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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS West Point (AP-23)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Whiskey - Golf - Bravo
NWGB
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with bronze "A" clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


West Point Class Transport:
  • Laid down, 22 August 1938, as SS America under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1) at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 31 August 1939
  • Entered service for the United States Lines, 22 August 1940
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 1 June 1941
  • Commissioned, USS West Point (AP-23), 16 June 1941- at Newport News, VA., CAPT. Frank H. Kelley, Jr. USN in command
  • Decommissioned and transferred the Maritime Commission, 28 February 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 12 March 1946

    Post-War Mercantile History
    Reconverted for commercial service at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
    Re-acquired by United States Line, renamed SS America
    Sold to Chandris Shipping Line in October 1964, renamed SS Australis
    Sold to Venture Cruise Lines in 1978, renamed SS America
    Sold to Chandris Shipping Line in 1980; renamed SS Italis
    Sold to Inter Commerce Corp., in 1980; renamed SS Noga
    Sold to Silver Moon Ferries Ltd., in 1984; renamed SS Alfredoss
    Sold to Chaophraya Transport Co. in 1994, renamed SS American Star
  • Final Disposition, while under tow grounded and destroyed, January 1994 at Fuertventura Canary Islands
    Specifications:
    Displacement 26,455 t.(lt) 35,400 t.(fl)
    Length 723'
    Beam 93' 3"
    Draft 32' 9"
    Speed 24 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 57
    Enlisted 912
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 587
    Enlisted 7,091
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    Cargo Capacity 400 DWT
    non-refrigerated 110,243 Cu ft
    Armament
    four single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight .50 cal machine guns
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 32,100 Bbls
    Diesel 525 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Newport News Shipbuilding turbines
    six Babcock and Wilcox "A"-type boilers, 430psi 725°
    double De Laval Main Reduction Gears
    four turbo-drive 600Kw 100/240 D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    twin propellers, 34,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Pre-War Merchant Service
    West Point 268k SS America under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
    Photoprint by US Maritime Commission. No. 946. This record contains unverified data from caption card. Caption card tracings: WWII; Shipbuilding; Ships--AMERICA. REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b33534 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b33534 CARD #: 2002715694
    Robert Hurst
    West Point 109k SS America soon after launching, Newport News Shipbuilding, 31 August 1939 Charley Rago
    West Point 37k SS America underway in Hampton Roads enroute to the open sea for builders trials in 1940. US Maritime Commission photo. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 892k SS America underway during her maiden voyage New York to the West Indies, 22 August 1940. Photo © US Lines. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 193k SS America arriving at New York, date unknown.
    Photo from "Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893" (1979) by Nicholas T. Cairis.
    Tommy Trampp
    West Point 244k SS America departing New York in 1940. Photo by John Bloke from the collection of Richard I.Weiss ©1992. Tommy Trampp
    USS West Point (AP-23)
    West Point 61k USS West Point (AP-23) arriving, New York from Lisbon in August 1941. Paul Morrell
    West Point 140k Wire Photo of Egyptian Ship SS Zam Zam survivors arriving at New York aboard USS West Point (AP-23), 1 August 1941. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 75k USS West Point (AP-23) arriving, New York circa 1941-1946. Charley Rago
    West Point 115k USS West Point (AP-23) underway, circa 1941-1946, location unknown. Charley Rago
    West Point 36k USS West Point (AP-23) underway, 7 June 1943, location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    West Point 36k USS West Point (AP-23) underway, circa 1943, location unknown.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-71251, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    West Point 51k USS West Point (AP-23) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    West Point 76k USS West Point (AP-23) underway, date and location unknown. US Navy photo. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 113k USS West Point (AP-23) in the harbor at La Harve, France while loading troops from a barge, 7 April 1945. Paul Morrell
    West Point
    80-G-K-5783-A
