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USS Dorothea L. Dix (AP-67) circa late 1942
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Class:        DOROTHEA L. DIX (AP-67)
Design:        MC C3-E
Displacement (tons):        5,933 light, 12,580 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        473.0' oa, 450.0' pp x 66.0' e x 24.0' lim.
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 4-20mm (1942)
Later armaments:        1-4"/50 8-20mm (1942);
4-3"/50 2-40mmT 12-20mm (1943)
Complement:        --
Speed (kts.):        17.5
Propulsion (HP):        8,000
Machinery:        Bethlehem turbine, 1 screw

AP Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
67 DOROTHEA L. DIX 13 Sep 42 Bethlehem Steel, Quincy 11 Nov 39 22 Jun 40 17 Sep 42

AP Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
67 DOROTHEA L. DIX 24 Apr 46 8 May 46 24 Apr 46 RTO --

Class Notes:
FY 1943. Called C3-E Cargo by the MC. The C3-E was among the first C3 types built under the Maritime Commission's shipbuilding program, four ships (including AK-41) being ordered in August 1938. The C3-E was designed privately for the American Export Line and differed from all other C3's in being shorter (473 vice 489 to 492 feet) and in having an old fashioned counter stern (a distinctive feature of American Export ships into the 1950s). The initial quartet was followed by four more C3-E's (including AP-67 and AKA-10) and then by 15 ships of the nearly identical C3-S-A3 type (including the APA-55 class). EXEMPLAR was used by the British in 1941-42 under the name EMPIRE WIDGEON. Her 4"/50 gun was installed in May 1942 following her return by the British. On 1 Aug 42 CominCh directed that arrangements be made immediately for the partial conversion and the manning by Navy crews of ten vessels, which he specified by name and which became AP 42-43 and 66-73, for use in connection with "prospective movements overseas of U. S. troops." (the North Africa landings). On 3 Aug 42 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended acquisition of these ships, three from the Army and seven including EXEMPLAR from WSA. They were to be Navy manned and converted to modified combat loaded transports. The "must" items for these conversions were that the vessels be able to run, shoot, hoist and lower landing boats and tank lighters, mess and berth their complements, and have bulk gas and Diesel stowage for fueling the landing craft, plus such other items of a combat loaded transport as might be possible during the limited availability. Specifically, the Board recommended that provision be made for carrying the maximum number of landing boats and tank lighters, including adequate fuel stowage for them, along with the accomplishment of such other conversion features as might be applicable on a not-to-delay basis. The Board noted that the program was an urgent one--the conversions were to be completed within 30 days of the arrival of the ships at the conversion yards or as soon thereafter as possible.

EXEMPLAR, which became USS DOROTHEA L. DIX (AP-67), was one of four WSA ships (AP-67 and 69-71) whose conversion was to be accomplished by and paid for by the Army. Navy personnel were to have full access to the ships while undergoing conversion, but the Board recommended that, to avoid legal complications, they not be acquired and commissioned in the Navy until the major conversion features were complete. The Army took custody of the ship from the MC on 14 Aug 42. Her conversion instructions called for stowage for 16 landing boats and 4 tank lighters. She had two Welin davits and carried most of her boats on deck. Two more ships being converted by the Army (AP 76-77) were soon added to the program, and all six Army conversions were taken over by the Navy at the same time on 13 Sep 42.

In March 1945 the Bureau of Ships asked CNO for clarification regarding the classification of AP-67, 69-71 and 76-77. The Bureau noted that although the ships were designated as AP's they had been employed for some time as APA's. They were under the control of amphibious forces and were sometimes referred to as "XAP" to indicate their special status. (Regular transports were assigned to service forces.) In consequence, BuShips had channeled its actions toward increasing their effectiveness as APA's. The Bureau added that it was not reasonable to expect that any one vessel could be both a fully effective AP and a fully effective APA, as the basic characteristics of the two types differed materially. CNO replied that since their original commissioning these ships, although classified AP, had served as assault transports with short intermittent tours of straight AP duty. CNO expected that this practice would continue and had from time to time issued directives calling for gradual conversion of the ships from AP to APA as shipyard overhaul schedules permitted. He concluded that, upon completion of this conversion, a change in the classification would be up for consideration, though such action never took place.

Ship Notes:
AP Name MC# Notes
67 DOROTHEA L. DIX 102 Ex merc. EXEMPLAR (ID-5011, completed Aug 40). To UK as EMPIRE WIDGEON 19 Apr 41, returned 17 Apr 42. Converted for Army by Bethlehem Steel, Hoboken, N.J. 17 Aug 42-23 Sep 42. Merc. EXEMPLAR 1946. Scrapped 1968.

Page Notes:
AP        1942
Compiled:        05 Jun 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007