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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Zeilin (APA-3)
USS Zeilin (AP-9) (1942)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Victor - Lima
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 4 - 13OCT42, 09NOV42, 19NOV43, 12JAN45)
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal

Personnel Awards

Purple Heart (7-KIA, 3-MIA, 30-WIA, 12 January 1945)

Harris Class Transport:
  • Laid down, date unknown, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Newport News, VA.
  • Completed as the passenger-cargo liner SS Silver State, 16 May 1921, for the Pacific Steamship Line, then the Orient Line and the Dollar Line, and finally the American Mail Line; renamed SS President Jackson, 23 June 1922
  • SS President Jackson, was acquired by the US Navy in July 1940, and renamed Zeilin
  • Converted to a Transport at Todd-Seattle Drydock Co., Seattle, WA.
  • Commissioned USS Zeilin (AP-9), 3 January 1942, CAPT. Pat Buchanan USN in command
  • Redesignated Amphibious Attack Transport (APA-3), 26 November 1942
  • During World War II USS Zeilin was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Fourteen (flagship), COMO. D. L. Ryan USN (16);
    TransDiv Forty-Two, CAPT. A.R. Mack USN (17) and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7 to 9 August 1942 Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 4 February 1944
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 13 October and 11 November 1942 Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 26 July 1944
    Aleutians operation
    Attu occupation, 11 to 16 May 1943
    Hollandia operation, 21 to 26 April and 1 to 5 May 1944
    Gilbert Islands operation, 20 to 29 November 1943 Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 9 to 16 March 1945

  • Following World War II USS Zeilin was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 16 to 25 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 19 April 1946, at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
  • USS Zeilin earned eight battle stars for her World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal, 3 July 1946
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, 24 July 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold, 2 January 1948, for scrapping to American Shipbreakers Inc., (PD-X-401 of 10 July 1947) for $216,660. Withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet, 3 May 1948
    Displacement 13,529 t.(lt) 21,900 t.(fl)
    Length 535' 2"
    Beam 72' 6"
    Draft 31' 3"
    Speed 18 kts.
    29 Officers
    638 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    121 Officers
    1558 Enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 2,000 DWT
    non-refrigerated 190,000 cu. ft.
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    one quad 40mm AA gun mount
    one twin 40mm AA gun mount
    ten twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    eight Yarrow header-type boilers
    two Curtis type turbines
    three turbo-drive 200Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    twin propellers, 12,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service
    George Clymer 121k Admiral Orient Lines cruise ship SS President Jackson 1923 advertisement for sailings from Seattle to Japan. Tommy Trampp
    Zelin 33k Admiral Orient Lines cruise ship SS President Jackson underway at New York, N.Y. in 1931.
    Photo by Percey Sperr, who was known as "The Official Photographer For The City Of New York"
    Tommy Trampp
    355k USS Zeilin (AP-9) in the floating drydock at Wellington, New Zealand having her hull scraped and battle damage repaired, 25 November 1942.
    Photo # 100300313 from Museum Of Wellington, used for educational and non-commercial purpose
    John Chiquoine
    USS Zeilin (AP-9)
    Zeilin 65k

    Jacob Zeilin—born in Philadelphia, Pa., on 16 July 1806—entered the Marine Corps as a 2d lieutenant on 1 October 1831 after several years of study at the Military Academy at West Point. By 1836, he reached the rank of 1st lieutenant. Between 1845 and 1848, Lt. Zeilin cruised in Columbus and Congress. During the Mexican War, he commanded the Marine detachment embarked in Congress, which ship was attached to Commodore Robert F. Stockton's force. He took part in the conquest of California and was brevetted to the rank of major for gallantry during the action at the San Gabriel River crossing on 9 January 1847. Later, he took part in the capture of Los Angeles and in the Battle of La Mesa. In 1847, Zeilin served as military commandant at San Diego and, in September, served with the forces that captured Guaymas and those that met the enemy at San Jose on the 30th. For the remainder of the war, Mazatlan was his center of activity, and he fought in several skirmishes with the Mexicans in that area. After the Mexican War, Zeilin served with the Marine detachment in Mississippi in which ship he cruised to Japan with Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition. Following that duty, various assignments ashore occupied his time until the outbreak of the Civil War. On 21 July 1861, Zeilin commanded a company of marines during the First Battle of Manassas and received a slight wound. Later, he went to sea again, serving with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Rear Admiral Dahlgren. In 1864, Zeilin assumed command of the Marine Barracks at Portsmouth, N.H. That June, he was appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps in the rank of colonel. In 1874, Zeilin became the Marine Corps' first general officer when he was promoted to brigadier general. Brigadier General Zeilin retired from the Marine Corps on 1 November 1876. Four years later, on 18 November 1880, he died at Washington, D.C.
    Photo from US Marine Corps. History Division
    Bill Gonyo.
    Zeilin 104k USS Zeilin (AP-9) at Todd Seattle Dry Docks, Inc., 12 January 1942. This ship and USS Harris (AP-8) retained the split superstructure with which they were originally completed. The break between the bridge and funnel contained a small hatch served by two kingposts. This area was filled in with additional superstructure during civilian service in the 1920s or 1930s in the other units of this class acquired by the Navy. AP 8 and 9 also retained merchant-style boat davits for nearly the entire war.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-26584 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    USS Zeilin (APA-3)
    Zeilin 111k USS Zeilin (APA-3) at anchor after her initial conversion to an Attack Transport. Shown here without radar and with liner-style davits. The big boat forward with the curved bow is a 45-ft LCM(2); nested in it is an LCV. The boats in davits are ramp-less Higgins LCPLs.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft", by Norman Freidman.
    Robert Hurst
    Zeilin 179k USS Zeilin (APA-3) at anchor after her initial conversion to an Attack Transport in November 1942.
    US Navy photo.
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    196k USS Zeilin (APA-3) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    David Crow
    652k USS Zeilin (APA-3) battle damage, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Zeilin 32k USS Zeilin (APA-3) underway, circa 1943, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MAC USN Ret.
    Heywood 143k Soldiers unload landing craft on the beach at Massacre Bay, Attu, on 13 May 1943. LCVPs in the foreground are from USS Zeilin (APA-3) and USS Heywood (APA-6).
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-50921, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Zeilin 67k Soldiers pull an ammunition cart along the beach at Massacre Bay, Attu, 12 May 1943. One of the LCVPs in the background is from USS Zeilin (APA-3).
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-50827, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Scott at LBS Products
    Zeilin 110k USS Zeilin (APA-3) underway in San Francisco Bay, CA, circa late 1945. Photo Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973.
    US Navy photo # NH 78156 now in the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Zeilin 31k USS Zeilin (APA-3) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Zeilin 47k USS Zeilin (APA-3) underway while a part of the Guam amphibious invasion force, July 1944. Photo taken from USS Ringgold (DD-500), Dwight Spayth collection. John Chiquoine
    275k USS Zeilin (APA-3) World War II combat scoreboard. David Crow

    USS Zeilin (AP-9 / APA-3)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Buchanan, Pat USN (USNA 1911)3 January 1942 - ?
    02LT. Sheehan, Jeremiah C., USNR? - 1 February 1943
    03LCDR. Bellerby, Russell John1 February 1943 - 9 February 1943
    04CDR. Fitzpatrick, Thomas Benjamin9 February 1943 - 1 May 1945
    05CAPT. Logan, Diggs1 May 1945 - 14 March 1946
    06CAPT. Boulware, Byron Oscar, USNR14 March 1946 - 19 April 1946
    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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index Back To The Attack Transport (APA) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 28 April 2023