manning and never received a Navy hull number.) Ultimately the Navy was only able to man AP 42-43, and J. W. McANDREW remained in Army service throughout the war instead of entering Navy service as AP-47. The directive for her Navy manning was officially cancelled on 30 Mar 42. Her operational history also suggests she was not converted to a combat loaded transport. She was the third ship of her class to be built and was the first in which the funnel was raised during construction, reflecting recognition of a design flaw that proved unacceptable for commercial service.

Of J. W. McANDREW's five sister ships, four were taken over by the Navy early in the war and became the APA-21 class (q.v.). The remaining ship, DELBRASIL, was operated by the War Shipping Administration with a commercial crew under allocation to the Navy. In July and August 1942 she received a limited conversion at San Francisco to increase her passenger capacity (troop officers and troops) to 2000. Her merchant ship armament of 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 and 8-20mm was retained unchanged. In March 1943 the Navy hoped to acquire three C2's as transports to replace three older transports that were to be converted to hospital ships. Thus, DASHING WAVE (AP-103), YOUNG AMERICA (AP-104), and TYPHOON (AP-105) were to replace HENDERSON (AP-1), CHAUMONT (AP-5), and KENMORE (AP-62). However transfer of the C2s to the Navy was deferred on 20 Mar 43 and instead they were converted by WSA to transports able to carry 60 officers and 1,500 enlisted passengers and allocated to the Navy on a voyage basis. (Their AP designations were cancelled on 3 Jul 43.) On 18 Jun 43 the VCNO wrote to WSA that the operations for which the three C2's were to have been acquired had intensified during the past few months and that the need for additional Navy-manned troop transports for operation in combat areas had become most urgent. In view of their greater capabilities, speed, size, and readiness for Navy manning with a minimum of conversion he requested that three C3 passenger and cargo ships, PRESIDENT POLK, PRESIDENT MONROE, and DELBRASIL, be transferred to the Navy in place of the three C2's. The crews of HENDERSON, CHAUMONT, and KENMORE were to help man them. On 16 Jul 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board agreed that the necessity for transportation of troops and military cargoes directly to combat areas required additional Navy-manned tonnage and recommended acquisition of the ships. They were acquired as AP 103-105, DELBRASIL being renamed USS GEORGE F. ELLIOTT to perpetuate the name of a combat-loaded transport (AP-13) lost off Guadalcanal in August 1942. Although all were subsequently used in direct support of amphibious operations, they did not receive Welin davits and normally carried no landing craft. DELBRASIL was the lead ship of her class and was completed with a short funnel, but it had been raised as in DELTARGENTINO by the time she entered Navy service.

Ship Notes:
AP Name MC# Notes
47 J. W. McANDREW 50 Ex USAT J. W. McANDREW, ex merchant DELTARGENTINO (ID-5003A, completed Nov 40). Not acquired by Navy, continued in service as USAT J. W. McANDREW. The French aircraft carrier BEARN collided with her 13 Mar 45 after the carrier lost steering control in a storm, 71 American dead. Completed last Army trooping run Jan 47, then to NDRF 5 May 47 as DELTARGENTINO. Sold by MC to Farrell Lines 1948, merc. AFRICAN ENTERPRISE 1949. To NDRF 19 Oct 60, sold by MA 9 Apr 69, to buyer 8 May 69.
105 GEORGE F. ELLIOTT 48 Ex merc. DELBRASIL (ID-5003, completed May 40). Converted by General Engineering & DD, Alameda, Cal. To NDRF as DELBRASIL 1946, sold by MC to Farrell Lines 1948, merc. AFRICAN ENDEAVOR 1949. To NDRF 26 Oct 60, sold by MA 9 Apr 69, to buyer 1 May 69.

Page Notes:
AP        1942
Compiled:        04-Sep-2005
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2005