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president monroe

USS President Monroe (AP-104)

USS President Monroe (AP-104) was a President Jackson class transport that served with the US Navy during World War II.

President Monroe was the sixth of seven C3-P&C type vessels built for American President Lines around-the-world service just prior to the outbreak of World War II. She was laid down 13 November 1939 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia; and launched 7 August 1940.

World War II

The new SS President Monroe was just clearing San Francisco Bay on her maiden voyage around the world when word was flashed to her Master to return, as Japan had just attacked Pearl Harbor. She and her six sisterships were immediately acquired by War Shipping Administration on bareboat charter for outfitting for war service.

Transferred to the Navy 18 July 1943, President Monroe shifted to Pool, McGonigle & Jennings Company yard of Portland, Oregon for alterations. Commissioned 20 August, Capt. G. C. Morrison in command, she departed Portland 24 August for the Bremerton Navy Yard for conversion and outfitting.

After brief shakedown, she commenced her first "pay" run 9 September on the Aleutian Service. Carrying replacement troops and cargo, she steamed for Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Adak, Alaska. She also embarked assault troops at Kiska and transported them to Pearl Harbor, and then returned to San Francisco to be outfitted with landing craft.

Gilbert Islands invasion

Departing the west coast 3 November, the transport joined forces that were marshaling at Pearl Harbor for the first move of the Central Pacific Drive--the Gilbert Islands invasion. She arrived Abemama Atoll on the morning of the 27th bringing the atoll's garrison group cargo and personnel. She touched at Tarawa before sailing for Pearl Harbor with battleship and transport .

Marshall Islands operations

She remained at Pearl Harbor until 23 January 1944, when she embarked a contingent of marines and steamed for Kwajalein Atoll. She next transported assault troops to Eniwetok, participating through 25 February in the successful landings on Engebi, Eniwetok, and Parry. Departing Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll 29 February, she called at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, and then was routed to Guadalcanal.

Invasion of Guam

Following a cruise to Milne Bay, Manus Island and New Caledonia, the transport engaged in logistics and practice landings for the assault on Guam. Between 21 and 26 July, she discharged troops and cargo off Guam, then steamed for Eniwetok to embark wounded before proceeding to San Pedro, California, arriving 22 August 1944. By 4 November, she once again stood out from San Diego and ended the year operating between Guadalcanal, New Caledonia, and Port Purvis.

She joined the well-screened Task Group 77.9 en route Lingayen Gulf 2 January 1945, and unloaded troops and cargo in the San Fabian area between 11 and 13 January. Propulsion problems necessitated repairs at Leyte, after which she steamed in convoy for Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, thence to Ulithi. There she was designated flagship for Transport Division "D" of Task Unit 12.6.1 and steamed for Iwo Jima, arriving 18 March. Embarking troops there, she steamed for Hawaii, en route to San Francisco.

After hostilities

Through the end of 1945 she made several runs to Pacific Island bases. With the end of hostilities, she extended her cruises to Japan and participated in Operation Magic Carpet, the giant sealift organized to bring demobilizing servicemen home.

Decommission

The transport entered Hunter's Point Naval Drydock 12 January 1946, decommissioned, and was redelivered to WSA 30 January, returned to American President Lines 21 February, and struck from the Navy List 12 March.

Commercial service

Following decommission, President Monroe was returned to American President Lines for commercial service on 21 February 1947. She was sold in 1965 to the Greek Shipping Company, reflagged, and renamed SS Marianna V. She was scrapped in 1973.

Awards

President Monroe received five battle stars for World War II service.

Footnotes

References

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