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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Ancon (AGC-4)
ex
USS Ancon (AP-66) (1942 - 1943)
USAT Ancon (1942)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Victor - Papa
NTVP
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row -Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (4) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippine Liberation Medal - Philippine Independence Medal


Ancon Class Amphibious Force Command Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Ancon for the Panama Railroad Co., at Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 24 September 1938
  • Delivered to the Panama Railroad Co., 16 June 1939
  • Acquired by the Army Transportation Service, 11 January 1942 and commissioned USAT Ancon
  • Acquired by the Navy, 7 August 1942
  • Commissioned USS Ancon (AP-66), 12 August 1942, LCDR. D. H. Swinson in command
  • Reclassified USS Ancon (AGC-4), 26 February 1943
  • Converted to an Amphibious Force Command Ship, 16 February 1943 through 21 April 1943, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA.
  • During World War II USS Ancon was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and then reassigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    North Africa occupation
    Algeria-Morocco landings, 8 to 11 November 1942
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 April to 3 June 1945
    Sicilian occupation, 9 to 15 July 1943  
    Salerno landings, 9 to 21 September 1943  
    Invasion of Normandy, 6 to 25 June 1944
    Task Force 122 - Assault Force "O" - RADM Hall USN
     

  • Following World War II USS Ancon was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 to 20 September 1945
    2 October to 30 November 1945

