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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS President Polk (AP-103)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Kilo - Golf
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

President Jackson Class Transport:
  • Laid down, 7 October 1940, as a Maritime Commission type (C3A-P&C) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 110), at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 28 June 1941
  • Completed and delivered to American President Lines, 6 November 1941
  • Acquired by the War Shipping Administration from American President LInes, 12 May 1941 as a bare bottom charter
  • Operated for the War Shipping Administration by American President Lines under a General Agency Agreement from 12 May 1941 to 6 September 1943
  • Allocated by the War Shipping Administration to the U.S. Navy, 6 September 1943, as a sub bare bottom charter
  • Commissioned USS President Polk (AP-103), 4 October 1943, at San Diego, CA., CDR. Clarence J. Ballreich, USN in command
  • During World War II USS President Polk was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following operations:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation, 21 November to 3 December 1943 Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 11 January 1945
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Manila-Bicol operation
    Zambales Subic-Bay, 29 to 31 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 26 July 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 9 to 16 March 1945

  • Decommissioned and transferred to the Maritime Commission for operation by American President Lines under a General Agency Agreement, 26 January 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 25 February 1946
  • USS President Polk earned six battle stars for World War II service
  • Re-delivered to American President Lines, 12 May 1946
  • Sold, 15 July 1965, to Ganaderos del Mar, renamed SS Gaucho Martin Fierros, reflagged Liberian
  • Ganaderos del Mar renamed the ship SS Minotauros in 1966
  • Final Disposition, scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1970
    Displacement 15,475 t.(fl)
    Length 491' 10"
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 21' 10"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 30
    Enlisted 324
    Troop Capacity
    Officers 150
    Enlisted 2,336
    Cargo Capacity 2,800 DWT
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 15,200 Bbls
    one Newport News geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    War Shipping Administration
    President Polk
    283k Launching of SS President Polk, 28 June 1941, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
    Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA., photo
    Dale Hargrave
    President Polk 186k SS President Polk at a Tidewater, Virginia shipyard after builder's delivery, 6 November 1941. This was prior to being allocated the War Shipping Administration for American President Lines for operation on 5 December 1941.
    Photo by George Strock, Life Magazine. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    USS President Polk (AP-103)
    President Polk 99k USS President Polk (AP-103) at anchor in San Francisco Bay circa November or December 1945.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 78584, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    President Polk
    28k USS President Polk (AP-103) unknown Division group photo, date and location unknown Robert Burke for his father Ed Burke S1/c USS President Polk
    President Polk
    343k USS President Polk (AP-103) underway with an assault force for Guam, departing Eniwetok, 17 July 1944, as TG53.2. As seen from USS Ringgold (DD-500) in the screen, photo by ENS. D. Spayth, USNR. Dave Schroeder and
    John Chiquoine
    Merchant Service American President Lines.
    President Polk 187k Ex-USS President Polk (AP-103) in commercial service as American President Lines cargo-passenger liner SS President Polk moored pierside, circa 1960.
    Photo © S. Rohbrecht
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS President Polk (AP-103)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Ballreich, Clarence John, USN (USNA 1919)4 October 1943 - 1 September 1945
    02LT. Adams, James J., USNR (temporary)1 September 1945 - 5 September 1945
    03CDR. Boyce, Thomas Edward, USN (USNA 1923)5 September 1945 - 26 January 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service 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 5 January 2023