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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)
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USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) (1941 - 1943)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Golf - Victor
NIGV
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Medal (with Fleet clasp)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (2) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)


Heywood Class Transport:
  • Laid down (date unknown) for the British government as SS War Surf at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Alameda, CA.
  • Completed in 1919 under USSB contract as SS Eclipse
  • Acquired by Baltimore Mail Steamship Co, Baltimore, MD., circa 1929
  • Reconstructed at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.
  • Renamed SS City of Hamburg
  • Acquired by Panama Pacific Lines in 1939, renamed SS City of San Francisco
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 13 November 1940, simultaneously commissioned "in ordinary" USS William P. Biddle (AP-15), CAPT. Campbell D. Edgar in command
  • Converted for Naval service as a Transport at Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Placed in full commission, 3 February 1941, CAPT. Campbell D. Edgar in command
  • Reclassified Amphibious Attack Transport, (APA-8), 1 February 1943
  • During World War II USS William P. Biddle was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle EAst Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS William P. Biddle came under the command of
    TransRon Thirteen, COMO. M. O. Carlson USN (16);
    TransDiv Thirty-Eight CAPT. P.P. Welch USN (18) and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    North African occupation
    Algeria-Morocco occupation, 8 to 11 November 1942
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa, 20 to 24 November 1943
    Sicilian occupation
    Scoglitti, 9 to 15 July 1943
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, 17 February 1944
      Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 25 July 1944
      Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20 October and 14 November 1944
      Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945

  • Decommissioned, 9 April 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
  • Turned over to the Maritime Commission, 17 July 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 26 March 1957, to Boston Metals, Baltimore, MD., removed from reserve 11 April 1957
  • USS William P. Biddle earned seven battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 8,000 t.(lt) 14,450 t.(lim)
    Length 507'
    Beam 56'
    Draft 25' 6"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    45 Officers
    515 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    66 Officers
    990 Enlisted
    Cargo Capacity150,000 cu ft, 2,900t.
    Armament (1945)
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts Fuel Oil Capacity
    Navy Standard Fuel Oil 11,475 bbls.
    Diesel 300 bbls.
    Propulsion
    four Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers
    one De Laval gear drive steam turbine
    four Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers 365psi 750°
    double De Laval main reduction gears
    three turbo ships service generators, 150kW 120V D.C.
    single propeller, designated shaft horsepower 9,500

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    William P Biddle 212k SS City of Hamburg underway, circa 1939-40. David C. Hoover
    USS William P. Biddle (AP-15)
    William P Biddle 103k
    Namesake

