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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USAT Willard A. Holbrook
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Willard A. Holbrook (AP-44)


Passenger Transport:
  • Laid down, 3 October 1918, as SS Bertice under USSB contract 1165 at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 24 July 1920
  • Completed and delivered, 30 April 1921 as SS Buckeye State
  • Acquired by the American President Line, name changed to SS President Taft in 1923
  • Acquired by the US War Department, 17 June 1941, for use as an Army Transport, renamed USAT Willard A. Holbrook
  • Designated (AP-44) by the US Navy but never taken over by the Navy remaining under Army control throughout World War II
  • Conversion to Army hospital ship USAHS Armin W. Leuschner in 1944 at Mobile, AL canceled, reverted to transport USAT Willard A. Holbrook in 1945
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group, 8 March 1948
  • Title transferred to the Maritime Commission, 21 July 1948
  • Transferred to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA., 11 November 1949
  • Declared surplus to Maritime Commission needs, 12 December 1949
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 29 October 1957, to Bethlehem Steel Co.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,696 t.(lt) 14,476 t.(fl)
    Length 491'
    Beam 65'
    Draft 25' 7"
    Speed 17.9 kts.
    Compliment unknown
    Troop Capacity unknown
    Armament (1945)
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Propulsion
    one General Electric steam turbine
    single propeller, 7,800shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Holbrook 124k SS President Taft, dry docked at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1924. Tommy Trampp
    USAT William A. Holbrook
    Holbrook 123k USAT Willard A. Holbrook underway circa 1941, looking like a recruiting poster for the Army. At this time she still retained the name President Taft from her previous service with the American President Line, Originally designated AP-44 by the Navy but handed over to and operated by the Army.
    US Army Military History Institute photo and text from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover
    Robert Hurst
    Holbrook 23k USAT Willard A. Holbrook arriving at Brisbane, 22 December 1941. State Library of Queensland, Australia
    Holbrook 130k Shellback certificate issued to Ken Kohler for crossing the Equator while aboard USAT Willard A. Holbrook, date unknown. Carol Edgemon Hipperson for Evi Kohler the widow of Ken Kohler

    There is no DANFS history available for Willard A. Holbrook (AP-44) at NavSource
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Ship's Newspaper "Holbrook Hearld"
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 18 July 2014