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USS Heywood (AP-12) on 1 November 1941.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        HEYWOOD (APA-6)
Design:        Pass. & Cargo, 1919
Displacement (tons):        8,789 light, 14,450 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        507.0' oa, 486.0' pp x 56.0 e x 25.5' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 (1941: all)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8<14-20mm (1942-43: all);
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 16-20mm (1943-44: all), 4-3"/50 2-40mmT 8-20mmT (1945: APA 7-8)
Complement:        509 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        16
Propulsion (HP):        9,500
Machinery:        De Laval turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
APA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
6 HEYWOOD 26 Oct 40 Bethlehem Steel, Alameda 4 Jul 18 24 Dec 18 19 Feb 41
7 FULLER 12 Nov 40 Bethlehem Steel, Alameda 4 Jul 18 4 Nov 18 9 Apr 41
8 WILLIAM P. BIDDLE 13 Nov 40 Bethlehem Steel, Alameda 4 Jul 18 20 Oct 18 3 Feb 41
9 NEVILLE 14 Dec 40 Bethlehem Steel, Alameda 26 Mar 18 4 Jul 18 14 May 41

Disposition:
APA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
6 HEYWOOD 12 Apr 46 1 May 46 2 Jul 46 MC/R 30 Apr 57
7 FULLER 20 Mar 46 1 May 46 1 Jul 46 MC/R 26 Mar 57
8 WILLIAM P. BIDDLE 9 Apr 46 5 Jun 46 16 Jul 46 MC/R 26 Mar 57
9 NEVILLE 30 Apr 46 15 Aug 46 16 Jul 46 MC/R 26 Mar 57

Class Notes:
FY 1941. The five ships of this class (including AP-13, q.v.) began life as large 440-foot, 10.5-knot, 2,900-horsepower freighters ordered by the British during World War I (except that the future APA-6 was built on yard account) and requisitioned by the U. S. Shipping Board before completion. The EFC later built some ships of this type that it designated its Design 1032. In 1929 the Baltimore Mail Line purchased five of these ships and took advantage of the Jones-White Act of 1928 by converting them to passenger and cargo ships for a new transatlantic service between Baltimore and northern Europe. The act provided mail subsidies as an incentive for shipping companies to build their ships in U.S. shipyards and man them with U.S. crews. The freighters were transformed by the Federal SB & DD Co., Kearny, N.J. on plans by Gibbs and Cox, into 506-foot, 16-knot, 9,500 horsepower passenger and cargo ships with new raked bows and new sterns. The lead ship, CITY OF BALTIMORE, was floated out of drydock on 18 Dec 30 and ran trials on 28 May 31, making 18 knots on her fastest run. The service between Baltimore and northern Europe closed down when the line lost its mail contract and government subsidy at the end of 1937, and in 1938 the ships were sold to the Panama Pacific Line and operated in the New York-San Francisco coastal trade.

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 additional auxiliary vessels, ranging in size and type from transports to tugs. These included two transports in addition to two (AP 8-9, later APA 2-3) that were being requested separately. The Navy asked that the two ships be provided from a list of six candidates, but on 2 Jul 40 the MC replied that all six were considered by their owners as indispensable and suggested several alternatives, including the five Baltimore Mail vessels and two Grace Line ships. The Navy replied on 10 Jul 40 that the Baltimore Mail vessels "were not suitable on account of design" but that it would take the Grace ships, which became AP 10-11 (later APA 4-5). In October 1940 the Joint Board ordered the Navy to provide sufficient amphibious lift for an entire division of 15,000 men, and on 9 Oct 40 the Secretary of the Navy directed the acquisition of six more transports (AP 12-17) along with one provision store ship (AF-11), and seven high speed tankers (AO 27-33). This time the Navy accepted the five Baltimore Mail vessels (AP 12-16, of which four later became APA 6-9) and got one of the "Four Aces" (AP-17, later APA-10) to fill the requirement for the sixth ship. Since January 1935 the five Baltimore Mail vessels had been designated in Navy mobilization plans for conversion to destroyer tenders (XAD) and plans for these conversions had been distributed in 1936 and updated in 1939, but further work on these plans was postponed on 19 Nov 40 after the ships instead became combat loaded transports.

GEORGE F. ELLIOT (AP-13) was a sister to the four APAs of the HEYWOOD class but was lost before APA hull numbers were assigned; she is therefore listed separately in the transport (AP) section of this reference.

Ship Notes:
APA Name Notes
6 HEYWOOD Ex AP-12 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. CITY OF BALTIMORE, completed 8 May 19 as STEADFAST (ID-4006). Rebuilt and lengthened by Federal SB & DD, Kearny, N.J., completed June 1931. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. Commissioned in ordinary 8 Nov 40. To MC as CITY OF BALTIMORE 1946 but scrapped as HEYWOOD.
7 FULLER Ex AP-14 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. CITY OF NEWPORT NEWS, completed 28 Feb 19 as ARCHER (ID-3785), ex WAR WAVE. Rebuilt and lengthened by Federal SB & DD, Kearny, N.J., completed Nov. 1931. Converted by Lake Union DD, Seattle, Wash. Commissioned in ordinary 12 Nov 40. To MC as CITY OF NEWPORT NEWS 1946 (date also reported as 30 Jun 46), but scrapped as FULLER.
8 WILLIAM P. BIDDLE Ex AP-15 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, ex CITY OF HAMBURG (1938), completed 1 Feb 19 as ECLIPSE (ID-3790), ex WAR SURF. Rebuilt and lengthened by Federal SB & DD, Kearny, N.J., completed Sep. 1931. Converted by Moore DD, Oakland, Cal. Commissioned in ordinary 13 Nov 40. To MC as CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO 1946 but scrapped as WILLIAM P. BIDDLE.
9 NEVILLE Ex AP-16 1 Feb 43. Ex merc. CITY OF NORFOLK, completed 31 Oct 18 as INDEPENDENCE (ID-3676), ex WAR HARBOR, and served in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service between 16 Nov 18 and 20 Mar 19. Rebuilt and lengthened by Federal SB & DD, Kearny, N.J., completed July 1931. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. Commissioned in ordinary 19 Dec 40. To MC as CITY OF NORFOLK 1946, listed as INDEPENDENCE 1948, but scrapped as NEVILLE.

Page Notes:
APA        1940
Compiled:        12 May 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007