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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Chilton (LPA-38)
USS Chilton (APA-38) (1943 - 1968)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Delta - India
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Frying Pan
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 (Cuba) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia and Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon, Cuba, Dominican Republic)

Bayfield Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down as SS Sea Needle, a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 273) at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Launched, 29 December 1942
  • Assigned to the Navy as Naval Transport (AP-83)
  • Reclassified Attack Transport (APA-38), 1 February 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 29 May 1943 and placed in partial commission as USS Chilton (APA-38) for transit to her fitting out yard at New York
  • Decommissioned, 10 July 1943, at Todd Erie Basin Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y. for conversion as an Attack Transport
  • Recommissioned USS Chilton (APA-38), 7 December 1943, CDR. A. C. Geisenhoff, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Chilton was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater::
    TransRon Seventeen (flagship); COMO. T.B. Brittan USN (20);
    TransDiv Forty-Nine and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 March to 30 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Chilton was assigned to Occupation service and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia 2 September to 13 October 194530 September to 9 October 1945
    Asia 24 to 27 November 194519 to 23 November 1945
    Asia 22 to 24 April 194628 October 1946 to 4 January 1947
    Asia 22 September to 27 October 194611 December 1948 to 5 May 1949
    Asia 9 to 14 May 1949 
    Europe 26 June to 7 December 1951 
    Europe 6 October 1952 to 26 January 1953 
    Europe 20 January to 17 May 1954 

  • Reclassified an Amphibious Transport (LPA-38), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1972
  • USS Chilton earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 15 July 1974, to Ships Incorporated of Camden, N.J., (PD-X-979 dated 5 June 1974) for $402,588.00, withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet, 6 August 1974
    Displacement 8,100 t.(lt) 16,100 t.(fl)
    Length 492'
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 26' 6"
    Speed 18.4 kts. (trial)
    Officers - 60
    Enlisted - 521
    Flag Accommodation
    Officers - 43
    Enlisted - 108
    Troop Accommodation
    Officers - 82
    Enlisted - 1,515
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 200,000 cu. ft., 4,700 t.
    twelve LCVP
    four LCM (Mk-6)
    three LCP(L) (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°
    three turbo-drive Ship's Service Generators - 250Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    237k SS Sea Bass's sponsor breaks the traditional bottle of Champange across the bow of the ship during launching ceremonies at Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA., 29 December 1942.
    Western Pipe and Steel Co. photo
    Dale Hargrave
    Chilton 27k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Chilton 135k USS Chilton (APA-38) loading cargo at Nanking (Nanjing), China in April, 1949, as part of the evacuation of Nationalist China civilians, military personnel and equipment to Shanghai.
    ©Life Magazine Archives, Jack Birns photographer, as shared by Peter DeForest.
    Mike Green
    Chilton 293k USS Chilton (APA-38) under way, leaving Nanking (Nanjing), China in April, 1949. The decks are crowded with Nationalist China civilians and military personnel being evacuated to Shanghai.
    ©Life Magazine Archives, Jack Birns photographer, as shared by Peter DeForest.
    Mike Green
    Chilton 226k USS Chilton (APA-38) under way and heading down the channel as she leaves Nanking (Nanjing), China in April, 1949. In the foreground USS LSM-44 and an unidentified LCI are moored pierside,
    ©Life Magazine Archives, Jack Birns photographer, as shared by Peter DeForest.
    Mike Green
    Chilton 131k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor off Panama in May 1957.
    Photo taken from USS Norris (DD-859),
    Dave Cupples MM2 USS Norris
    Chilton 379k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor off the coast of Beirut Lebanon during Operation Blue Bat. Chilton's LCVPs circle the ship awaiting instructions to proceed to USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) to load equipment for landing on the beach at Beirut, 16 July 1958.
    US Navy photo # USN 440-PS-9065 1.
    National Museum of the US Navy
    Chilton 33k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, circa 1952, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Chilton 406k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, circa 1961, location unknown. Wolfgang Hechler
    Chilton 141k USS Chilton (APA-38) at NOB Norfolk, VA., August 1964 © Richard Leonhardt
    Chilton 57k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, date and location unknown. Courtesy, Chuck Ulrich, coordinator/historian AP Transport Group
    Chilton 28k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor in the Bay of Marmaris, southern Turkey in April 1963. Julia Flowers
    USS Chilton web site
    Oglethorpe 663k USS Oglethorpe (AKA-100) moored at Genoa, Italy, 31 December 1967 between USS Mountrail (APA-213), at left and USS Chilton (APA-38), at right. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Chilton 89k USS Chilton (APA-38) under way in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 December 1967. She has just completed replenishing from USS Allagash (AO-97) (not shown. Note that her command facilities have expanded to port and displaced the forward boat davits and its boats.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # K-43250, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Chilton 1154k USS Chilton (APA-38) in a Mediterranean moor in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 31 December 1967. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Chilton 88k USS Chilton (APA-38) in the vicinity of Sardinia, circa 1968 Photo by Jerry Search
    Chilton 137k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Chilton 138k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Chilton 129k USS Chilton (APA-38)'s 5"/38 gun mount, circa 1968-69 Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 64k USS Chilton (APA-38) with a mock up of the Apollo space capsule on her #3 hatch, circa May 1969. Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 134k USS Chilton (APA-38) with a mock up of the Apollo space capsule on her #3 hatch, circa May 1969. Bill Foss USS Chilton 1968-69
    Chilton 99k USS Chilton (APA-38) at anchor while her assault boats circle the attack transport while waiting to load.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Chilton 1003k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 1 June 1971. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    301k USS Chilton (APA-38) underway, date and location unknown.
    Photo © Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio

    For more photos and information about USS Chilton, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Chilton APA-38
  • Navy Yard New York Bayfield Class APA Conversion Model Contributed by Bill West USS Cambria (APA-36)

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Perry, Roger Edison, USN (USNA 1924)29 May 1943 - 10 July 1943
     Decommissioned10 July 1943 - 7 December 1943
    02CAPT. Geisenhoff, Arthur Cooper, USN (USNA 1916)7 December 1943 - 29 September 1944
    03CAPT. Turney, Hugh Weber, USN (USNA 1920) :RADM29 September 1944 - 28 July 1945
    04CAPT. Angerer, Warner Welby, USN28 July 1945 - 4 February 1947
    05CAPT. LaJeunesse, Roy Warren, USN (USNA 1924)4 February1947 - 10 September 1947
    06CAPT. Naquin, Oliver Francis, USN (USNA 1925) :RADM10 September 1947 - 21 November 1949
    07CAPT. Aylward, Theodore Charles, USN (USNA 1924) :RADM21 November 1949 - 29 June 1950
    08CAPT. Curtin, Neale Roland, USN (USNA 1928) :RADM29 June 1950 - 28 May 1951
    09CAPT. Grant, James Donald Livingston, USN (USNA 1930)28 May 1951 - 9 July 1952
    10CAPT. Bernet, Edward, USN9 July 1952 - 25 May 1953
    11CAPT. Williams, Russell Champion, USN (USNA 1931) :RADM25 May 1953 - 8 June 1954
    12CAPT. Iverson, Clifton, USN (USNA 1931)8 June 1954 - 31 August 1955
    13CAPT. Duncan, Charles Kenney, USN (USNA 1933) :ADM31 August 1955 - 17 September 1956
    14CAPT. Mayberry, