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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Bolivar (APA-34)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Yankee - Uniform - Xray
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Bayfield Class Transport:
  • Laid down, 13 March 1942, as SS Sea Angel, a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 269) at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Launched, 7 September 1942
  • Assigned to the Navy as Transport (AP-79)
  • Redesignated Attack Transport (APA-34), 1 February 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 15 March 1943 and placed in reduced commission the same day for transit to her conversion yard at Hoboken, N.J., LCDR. Roger E. Perry in command
  • Decommissioned, 23 April 1943, at Hoboken, N.J. for conversion to an Attack Transport
  • Recommissioned, 1 September 1943, as USS Bolivar (APA-34), CAPT. Joseph A. Gainard in command
  • During WWII USS Bolivar was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Eighteen, COMO. J. G. Moyer USN (14);
    TransDiv Fifty-Four (flagship), CAPT. J. R. Lannom USN (19) and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January 8 February 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 22 June 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 22 to 29 July 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 6 March 1945
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20 October and 18 November 1944

  • Following World War II USS Bolivar was assigned to China service from 28 December 1945 to 11 January 1946
  • Decommissioned, 29 April 1946, at New York Naval Shipyard
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 July 1946
  • USS Bolivar earned five battle stars for her World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 12 September 1946
  • Merchant Service
    Title transferred to American President Lines, 23 October 1948, at Mobile, AL., renamed SS President Van Buren
    Renamed SS President Harding in August 1967
    Sold to Pacific Far East Lines Inc., 25 March 1968, renamed SSThailand Bear
    Sold in November 1970 to Prudential-Grace Lines, renamed SS Santa Monica
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 30 March 1973 to Nan Feng Steel Enterprises Co. Ltd., Taiwan
    Displacement 8,100 t.(lt), 16,100 t.(fl)
    Length 492'
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 23' 3" (lim)
    Speed 18.4 kts (trial)
    54 Officers
    564 Enlisted
    Flag Accommodation
    43 Officers
    108 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodation
    89 Officers
    1,409 Enlisted
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity, 4m700 DWT
    non-refrigerated 200,000 Cu. ft.
    twelve LCVP
    four LCM (Mk-6)
    three LCP(L) (MK-IV)
    two single 5"/38 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
    two 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 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 250Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Bolivar (APA-34)
    369k USS Bolivar (APA-34) underway, date and location unknown.
    Dirk Dijksman
    Bolivar 93k USS Bolivar (APA-34) underway circa September 1943 shortly after commissioning. She carries the standard rig of the Western Pipe-built units: a pair of kingposts and a mast forward and a pair of kingposts and a mast aft. In USS Clay (APA-39) the forward pair of kingposts was later converted into a goalpost as in the Ingalls-built units
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-51443 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Bolivar 94k USS Bolivar (APA-34) under way in the harbor at San Pedro, CA., date unknown. Darryl Baker
    Bolivar 84k
    Merchant Service Prudential-Grace Lines Inc.
    Bolivar 348k Post card image of ex-USS Bolivar (APA-34) as the Prudential-Grace Lines SS Santa Monica in the Port of Vancouver, B.C., date unknown.
    Photo © Michael Cassar.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Bolivar (APA-34)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Perry, Roger Edison, USN (USNA 1924) (Ferry Command)15 March 1943 - 23 April 1943
     Decommissioned23 April 1943 - 1 September 1943
    02CAPT. Gainard, Joseph Aloysius, USN1 September 1943 - 12 November 1943
    03CAPT. Rogers, James Linn, USN (USNA 1911)12 November 1943 - 28 November 1943
    04CDR. Wadell, Robert Paul, USN (USNA 1923)28 November 1943 - 4 July 1944
    05CAPT. Field Sr., Wells Laflin, USN (USNA 1923) :RADM4 July 1944 - 25 May 1945
    06CAPT. Smith, Francis Adams, USN (USNA 1917)25 May 1945 - 29 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
    Navy Yard New York Bayfield Class APA Conversion Model
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Auxiliary and Miscellaneous Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type 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 5 January 2024