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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed By Mike Smolinski

USS Monrovia (APA-31)
USS Monrovia (AP-64) (1942 - 1943)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Delta - Whiskey

JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Elbow (W)hiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation - Navy Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba) - China Service Medal (extended)
Third Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6)
Fourth Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia or Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Fifth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon, Cuba, Dominican Republic) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Crescent City Class Transport:
  • Laid down, 26 March 1942, as the Maritime Commission type (C3-Delta) hull, SS Del Argentino for the America South-African Line under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 152) at Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Sparrows Point. MD.
  • Launched, 19 September 1942
  • Commissioned, USS Monrovia (AP-64), 1 December 1942, CAPT. C. D. Leffler in command
  • Reclassified Attack Transport (APA-31), 1 February 1943
  • During WWII USS Monrovia was assigned first to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Sicilian occupation, 9 to 15 July 1943 Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa Atoll capture and occupation, 20 to 25 November 1943
      Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
      Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 22 June 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 22 to 29 July 1944
      Leyte operation
    Leyte landings 30 October 1944 and 18 November 1944
      Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
      Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 5 April 1945
  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS Monrovia came under the command of:
    TransRon Twelve, COMO. H.B. Knowles USN (17);
    TransDiv Thirty-Six (flagship) CAPT. G.W. Johnson USN (18)
  • After World War II USS Monrovia (APA-31) was assigned to Occupation service and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 13 to 19 September 19451 October to 16 November 1945
    Asia - 26 January to 5 February 19461 to 25 April 1946
    Asia - 26 to 28 April 194610 June to 2 July 1946
    Europe - 24 January to 8 May 1952 
    Europe - 4 May to 17 October 1953 
    Europe - 18 January to 16 May 1955 
  • Decommissioned, 26 February 1947, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Recommissioned, 30 November 1950
  • Decommissioned, 31 October 1968
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1968
  • USS Monrovia earned seven battle stars for World War II service
  • Title passed to Maritime Administration (MARAD), 25 August 1969
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 25 August 1969, to Portsmouth Salvage Co. (PD-X-839 dated 31 July 1969) for $73,330.00, Withdrawn and delivered, 15 September 1969
    Displacement 8,889 t.(lt), 14,247 t.(fl)
    Length 491'
    Beam 65' 6"
    Draft 24' (lim)
    Speed 16.5 kts. (Trial speed)
    55 Officers
    500 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    103 Officers
    1,352 Enlisted
    Flag Staff
    43 Officers
    108 Enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 130,000 cu. ft., 2,700 t.
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    one twin 40mm AA gun mount
    eleven twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 12,925 Bbls.
    Diesel 450 Bbls.
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock & Wilcox header type boilers 450psi 740°
    Double General Electric Main Reduction Gear
    three Ship's Service Generators 350Kw 120/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 7,800shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Monrovia 74k USS Monrovia (APA-31) at anchor, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in World War II web site
    214k USS Oberon (AKA-14), USS Monrovia (APA-31) and USS Lyon (AP-71), Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, underway between Algiers, Algeria and Gela, Sicily, 6-9 July 1943.
    TimeLife_image_116064061 by Bob Landry, Life Magazine. For personal non-commercial use only.
    David Upton
    TL 116108615
    313k USS Monrovia (APA-31), Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, Gela Landings, "Dime" beaches, 10-12 July 1943.
    TimeLife_image_116108615, 116108641 and 116108642 by by J. R. Eyerman, Life Magazine. For personal non-commercial use only.
    David Upton
    TL 116108641
    TL 116108642
    180k Looking aft aboard USS Monrovia (APA-31) during the landings at Tarawa on 20-23 November 1943.
    United States Marine Corps photo
    Mike Green
    263k USS Monrovia (APA-31) off Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 4 November 1952. Wartime armament changes to this ship were less extensive than those made to her sister USS Calvert (APA-32), consisting primarily of the addition of one twin 40mm mount in a raised tub between the two 3"/50 guns located on deck forward. The deck-house forward of the stack and over the bridge may be for command (relief AGC) facilities added in 1943 and later expanded. In contrast with some other early APAs, she continued to operate with the amphibious forces after the war; note the landing craft under her davits.
    U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo #'s 19-N-142584, 19-N-142586, 19-N-142589, 19-N-142588, 19-N-142587 and 19-N-142590, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 33k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway, circa 1954, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Monrovia 590k USS Monrovia (APA-31) moored at Genoa, Italy, 6 February 1955 Photos by Carlo Martinelli
    Monrovia 664k
    Monrovia 88k USS Monrovia (APA-31), underway, circa early 1960s, location unknown. Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 1104k USS Monrovia (APA-31), underway probably during the final years of her long career, circa 1960s. She has received many postwar modifications, most noticeably the elaborate four-legged radar mast forward of the stack. She still carries her late wartime bow armament of two 3"/50 guns on deck and one twin 40mm gun in a center-line tub, although all the wartime 20mm guns appear to have been removed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. Unknown
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Monrovia 153k USS Monrovia (APA-31) tied to a mooring buoy in 1963, location unknown.
    Photo from 1966/67 Edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships", courtesy of Giorgio Ghiglione.
    Robert Hurst
    Monrovia 80k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway in either the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea in 1964 conducting a high line transfer with USS Capricornus (AKA-57). Photo by Rich Kerbs USS Capricornus
    Monrovia 674k USS Monrovia (APA-31) coming alongside USS Capricornus (AKA-57), circa 1963-65. Tom Crowe
    Monrovia 123k USS Monrovia (APA-31), underway, Hampton Roads, 9 August 1965
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 123k USS Monrovia (APA-31), underway, Hampton Roads, 9 August 1965
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 200k USS Monrovia (APA-31), underway, Hampton Roads, 9 August 1965
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 986k USS Monrovia (APA-31) and USS Telfair (APA-210) moored at Genoa, Italy, December 1965 Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Monrovia 81k USS Monrovia (APA-31) at anchor, circa 1960s, date and location unknown. Mike Smolinski
    Monrovia 178k USS Monrovia (APA-31) Fall 1967: Norfolk, VA. - LTjg. Alexander (Sandy) Bostrom readies "OI" Division for Captain's Inspection. From front to rear are: RD1 Herbert H. Beck (Anderson, S.C., retired as OSCS), RDSN Larry J. Crews (Manchester, Ga., deceased), RDSN James Franklin (Macon, Ga.), RD3 Jim Kennedy (Boulder, Colo., retired as EWCS), RD3 Sam Simpkins (Jamaica, N.Y.), RD3 Ron Natishin (Dundalk, Md.), RDSN Bob Mills (Little Rock, Ark., deceased) and RD2 Mike Smolinski (Clifton, N.J.) facing in the wrong direction (as usual). Carey Smith
    RD3, 1966-1968
    Monrovia 120k USS Monrovia (APA-31) at anchor, date and location unknown. Tom Crowe
    Monrovia 602k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Monrovia 671k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Monrovia 434k USS Monrovia (APA-31) moored outboard of another ship, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    John W. Klar
    Monrovia 98k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway, date and location unknown
    Photo from 1967-68 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships", courtesy Dr Giorgio Arra.
    Robert Hurst
    711k USS Monrovia (APA-31) underway, date and location unknown
    Photo by @copyNobe Smith
    Nicholas Triberio

