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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Cambria (APA-36)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Charlie - Foxtrot
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 (3-Cuba)
Second Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia an Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon, Cuba) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

USS Cambria was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Bayfield Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down, 1 July 1942, as SS Sea Swallow, a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC 271) at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Launched, 10 November 1942
  • Assigned to the Navy as Transport (AP-81)
  • Redesignated Attack Transport (APA-36), 1 February 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 4 May 1943, and placed in partial commission as USS Cambria (APA-36) for transit to her conversion yard at New York
  • Decommissioned, 22 June 1943, for conversion at Todd Shipyard, Hoboken N.J.
  • Recommissioned, USS Cambria (APA-36), 10 November 1943, CAPT. C. W. Dean, USCG, in command
  • During World War II USS Cambria was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Twelve (flagship), COM. H.B. Knowles USN (17);
    TransDiv Thirty-Four 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 to 8 February 1944
    Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, 17 February to 2 March 1944
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20 October and 18 November 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 June to 10 August 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation, 24 July to 1 August 1944 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 10 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Cambria was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East and China service, following the Korean War USS Cambria was again assigned to Occupation service this time in Europe;

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 20 to 26 September 194521 to 25 October 1945
    Asia - 26 to 29 October 1945 
    Asia - 9 to 13 December 1945 
    Europe - 14 September 1951 to 29 January 1952 
    Europe - 20 January to 9 May 1953 
    Europe - 21 September 1954 to 18 January 1955 

  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1949 for lay up in the reserve fleet
  • Recommissioned, 15 September 1950, with a Navy crew
  • Decommissioned in 1970
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration, 13 November 1970, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1971
  • USS Cambria earned six battle stars for World War II service
  • Permanent custody transferred from the US Navy to the Maritime Administration, 1 September 1971
  • Final Disposition, sold 7 September 1971, to Caribbean Marine Inc., for non-transportation use, (PD-X-915) for $70,000.00, withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet, 5 October 1971 and delivered to Norshipco for conversion to a workshop for the Republic of Haiti, to be named Jean Claude Duvalier, enterprise went bankrupt, hulk sold to Portsmouth Salvage Co. for scrapping
    Displacement 8,100 t.(lt), 16,100 t.(fl)
    Length 492'
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 26' 6"
    Speed 18.4 (trial) kts.
    Officers 44
    Enlisted 537
    Flag Accommodation
    Officers 43
    Enlisted 108
    Troop Accommodation
    Officers - 78
    Enlisted - 1,520
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,700 DWT.
    non-refrigerated 200,000 Cu ft
    twelve LCVPs
    four LCMs (Mk-6)
    three LCP(L)s (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°
    Ship's Service Generators - four 250Kw 240V D.C.
    one propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    338k SS Sea Swallow's sponsor. Mrs. Henry A. Reilly, Jr., breaks the traditional bottle of Champagne across the bow of the ship during launching ceremonies at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA., 10 November 1942.
    Western Pipe and Steel Co. photo
    Dale Hargrave
    Cambria 117k USS Cambria (APA-36) under way, circa 1943, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    Cambria 120k USS Cambria (APA-36) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    Cambria 85k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    Cambria 64k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    Cambria 92k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor, date and location unknown. Her camouflage is Measure 32 Design 3D.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    56k Seebees lower "Hercules" powder over the side of USS Camberia (APA-36)'s LCVP-36-15 during construction of the Enewetok atoll island airfield soon after the island was capture in February 1944.
    US Navy photo from FLICKR submitted by Ronnie Bell
    John Spivey
    141k USS Cambria (APA-36) anchored off Charan Kanoa, Saipan, 25 June 1944, attached to the transport elements of CTF52. She is serving as on-station command and medical ship on the ninth day after initial landings. This photo presents a clear view of her camouflage Measure 32 Design 3D.
    Time_Life photo by J.R. Eyerman, Life Magazine. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    Cambria 71k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor off San Pedro, CA., 19 August 1945.
    US Navy photo.
    Michael Marzolla for his father, Lt. Anthony Mario Marzolla USCG, USS Cambria
    Cambria 75k USS Cambria (APA-36) off New York Naval Shipyard, 3 September 1946. The command facilities in this ship were further enlarged at San Francisco in April 1944. Additions included a tall signal mast with its flag bags on the after end of the taller command deckhouse and some smaller structures on top of the lower one.
    US National Archives photo 19-N-95964, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Cambria 207k USS Cambria (APA-36) CAPT. D.C. Beard USN watches an evolution taking place aboard the ship, circa early-1947, location unknown. Bill West Y3/c USS Cambria
    Cambria 34k USS Cambria (APA-36), at Asinara Sardinia. 1956. Note: USS Rockwall (APA-230) in the background. Photo by Larry Bohn
    Cambria 3380k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 20 April 1960. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Cambria 74k USS Cambria (APA-36), at Norfolk, July 1964. Also in this photo is a partial view of several of USS Muliphen (AKA-61)'s LCMs secured to her main deck. © Richard Leonhardt
    Cambria 105k USS Cambria (APA-36) at anchor in 1964, location unknown.
    Photo from 1966/67 Edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships", courtesy Captain Aldo Fraccaroli.
    Robert Hurst
    Cambria 93k USS Cambria (APA-36), at Naples, July 1967. © Richard Leonhardt
    Cambria 93k USS Cambria (APA-36) at sea, date unknown.
    U.S. Navy photograph
    Ron Young YN3 USN-R Ret. USS Cambria 1962-64
    Cambria 49k USS Cambria (APA-36) conducting amphibious exercises, date and location unknown. Bob Holliday
    Cambria 46k USS Cambria (APA-36) conducting amphibious exercises, date and location unknown. Bob Holliday
    Cambria 211k USS Cambria (APA-36) underway in the Mediterranean Sea, circa 1963. Is that SSgt. Billy Joe Brickey standing at the bow? Danny L. Brickey for his father SSgt. Billy Joe Brickey, L Company 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines while embarked in USS Cambria.
    73k USS Cambria (APA-36) underway as a unit of Landformed 1-66 in the Mediterranean Sea, March-August 1966, with 1st Battalion 8th Marines and other elements of the 2nd Marine Division aboard. Ben Cole Bravo company 2nd Tank Battalion
    Cambria 1105k USS Cambria (APA-36) preparing to anchor in the harbor at Valletta, Malta in 1968. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Cambria 65k USS Cambria (APA-36) underway in 1968, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    232k USS Cambria (APA-36) underway, date and location unknown. Nicholas Tiberio