  • Decommissioned, 25 February 1946, at New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • Returned to the Panama Railroad Co. in July 1951 for commercial service until, 20 April 1961
  • Title returned to the Maritime Administration by the Panama Railroad Co., 29 June 1962
  • Loaned to the Maine Maritime Academy, 29 June 1961, for use as the schools training ship
  • renamed TS State of Maine, 14 July 1962
  • Returned to the MARAD, 25 May 1973
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 9 May 1973, to North American Smelting Co., delivered, 25 May 1973, scrapping completed, 22 August 1985
  • USS Ancon earned five battle stars for her World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 10,021 t.(lt) 14,150 t.(fl)
    Length 493'
    Beam 64'
    Draft 26' 3"
    Speed 18 kts.
    Complement
    Officers54
    Enlisted 653
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Armament
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    fourteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 10,245 Bbls
    Diesel 275 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Bethlehem Steel steam turbine engines
    two Yarrow boilers, 465psi 765°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    three turbo-drive 350Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 100Kw 450V A.C.
    twin propellers, 10,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By / Source
    Commercial Service
    Ancon 141k Pre-WWII post card image of the Panama Lines passenger liner SS Ancon underway. Tommy Trampp
    Ancon 72k Pre-WWII image of SS Ancon underway, circa 1939-1941, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # NH 99212, a US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Ancon 185k Post-WWII image of SS Ancon under tow in Boston Harbor, 13 June 1947.
    Photo ©"Boston Herald"
    Tommy Trampp
    USS Ancon (AP-66)
    Ancon 81k USS Ancon (AP-66) underway near Boston Navy Yard, 12 September 1942. She has been fitted as a combat loaded transport with three sets of Welin davits on each side to handle landing craft but does not yet have any special communications or radar antennas.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo #s 19-N-34029 and 19-N-34028, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 66k
    Ancon 68k USS Ancon (AP-66) underway off Norfolk, VA., 15 October 1942. Evident signs of her conversion are the guns forward and aft and the air search radar antenna placed, unusually, at the fore end of the ship's funnel.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photo and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Ancon (AGC-4)
    Ancon 113k Aerial view of USS Ancon (AGC-4) underway off Norfolk, VA., 24 April 1943, after conversion to an Amphibious Force Command Ship. The big radar antenna on her lattice mast is for an SK long-range air search set. Note that she retained her four attack transport davits.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photo and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 88k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor in Chesapeake Bay, 8 May 1943, after conversion from a troop transport to an amphibious command ship (AGC). Note that some of her civilian bow ornamentation, although painted over, is still visible.
    US Navy photo # NH 95389
    Robert Hurst and Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Ancon 92k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor, 11 June 1943, during preparations for the invasion of Sicily.
    US Navy photo # NH 99148
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 91k USS Ancon (AGC-4) surface plotting area, probably the Navy Operations Room adjacent to or part of the Joint Operations Room, 3 July 1943 shortly before the invasion of Sicily. Note plotting crew with charts on multiple tables, sound powered phones, communications gear in cabinets at left, speaking tubes on bulkhead at right, and aircraft status board on bulkhead at rear.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-215068, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 108k Status board in the Joint Operations Room, USS Ancon (AGC-4), 3 July 1943. This board shows the disposition of Task Force 85 ships shortly before the invasion of Sicily.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-215080, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 93k Joint Operations Room, USS Ancon (AGC-4), 3 July 1943 shortly before the invasion of Sicily. Command personnel are manning the stations on the raised platform at the left. The two horizontal plots may be the air plot table (foreground) and local plot table (background). The task force disposition status board is on a bulkhead at the left rear. A radio transmitting keyboard is in use in the foreground. Note the extensive use of sound powered phones. Chalked on the vertical status board at right is the statement "Again we have been asked to do the impossible. Let's do it as usual."
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-215083, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 88k Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, U.S. Army, on the navigation bridge of USS Ancon (AGC-4), en route to the invasion of Sicily, 7 July 1943. With him is CAPT. Timothy Wellings, USN.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-86325, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 58k Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN on the bridge of his flagship, USS Ancon (AGC-4), during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-302134, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 113k Vice Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, USN (left), Commander Western Naval Task Force (Task Force 80) with his Chief of Staff and Aide, Rear Admiral Spencer S. Lewis, USN, on board USS Ancon (AGC-4), flagship for the Salerno Landings in September 1943. Note the binoculars worn by both men.
    US Navy photo # NH 99213, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 179k Vice Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, USN (right), who commanded American naval forces during the invasions of Morocco, Sicily, and Salerno, on the deck of his flagship, USS Ancon (AGC-4), with war correspondent Quentin Reynolds.
    US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 96k Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN inspecting the crew of USS Ancon (AGC-4), 9 September 1943, at the time of the Salerno operation. Note these Sailors' dyed "white" hats and pneumatic life belts.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-302132, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 41k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor, 11 September, 1943, in Salerno Bay, Italy. Note unidentified Italian submarine alongside. The War Story of the Ancon, Cristobal & Panama
    Ancon 78k USS Ancon (AGC-4) off the Salerno beachhead, 12 September 1943 serving as operation flagship. Note the US Navy submarine chasers (SCs) laying smoke screens to protect the larger ships.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-87314, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Ancon 55k Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, U.S. Army, Commanding General, Fifth Army, on board USS Ancon (AGC-4) during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-87335, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 60k USS Ancon (AGC-4) underway, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in World War II
    Ancon 23k USS Ancon (AGC-4) off Normandy, 7 June 1944, PC-565 is in the foreground
    US Navy photo # 80-N-257287
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,
    Vol. 1, pg. 283
    Ancon 74k King George VI, of Great Britain (center) inspecting USS Ancon (AGC-4), 25 May 1944, shortly before the invasion of Normandy. Accompanying him are: Rear Admiral John L. Hall, Jr., USN (right background); and Commander Mead S. Pearson, USN, Ancon's Commanding Officer (right).
    US Navy photo # NH 99131, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, donation of Captain George W. Mead, Jr., USN, 1969.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 75k Royal Navy Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay and US Navy Rear Admiral John L. Hall, Jr. aboard USS Ancon (AGC-4), 25 May 1944.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-45713, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Ancon 84k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor off Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 1944. Robert Hurst
    Ancon 62k Starboard bow view of USS Ancon (AGC-4) underway off Charleston Navy Yard, S.C., 21 December3 1944. She is wearing Measure 31a, Design 18Ax camouflage and has a small hull number at bow.
    US Navy photo # NH 96391 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 64k Starboard quarter view of USS Ancon (AGC-4) underway off Charleston Navy Yard, S.C., 21 December3 1944. She is wearing Measure 31a, Design 18Ax camouflage and has a small hull number at bow.
    US Navy photo # NH 96390 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 83k USS Ancon (AGC-4) underway off Charleston Navy Yard, S.C., 21 December3 1944. She is wearing Measure 31a, Design 18Ax camouflage. (Note the photo is mis-dated 21 December 1945)
    US Navy photo # NH 95392-A from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 85k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor in Manila Bay, Philippine Islands in August 1945, She is wearing Measure 31a, Design 18Ax camouflage and has a large hull number painted on her bow.
    US Navy photo # NH 99150 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Ancon 105k
    Ancon 54k USS Ancon (AGC-4) at anchor with the fleet in Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945, during then formal Japanese surrender, as navy carrier planes fly information overhead. She is wearing Measure 31a, Design 18Ax camouflage and has a large hull number on her bow
    US Army Signal Corps. photo # SC 106337 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy Maine Maritime Academy.
    Robert Hurst
    TS State of Maine
    Ancon 101k TS State of Maine in port, probably, at Castine, Maine, while serving as the Maine Maritime Academy's training ship, circa 1962-1973. Photograph by the Maine Maritime Academy.
    US Navy photo # NH 99237, a US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Ancon 122k TS State of Maine moored pierside at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad building, Jacksonville, FL. during her 1964 winter training cruise.
    US Navy photo # NH 99238, a US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Ancon 271k TS State of Maine moored pierside, date and location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Ancon (AGC-4)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Swinson, David H.12 August 1942 - 10 December 1942 AP-66
    02CAPT. Mather, Paul Luker :RADM10 December 1942 - 13 March 1944 AGC-4
    03CDR. Pearson, Mead Saltonstall :RADM13 March 1944 - 2 May 1945 AGC-4
    04CAPT. Lankenau, Wilfred Eric2 May 1945 - ? AGC-4
    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
    Maine Maritime Academy
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 8 November 2013