    William Phillips Biddle—born in Philadelphia, Pa., on 17 December 1853—was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 22 June 1875. After sea duty in Hartford and Powhatan, he served at the Marine Barracks at Philadelphia and New York before he returned to sea duty in Kearsarge in 1882. Promoted to 1st lieutenant two years later and to captain in 1894, Biddle served in the cruiser Baltimore in June 1895 and shortly afterwards was transferred to the cruiser Olympia, in which he served during the Spanish-American War, and took part in the Battle of Manila Bay in April 1898. He later commanded the marines ashore in the Philippines who had secured the Cavite Navy Yard and established outposts covering the approaches to Manila. Biddle next served in Marine expeditionary forces in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and in pacification operations during the Philippine Insurrection from 1901 to 1903 before he returned to the United States for duty at Headquarters, Marine Corps. Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 23 March 1903, Biddle commanded a reinforcing battalion of marines embarked in the auxiliary cruiser Dixie sent to Panama when a revolution broke out there in November 1903. The ship arrived just in time to participate in the celebrations honoring the independence of that country from Colombia. Later promoted to colonel in 1905, Biddle was chosen commandant of the Marine Corps on 3 February 1911 and served in that post until his retirement on 24 February 1914 with the rank of major general. During his tenure, Biddle emphasized training and established recruit depots at Philadelphia; Port Royal, S.C.; Mare Island, Calif.; and Puget Sound, Wash. Recalled to active duty during World War I, Biddle served primarily on court-martial duty at San Diego before returning to private life after a second retirement. On 24 February 1923—exactly nine years after his initial retirement, Biddle died at Nice, France. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
    Photo from the USMC Historical Division
    Bill Gonyo
    William P Biddle 236k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) in San Francisco Bay after initial alterations, Mare Island Navy Yard, CA. 21 February 1941.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 459k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) newly painted, anchored off Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. in July 1941.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    Heywood 91k From left to right USS William P. Biddle (AP-15), USS Heywood (AP-12), and USS Harry Lee (AP-17) underway in convoy to Iceland, circa 7 September 1941.
    US Navy photo # NH 47005, from the collection of US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Fuller 100k USS Fuller (AP-14), (left) and another transport [probably USS William P. Biddle (AP-15)), (right) unloading troops and equipment into landing craft outside the breakwater at Reykjavik, Iceland, circa 7-8 July 1941.
    US Navy Photo # NH 47011, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    William P Biddle 310k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) underway in Hampton Roads, 12 May 1942, after overhaul and additional conversions at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA., 12 May 1942.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 78k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) off Norfolk Navy Yard, 12 May 1942, after receiving new boat davits and other modifications. This ship and USS George F. Elliot (AP-13) were the only units of the class to upgrade to heavier Welin davits early in the war. Of the others, USS Heywood (AP-12) received them in 1945 and the other two never got them. Note the original stern armament of one 5"/51 and two 3"/50 guns.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM photo # 19-N-30471 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    William P Biddle 553k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) underway in Hampton Roads, 12 September 1942, with a fresh coat of paint and new radar, after overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 91k USS William P. Biddle (AP-15) underway in Hampton Roads, 12 September 1942, with a new radar, as marked, after overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft," by Norman Friedman..
    Robert Hurst
    USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)
    William P Biddle 131k Watercolor of USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) with LCM and LCVP, painted by Norman P. Volz S1c USS Biddle. David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 550 k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) combat loaded with the 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division departing Norfolk, VA., 8 June 1943, for the Mediterranean and the invasion of Sicily.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 379k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) underway in Hampton Roads, 4 August 1943, newly outfitted as an attack transport with Welin Davits and additional antiaircraft guns, after overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 106k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8), USS Harris (APA-2) and USS Sheridan (APA-51) and destroyers USS Anderson (DD-411) and USS Russell (DD-414) at Wellington, New Zealand in October 1943 prior to departure for the invasion of Tarawa.. Both destroyers were part of TF 53 that provided escort screen for the attack transports heading for Tarawa, screened heavier battle units as they shelled Betio Island in support of the landings, and provided additional fire support for the attack transports as they collected Marine casualties.
    Photo from the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Wellington, New Zealand.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 115k Marines of the 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division climb down nets into USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)'s LCVPs on D-Day, at Tarawa, 20 November 1943.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 221k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)'s LCM #2 with portable field communications equipment and Marines of the 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division on D-Day at Tarawa, 20 November 1943. Navy Corpsmen are identified by the white circle on their helmets.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 165k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)'s LCM #2 now fully loaded, Coxswain Curt Anderson checks behind as he pulls away and heads for the line of departure, 20 November 1943, at Tarawa.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 106k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)'s Coxswain Curt Anderson and LCM #2 proceeds to line of departure, on D-Day, Tarawa, 20 November 1943.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 97k LCVPs from USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) being unloaded onto long pier, Beach Red 2, in the midst of continued fire from Japanese coastal defenses. D-Day + 1, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 3417k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) at Manus Island, Seeadler Harbor in October 1944 preparing for the invasion of Luzon. is loading Marines aboard and taking on fuel from the Mobile Floating Storage Tanker USS Silver Cloud (IX-143) at the same time.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 86k William P. Biddle (APA-8) off Mindoro, Luzon, Philippine Islands, in February 1945, during the later stages of the campaign there. USS Heywood (APA-6) is in the right center background, beyond USS William P. Biddle's bow. Both ships wear camouflage Measure 32, Design 9T.
    US National Archives photo 80-G-325409, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Scott at LBS Products
    William P Biddle 284k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) underway in San Francisco Bay after a major six week overhaul at Moore Dry Dock Co., San Francisco, CA., 12 June 1945.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 24k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) underway in San Francisco Bay after a major six week overhaul at Moore Dry Dock Co., San Francisco, CA., 12 June 1945. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    William P Biddle 85k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) crew’s mess shown here converted to a medical station for care of the wounded during amphibious assaults.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover
    William P Biddle 63k USS William P. Biddle (APA-8) officer’s mess shown here converted to an operating room for care of the wounded during amphibious assaults.
    US Navy photo.
    David C. Hoover

    USS William P Biddle (AP-15) (APA-8)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Edgar, Campbell Dallas :COMO3 February 1941 - 19 August 1942
    02CAPT. Glutting, Paul Rolland19 August 1942 - 20 August 1943
    03CDR. Brown, Leon Frederick20 August 1943 - 20 September 1944
    04CAPT. Berry, Robert Wallace20 September 1944 - 26 May 1945
    05CAPT. Hartman, Kenneth Pendleton26 May 1945 - 19 July 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
    USS William P. Biddle (APA-8)
    Camouflage Measure 32, Design 9T
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index Back To The Attack Transport (APA) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 July 2013