Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.
NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive
Lost to enemy action, 13 August 1943, off Lunga Point Guadalcanal
USS John Penn (APA-23)
USS John Penn (AP-51) (1942 - 1943)
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (13 August 1943) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Harry Lee Class Attack Transport:
Laid down, 25 October 1930 SS Excambion for the American Export Line at New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden. N.J.
Launched, 28 May 1931
Delivered to American Export Line, 4 August 1931
Acquired by the US Navy, 8 January 1942, and converted to a Naval Transport
Commissioned USS John Penn (AP-51), 6 April 1942, CAPT. Harry W. Need in command
During World War II USS John Penn was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later reassigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign;
Reclassified Attack Transport (APA-23), 1 February 1943
Final Disposition, lost to enemy action, 13 August 1943, off Lunga Point Guadalcanal
Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
USS John Penn earned one battle star for World War II service
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
|Campaign and Dates
|North African occupation
Algeria-Morocco landings, 8 to 11 November 1942
Displacement 9,989 t.(lt.) 14,520 t.(lim)
Length 475' 4"
Beam 62' 9"
Draft 26' 4" (lim)
Speed 15 kts.
one 5"/51 single purpose gun mount aft
two 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts aft
Cargo Capacity 175,000 cu.ft.
NSFO 11,475 bbls.
Diesel 475 bbls.
one New York Ship Building Co., Parsons design steam turbine
four Babcock & Wilcox header type boilers 350psi 620°
one Falk main reduction gear
three turbo drive ships service generators, 1-320kW 120V D.C, 1-150kW 120V. D.C, 1-200kW 120V D.C.
single shaft 7,200shp
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
John Penn was born in Virginia 6 May 1740. He was admitted to the bar in 1761; and, after practicing in Virginia, moved in 1774 to Granville County, N.C. There Penn became active in public affairs, served for a brief time in the Provincial Congress, and was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775. Serving in Congress until 1780, he voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence. Penn became a member of the North Carolina Board of War in 1780 and returned to the practice of law in 1781. He died 14 September 1788.
|USS John Penn (AP-51)
||USS John Penn (AP-51) under way, 13 September 1942, off Norfolk, VA. She retained her liner-type davits during her career. She was never fitted with triple Welins.
US National Archives photo # 80-G-10847, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
| US National Archives
||USS John Penn (AP-51) under way, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial
|USS John Penn (APA-23)
||SS Excambian as converted to the attack transport USS John Penn (APA-23).
US Navy image from "U.S. Amphibious Ship and Craft" by Norman Friedman.
||USS John Penn (APA-23) photographed by
USS Nicholas (DD-449) off Guadalcanal in August 1943. Her troops are practicing landing tactics. Her configuration appears to resemble that of
USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50), the two having been converted in the same yard. She probably
retains her original armament.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 80-G-56834, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
USS John Penn (AP-51 / APA-23)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||CAPT. Need Harry William, USN (USNA 1918 :RADM)||6 April 1942 - 13 August 1943||AP-50 / APA-23|
|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
Location of the wreck of USS John Penn (APA-23) in Iron Bottom Sound
Last Updated 2 June 2017
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|