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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Chilton (LPA-38)
USS Chilton (APA-38) (1943 - 1968)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Delta - India
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Frying Pan
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Expeditionary Medal (4-Cuba) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia and Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4-Lebanon, 1-Cuba, 1-Dominican Republic)

Bayfield Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down as SS Sea Needle, a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 273) at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Launched, 29 December 1942
  • Assigned to the Navy as Naval Transport (AP-83)
  • Reclassified Attack Transport (AKA-38), 1 February 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 29 May 1943 and placed in partial commission for transit to her fitting out yard at New York
  • Decommissioned at New York and completed as an Attack Transport at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Recommissioned USS Chilton (APA-38), 7 December 1943, CDR. A. C. Geisenhoff, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Chilton was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater::
    TransRon Seventeen (flagship); COMO. T.B. Brittan USN (20);
    TransDiv Forty-Nine and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 March to 30 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Chilton was assigned to Occupation service and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia 2 September to 13 October 194530 September to 9 October 1945
    Asia 24 to 27 November 194519 to 23 November 1945
    Asia 22 to 24 April 194628 October 1946 to 4 January 1947
    Asia 22 September to 27 October 194611 December 1948 to 5 May 1949
    Asia 9 to 14 May 1949 
    Europe 26 June to 7 December 1951 
    Europe 6 October 1952 to 26 January 1953 
    Europe 20 January to 17 May 1954 

  • Reclassified an Amphibious Transport (LPA-38), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1972
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Final Disposition, sold by MARAD, 15 July 1974, to Ships Incorporated of Camden, N.J., for scrapping
  • USS Chilton earned one battle star for World War II service
    Displacement 8,100 t.(lt) 16,100 t.(fl)
    Length 492'
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 26' 6"
    Speed 18.4 kts. (trial)
    Officers - 60
    Enlisted - 521
    Flag Accommodation
    Officers - 43
    Enlisted - 108
    Troop Accommodation
    Officers - 82
    Enlisted - 1,515
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 200,000 cu. ft., 4,700 t.
    twelve LCVP
    four LCM (Mk-6)
    three LCP(L) (MK-IV)
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts one fore and one aft
    two quad 1.1" gun mounts, aft port and starboard, replaced by two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO - 8,510 Bbls
    Diesel - 750 Bbls
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Combustion Engineering D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    three turbo-drive Ship's Service Generators - 250Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Chilton 27k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Chilton 131k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor off Panama in May 1957.
    Photo taken from USS Norris (DD-859),
    Dave Cupples MM2 USS Norris
    Chilton 379k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor off the coast of Beirut Lebanon during Operation Blue Bat. Chilton's LCVPs circle the ship awaiting instructions to proceed to USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) to load equipment for landing on the beach at Beirut, 16 July 1958.
    US Navy photo # USN 440-PS-9065 1.
    National Museum of the US Navy
    Chilton 33k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, circa 1952, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Chilton 406k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, circa 1961, location unknown. Wolfgang Hechler
    Chilton 141k USS Chilton (APA-38) at NOB Norfolk, VA., August 1964 © Richard Leonhardt
    Chilton 57k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, date and location unknown. Courtesy, Chuck Ulrich, coordinator/historian AP Transport Group
    Chilton 28k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor in the Bay of Marmaris, southern Turkey in April 1963. Julia Flowers
    USS Chilton web site
    Oglethorpe 663k USS Oglethorpe (AKA-100) moored at Genoa, Italy, 31 December 1967 between USS Mountrail (APA-213), at left and USS Chilton (APA-38), at right. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Chilton 89k USS Chilton (APA-38) under way in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 December 1967. She has just completed replenishing from USS Allagash (AO-97) (not shown. Note that her command facilities have expanded to port and displaced the forward boat davits and its boats.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # K-43250, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Chilton 1154k USS Chilton (APA-38) in a Mediterranean moor in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 31 December 1967. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Chilton 88k USS Chilton (APA-38) in the vicinity of Sardinia, circa 1968 Photo by Jerry Search
    Chilton 137k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Chilton 138k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Chilton 129k USS Chilton (APA-38)'s 5"/38 gun mount, circa 1968-69 Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 64k USS Chilton (APA-38) with a mock up of the Apollo space capsule on her #3 hatch, circa May 1969. Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 134k USS Chilton (APA-38) with a mock up of the Apollo space capsule on her #3 hatch, circa May 1969. Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 99k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor while her assault boats circle the attack transport while waiting to load.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Chilton 1003k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 1 June 1971. Photo by Carlo Martinelli

    For more photos and information about USS Chilton, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Chilton APA-38
  • APA 38 The USS Chilton Association
  • Commanding Officers
  • Navy Yard New York Bayfield Class APA Conversion Model Contributed by Bill West USS Cambria (APA-36)

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

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    Last Updated 29 January 2016