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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Hermitage (AP-54)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Delta - Bravo
NEDB
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


Hermitage Class Transport:
  • Laid down and launched in 1925 as SS Conte Biancamano at William Beardmore and Co., Ltd., Dalmuir, Scotland, for Lloyd Triestino SA. anon di Nav. of Italy
  • Interned at Balboa C.Z. in December 1941
  • Assigned to the US Navy and converted to a Naval Transport at William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Commissioned, USS Hermitage (AP-54), 14 August 1942, CAPT. Donald F. Patterson in command
  • During World War II USS Hermitage served in both the Europe-Africa-Middle East and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters
  • Decommissioned, 20 August 1946, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register and transferred to the War Department, 20 August 1946
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 8 November 1946
  • Returned to Italian Government, 29 November 1948 per Executive Order 9935 signed by President Truman, 16 March 1948
  • Final Disposition, scrapped in Italy in 1960
    Specifications:
    Displacement 24,465 t.(lim)
    Length 655'
    Beam 66' 1"
    Draft 26' 6" (lim)
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 47
    Enlisted 863
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 351
    Enlisted 5,753
    Largest Boom Capacity 7 t.
    Cargo Capacity 500DWT
    non-refrigerated 90,000 Cu ft.
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    six single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 28,500 Bbls
    Diesel 750 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Beardmore Co. (Scotland) steam turbines
    nine Scotch boilers, 220psi 540°
    double Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    three turbo-drive 150Kw 110V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    twin propellers, 24,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione
    Hermitage 52k Post card image of SS Conte Biancamano underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 142k Lloyd Sabaudo post card images of SS Conte Biancamano at anchor, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 21k
    Hermitage 73k SS Conte Biancamano underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 147k SS Conte Biancamano main dining room Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 149k SS Conte Biancamano advertisement Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 130k SS Conte Biancamano at Balboa in the Canal Zone, 11 June 1940. The Italian liner arrived there, 5 June 1940, and was ordered by Rome to delay her scheduled transit of the Canal enroute Gibraltar and Genoa from Chile because Italy was about to declare war on Britain. Canal Zone police were put on board to prevent sabotage, civil debt suits were filed against the ship, and on 27 June 1940 she was moved to an anchorage in Limon Bay near Cristobal.
    Photo courtesy Shipscribe.com
    Mike Green
    Mallard 134k 5 April 1941
    Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone
    Photo caption: "The 23,225-ton Italian liner Comte Biancamano [later Hermitage (AP 54)], as she was taken over by U.S. Naval units here March 30, by order of the U.S. Government. Alongside is the USS Mallard (ASR-4) from which a boarding party went on the liner, one of the twenty-eight Italian ships seized in U.S. Territorial waters. Five hundred members of the crew are to be transferred to New York, it was learned yesterday."
    Wide World photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 146k Stewardesses from the seized Italian Liner SS Conte Biancamano seized by US authorities in the Panama Canal Zone, 30 March 1941, reached Brooklyn aboard USAT Leonard Wood, 10 April 1941. Associated Press Photo. Tommy Trampp
    Hermitage 116k The Italia Line Societa Di Navigazione passenger liner SS Conte Biancamano ex-USS Hermitage (AP-54) underway in the 1950s after being reconverted and renovated for Italian civilian service. The bow of the elderly ship was restyled to give her a more modern appearance.
    Photo courtesy Shipscribe.com
    Mike Green
    Hermitage 147k The Italia Line Societa Di Navigazione passenger liner SS Conte Biancamano ex-USS Hermitage (AP-54) moored pierside in the 1950s. Tommy Trampp
    USS Hermitage (AP-54)
    Hermitage 100k Hermitage (AP-54) ex-SS Conte Biancamano moored pierside at the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, PA., 3 April 1942, shortly after her arrival from the Panama Canal Zone, where this former Italian ship had been interned and then taken over by the U.S.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. Unknown a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Hermitage 90k USS Hermitage (AP-54) underway, 15 September 1942, near the Philadelphia Navy Yard after completing conversion.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-35035A a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Hermitage 29k USS Hermitage (AP-54) underway, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Hermitage 62k USS Hermitage (AP-54) underway, January 1943, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Hermitage 743k Midships view looking forward of USS Hermitage (AP-54) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 25 March 1943.
    US Navy photo File name: AP54 2027-3-43 from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Hermitage 712k Midships view looking aft of USS Hermitage (AP-54) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 25 March 1943.
    US Navy photo File name: AP54 2028-3-43 from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Hermitage
    AP54 2060-3-43
    471k USS Hermitage (AP-54) departing Mare Island Navy Yard, 26 March 1943
    US Navy photo File names:
    AP54 2060-3-43
    AP54 2061-3-43

    and AP54 2062-3-43 from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-44213.
    Darryl Baker - Mare Island Navy Yard photos
    Mike Green - US National Archives photo.
    Hermitage
    AP54 2061-3-43
    525k
    Hermitage
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-44213
    100k
    Hermitage
    AP54 2062-3-43
    426k
    Hermitage 134k USS Hermitage (AP-54) screw under repair at Navy Yard Mare Island inside machine ship (Shop 31), 22 March 1944. Hermitage was at Mare Island for emergency docking (appears she chewed-up some bottom with her screw) in dock #2 from 17 March until 19 March 1944. Possibly the screw was removed and repaired by Mare Island and then ship and screw where reunited in a Hunters Point dry dock.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 1845-44
    Darryl Baker
    Hermitage 276k Series of photographs of USS Hermitage (AP-54) returning from a Magic Carpet cruise between Guam and San Francisco, mid-1946. Passengers included a SeaBee Battalion. David Upton
    Hermitage 128k USS Hermitage (AP-54) entering Pearl Harbor, 25 July 1946, carrying military personnel and dependents near the end of her Navy career. USS Hermitage and her sister USS Monticello (AP-61) both returned to service in the Italian merchant marine after the war.
    US National Archives, RG-80-G, Photo No. 80-G-384480
    Mike Green
    USAT Hermitage
    Hermitage 303k USAT Hermitage in dry dock No. 1 at Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipyard, San Francisco, CA., 26 June 1947. Note that her funnels are painted in the Italian Tricolor.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Hermitage 408k USAT Hermitage passing under the Carquinez Bridge as she is moved up the Sacramento River in June 1947 by US Army tugs.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Hermitage 616k USAT Hermitage passing the C&H Sugar Plant on her starboard side as she continues up the Sacramento River in June 1947. Army Tug LT-815 is on her port stern.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker

    USS Hermitage (AP-54)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Patterson, Donald Flanner14 August 1942 - 27 October 1942
    02CAPT. Douglas, Alexander Dean27 October 1942 - 19 December 1942
    03CDR. Kelsey, John Donald :RADM19 December 1942 - 23 December 1942
    06CAPT. Mills, George Henry :COMO12 July 1945 - 20 August 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Magic Carpet Photos
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Reunion Contact
    Contact: Frank Calvarese
    Place: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
    Date: Annually in October
    E-mail: USS Hermitage (AP-54) Reunions

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 2 June 2017