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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Lost to enemy torpedo attack, 11 November 1942, at Fedala Bay, Morocco

USS Joseph Hewes (APA-22)
USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 11 November 1942)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal

Joseph Hewes Class Transport:
  • Built in 1930 as SS Excalibur at New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 8 January 1942
  • Commissioned USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50), 1 May 1942, CAPT. Robert McLanhan Smith Jr. in command
  • During World War II USS Joseph Hewes was assigned to the European-African-Middle East Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    North African occupation
    Algeria-Morocco landings, 8 to 11 November 1942

  • Final Disposition, sunk by the German Submarine U-173 torpedo attack, 11 November 1942, at Fedala Roads, Morocco
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 7 December 1942
  • USS Joseph Hewes received one battle star for World War II service
    Displacement 14,100 t.
    Length 450'
    Beam 61' 6"
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 15 kts.
    Complement 358
    Troop Accommodations unknown
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Propulsion steam turbines
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Joseph Hewes 25k SS Excalibur underway. Courtesy - A Tribute to A Place Called Yorkship web site
    Joseph Hewes 49k SS Excalibur entering/leaving port with a tug alongside, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Joseph Hewes 31k SS Excalibur full color cigarette card. 2x2.5". Issued by SABA in Germany in 1933. Tommy Trampp
    Joseph Hewes 151k SS Excalibur List of Passengers departing New York. 25 June 1939. Tommy Trampp
    Joseph Hewes 47k The British destroyer HMS Harvester (H 19) is closing in on SS Excalibur, 1 December 1941. The British are checking ship's papers while on patrol west of Gibraltar.
    Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Russell, J.E. (Lt.) photographer, Photo No. A 6922.
    Mike Green
    Joseph Hewes 51k As seen from the HMS Blankney (L 30), a boarding party from HMS Harvester (H 19) is examining the ship's papers of SS Excalibur, 1 December 1941.
    Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Russell, J.E. (Lt.) photographer, Photo No. A 6924.
    Mike Green
    USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50)
    Joseph Hewes 115k

    Joseph Hewes was born in Kingston, N.J., in 1730, and was educated at what is now Princeton. After engaging in business in Philadelphia, he moved to Edenton, N.C. in 1763 where he became a prosperous and influential merchant skipper. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, and in 1775 became a member of the Marine Committee. In this capacity Hewes played a major part in the procurement and outfitting of Continental vessels, and had the distinction of securing a commission in the Continental Navy in December 1775 for one of the sea's greatest heroes-to-be, John Paul Jones. Hewes continued to take an active part in the movement for independence in North Carolina. He also took part in the discussions leading to the Declaration of Independence and signed the historic document. He died 29 October 1779 shortly after his return to the Continental Congress.
    Bill Gonyo
    Joseph Hewes 71k USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50) underway in 1942, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Joseph Hewes 488k Diagram of USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50) showing probable flooding from torpedo damage sustained on 11 November 1942. Note the diagram identifies the ship as APA-22.
    US Navy Department Library; War Damage Report No. 32, Transports torpedoed off Fedala, 11-15 November 1942.
    Mike Green

    USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Transports Torpedoed Off Fedala, 11 - 15 November 1942

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 13 December 2019