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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USAT Heffron


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal - Merchant Marine Victory WWII Medal

Personnel Awards

Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Clyde Neil Andrews, Second Mate, SS Heffron 07/05/42
Edward Michael Fetherston Third Mate, SS Heffron 07/05/42
Edward D. Geddes, Master, SS Heffron 07/05/42
Transport
  • Laid down, date unknown, by Bethlehem Steel Co. at Alameda, CA.
  • Launched 31 December 1918
  • Completed in May 1919
  • Acquired by the US Army Quartermaster Corps, 7 April 1920 from the U.S. Shipping Board and assigned to the U.S. Army Transport Service
  • Further assigned to the A.T.S. Pacific Fleet with homeport at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.
  • Evacuated the last elements of the Czech Legion from Vladivostok, Russia, 2 September 1920, and disembarked them at Trieste, Italy 10 November 1920
  • Transferred to the U.S. Shipping Board Reserve Fleet 7 January 1921 at New York
  • Final Disposition, sunk by a mine, 5 July 1942, off Straumnes, Iceland
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,999 t.(fl)
    Length 410'5"
    Beam 54'
    Draft 37'9"
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Passenger capacity unknown
    Fuel Capacities unknown
    Propulsion unknown
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Heffron 71k SS Heffron underway, date and location unknown.
    US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol.4., courtesy Steamship Historical Society of America.
    US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol.4.

    USAT Heffron history is from US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol 4
    Master
    01CAPT. Scott, James W., A.T.S.7 April 1920 - 7 January 1921

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 19 April 2019

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    The President of the United States takes Pleasure in Presenting the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal to

    Clyde Neil Andrews, Second Mate on SS Heffron 07/05/42

    For heroism beyond the line of duty. The ship upon which he served was without defense armament, except for two 30 caliber machine guns, mounted without protective shielding, on the bridge [PQ-16] . During six days of continuous attack, Andrews manned one of these guns, and aided in successfully standing off numerous dive-bombing attacks. On one occasion, while picking up survivors from another vessel, two enemy bombers attacked within a hundred feet of his ship. Andrews' position was sprayed with machine gun bullets--his life jacket was nearly torn off by the enemy's fire--but he continued to pour bullets into the nose of the nearest dive-bomber, causing it to lift from its dive and over-shoot with a string of four bombs. Homeward-bound his ship was mined and sunk [QP-13]. On this occasion, Andrews, with complete disregard for his own safety, exhibited exceptional courage and skill in moving injured men into the lifeboats. His personal courage and devotion to duty will be an enduring inspiration to seamen of the United States Merchant Marine everywhere.

    For the President
    Admiral Emory Scott Land

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    The President of the United States takes Pleasure in Presenting the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal to

    Edward Michael Fetherston, Third Mate on SS Heffron 07/05/42

    For heroism beyond the line of duty. The ship in which he served was without defense armament, except for two .30 caliber machine guns mounted without protective shielding on the bridge [PQ-16]. During six days of continuous attack Fetherston manned one of these guns and aided in successfully standing-off numerous dive-bombing attacks. On one occasion, while picking up survivors from another ship, two enemy bombers attacked within a hundred feet of his ship. Fetherston's position was heavily sprayed with machine gun bullets from the attacking planes, but he continued to pour bullets into the nose of the nearest dive-bomber causing it to lift from its dive and over-shoot with a string of four bombs. Homeward bound his ship again encountered enemy action and was mined and sunk [QP-13]. On this occasion, Fetherston, with complete disregard for his own safety, exhibited exceptional courage and skill in moving injured men into the lifeboats and personally rescued an injured and helpless fireman whose life would have been lost without his aid. His admirable courage and devotion to duty will be an enduring inspiration to seamen of the United States Merchant Marine everywhere.

    For the President
    Admiral Emory Scott Land

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    The President of the United States takes Pleasure in Presenting the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal to

    Edward D. Geddes, Master SS Heffron 07/05/42

    For distinguished service in the line of duty. His ship, SS Heffron, was in an early Russia bound convoy [PQ-16] which, for six days and nights, was subjected to continuous submarine and air attacks. Hemmed in by ice packs the convoy was forced to run the gauntlet under the severest weather conditions. The ship was without defense armament except for two .30 caliber machine guns. Enemy planes often came within 100 feet of the ship but were fought off by the fine direction of the light armament. Thrice he out-maneuvered aerial torpedoes and once evaded a torpedo fired by a submarine. In face of all the enemy could do in the air, on the surface, and under the sea, his expert seamanship and the magnificent discipline of his crew brought the ship to her destination. Captain Geddes' personal courage and fine leadership were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Merchant Marine.

    For the President
    Admiral Emory Scott Land