    For more photos and information about USS Monrovia, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • Welcome Aboard Pamphlet
  • Christmas Dinner Menu 1952

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Leffler Jr., Charles. Doyle, USN (USNA 1918)1 December 1942 - 29 January 1943
    02CAPT. Brittain, Thomas Baldwin, USN (USNA 1920)29 January 1943 - 9 October 1943
    03CDR. Parsons, George Albert, USNR (Executive Officer)9 October 1943 - 17 November 1943
    04CDR. Kelsey, John Donald, USN (USNA 1923) :RADM17 November 1943 - 22 March 1945
    05CAPT. Scoggins, Olin, USN22 March 1945 - 3 January 1946
    06CAPT. Van Swearingen, Earl Kendall USN (USNA 1927)10 January 1946 - 17 February 1946
    07CAPT. Macklin, William Alexander Stuart, USN (USNA 1918)17 February 1946 - 31 July 1946
    08LT. Mann, Hoyt Dobbs, USN (USNA 1936)31 July 1946 - 26 February 1947
     Decommissioned26 February 1947 - 30 November 1950
    09CAPT. Mitchell, Ray Andes, USN (USNA 1927) 30 November 1950 - 8 April 1951
    10CDR. Shaw Jr., Howard Baker, USNR 8 April 1951 - 13 April 1951
    11CAPT. Johnsen, William Harry. USN (USNA 1931)13 April 1951 - 23 July 1952
    12CAPT. Miller, Adolph Jerome, USN (USNA 1929)23 July 1952 - 25 July 1953
    13CAPT. Dimmick, John Bagley, USN (USNA 1930)25 July 1953 - May 1953
    14CAPT. McCain Jr., John Sidney (Jack), USN (USNA 1931) :ADM10 July 1954 - 31 May 1955
    15CAPT. Little, Rex Beach USN (USNA 1932)31 March 1955 - 14 May 1956
    16CAPT. Acker, Frank Clements, USN (USNA 1932)14 May 1956 - 25 April 1957
    17CAPT. Jennings, Carter Brooke, USN (USNA 1935)26 April 1957 - 23 April 1958
    18CAPT. Gimber, Stephen Henry, USN (USNA 1935)23 April 1958 - 24 July 1958
    19CAPT. Hartigan Jr., Charles Conway, USN (USNA 1938)24 July 1958 - 6 July 1960
    20CAPT. Riley Jr., Frederic Delano, USN6 July 1960 - 2 August 1961
    21CAPT. Lane Jr., Edward Augustus, USN2 August 1961 - 15 September 1962
    22CAPT. Verland, Markeson, USN (USNA 1940)15 September 1962 - 31 August 1963
    23CAPT. Ball Jr., George Cornelius (Jerry), USN (USNA 1941)31 August 1963 - 19 November 1964
    24CAPT. Wright, Richard Morgan, USN (USNA 1941)19 November 1964 - 16 July 1965
    25CAPT. Fifield, John Gordon, USN16 July 1965 - 26 September 1966
    26CAPT. Knull Jr., William Harlough, USN (USNA 1944)26 September 1966 - 6 December 1967
    27CAPT. Barbour, Henry Saunders, USN (USNA 1944)6 December 1967 - 31 August 1968
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Reunion Information

    Date: October 9-13, 2022
    Place: Colorado Springs
    Contact: Skip Sander (USS Monrovia Assoc.)
    Phone: H. (412)-367-1376
    Web site: AmphibiousShips Reunion"

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    Last Updated 17 June 2022