    66k USS West Point (AP-23) steams into New York harbor bound for the New York City docks, while transporting troops home from Europe, 11 July 1945. Banners hanging from her superstructure identify the following U.S. Army units (from left to right): Fifth Corps; 347th Infantry Regiment; and 87th Infantry Division. Note West Point's pattern camouflage.
    US National Archives photo #'s 80-G-K-5783-A, 80-G-K-5780 and 80-G-K-5778
    Robert Hurst
    West Point
    80-G-K-5780
    58k
    West Point
    80-G-K-5778
    75k
    Post-War Merchant Service
    West Point 355k Ex-USS West Point (AP-23) re-entering passenger service for the United States Steamship Line as SS America departing New York on her "second" maiden voyage in November 1946. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 73k SS America departing Bremerhaven, Germany in the mid-1950s. Note the three tugs pushing the vessel - these are US-built harbor tugs, which had been sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen, after World War II and operated in and out of Bremerhaven for many years, before they were sold in the late 1960s to then Yugoslavia. As late as September 2004 one of the tugs was still in service as a crane utility vessel, in the port of Durres, Albania. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 104k SS America underway, date and location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 114k SS America arriving at Southampton, England, early 1960s.
    Photo from the Alex Wood collection.
    Chris Howell, SOUTHLAND SHIP STORES LIMITED, Port of BLUFF, NEW ZEALAND
    West Point 166k Post Card image of SS America underway. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 622k SS America berthed at the famous Columbus Pier at Bremerhaven, Germany in 1953. SS America shuttled regularly between New York and Bremerhaven from 1946 through 1964. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 877k SS America berthed at the legendary Columbus Pier at Bremerhaven, Germany in 1954. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 240k SS America moored pierside at New York, late-1950s. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 95k SS America, New York, April 1959 © Richard Leonhardt
    West Point 89k SS America moored pierside at Bremerhaven, (Germany), circa 1960. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 259k Post card image of SS America underway entering New York harbor, date unknown. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 1416k SS America cocktail bar coaster, 1960. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 339k Ex-USS West Point (AP-23) in the service of the Greek-owned, Chandris Shipping Line, renamed SS Australis, and Panama-flagged at anchor in August 1965. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    West Point 24k SS Australis underway, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    West Point 197k Post Card image of Chandris Shipping Line's SS Australis underway. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 82k Post Card image of Chandris Shipping Line's SS Australis underway. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 182k SS Australis arriving in the Port of Melbourne, Australia with migrants from Europe in 1972. Tommy Trampp
    West Point 281k SS Australis arriving at Aukland, New Zealand in 1973.
    Photo by Mike Cornwall.
    Chris Howell, SOUTHLAND SHIP STORES LIMITED, Port of BLUFF, NEW ZEALAND
    West Point 143k SS Australis at Sydney, Australia in 1978.
    Photos by Peter Davey.
    Chris Howell, SOUTHLAND SHIP STORES LIMITED, Port of BLUFF, NEW ZEALAND
    West Point 203k
    West Point 144k
    West Point 183k Ex-USS West Point (AP-23) in the service of Venture Cruise Lines as SS America, 1978. Charley Rago
    West Point 143k Ex-USS West Point (AP-23) as the Inter Commerce Corp., idled passenger liner SS Noga, laid up at anchor in the harbor at Piraeus, Greece, October 1981. She is alongside the SS Illinois (The Matson Lines ex-SS Lurline)
    Photo by Peter Davey.
    Chris Howell, SOUTHLAND SHIP STORES LIMITED, Port of BLUFF, NEW ZEALAND
    West Point 93k Ex-USS West Point (AP-23) in the service of Chaophraya Development Transport Co. SS American Star, circa 1992 Charley Rago
    West Point 1354k The forward half of the hulk of ex-SS American Star on the rocks at Fuertventura Canary Islands.
    Photo taken 2 July 2004 by Wollex.
    Robert Hurst
    West Point 25k The forward half of the hulk of ex-SS American Star aground at Fuertventura Canary Islands.
    Photo courtesy Darren Byrne.
    Robert Hurst

    USS West Point (AP-23)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Kelley, Jr., Frank H USN16 June 1941 - 8 May 1943
    02CAPT. Dyer Jr., Robert A. USN8 May 1943 - 8 April 1944
    03CAPT. Hayes, Webb C. USNR8 April 1944 - 28 February 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    SS America / SS Australis
    World War II Troopships - Record of Cruises

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 22 November 2013