    USS Cambria 1947 Christmas Dinner Menu
    Contributed by Bill West
    Cambria Cambria Cambria

    For more photos and information about USS Cambria, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Action Report - Landing of Occupation Forces, Nagasaki Japan, September 1945
  • Navy Yard New York Bayfield Class APA Conversion Model

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Baker, William S., USNR (Ferry Command)4 May 1943 - 22 June 1943
     Decommissioned22 June 1943 - 18 November 1943
    02CAPT. Dean, Charles Walter USCG18 November 1943 - 29 June 1945
    03CAPT. Stinchcomb, Harry Waring, USCG29 June 1945 - 27 January 1946
    04CDR. Helmer, Frank Vincent USCG (USCGA 1924) :RADM27 January 1946 - 28 February 1946
    05CAPT. Woodyard, Edward Lender, USN (USNA 1924) :RADM28 February 1946 - 31 January 1947
    06CAPT. Beard, Donald Charles, USN (USNA 1925)31 January 1947 - 7 June 1948
    07CAPT. Schanze, Edwin Stansbury, USN (USNA 1926) :RADM7 June 1948 - 30 June 1949
     Decommissioned30 June 1949 - 15 September 1950
    08CAPT. Schleif, Edward Llewellen, USN (USNA 1925)15 September 1950 - 1951
    09CAPT. Allen, Robert Addison, USN (USNA 1927)1951 - 12 June 1952
    10CAPT. Eckberg, Herbert Frederic, USN (USNA 1927)12 June 1952 - 17 December 1952
    11CAPT. Seay, George Cameron, USN (USNA 1930) :RADM17 December 1952 - 10 December 1953
    12CAPT. Weakley, Charles Enright, USN (USNA 1929) :VADM10 December 1953 - 27 August 1954
    13CAPT. Brumby Jr., Frank Hardeman, USN (USNA 1932)27 August 1954 - 7 October 1955
    14CAPT. Rogers, George Pearsall, USN (USNA 1932) (Biography)7 October 1955 - 6 November 1956
    15CAPT. Stevenson, William Alfred, USN (USNA 1934)6 November 1956 - 7 January 1958
    16CAPT. Wahlig, Frederick Henry, USN (USNA 1933)7 January 1958 - 1959
    17CAPT. Finney, Edwin Carlton, USN (USNA 1937)1959 - 1960
    18CAPT. Bell Jr., Clarence Edwin, USN (USNA 1939) :VADM10 August 1960 - August 1961
    19CAPT. Bryce, David George, USN (USNA 1939)10 August 1961 - July 1962
    20CAPT. Mack, William Harrison, USN (USNA 1940)July 1962 - July 1963
    21CAPT. Bunting, Curtis Wilson, USNJuly 1963 - June 1964
    22CAPT. Snyder, Gordon Alva, USN (USNA 1943)June 1964 - 1965
    23CAPT. Banks, William Ross, USN (USNA 1943)1965 - 9 May 1966
    24CAPT. Harkins, John Andrew, USN (USNA 1944)9 may 1966 - 1967
    25CAPT. Wilcox Jr., Burr Curtis, USN (USNA 1946)1967 - 25 September 1968
    26CAPT. Heath, Leroy Anthony, USN25 September 1968 - December 1969
    27 CAPT. Bivin, Homer Richard, USN (USNA 1947)December 1969 - 14 September 1970
    Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves. Photos courtesy Bill Gonyo

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

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    Last Updated 5 May 2024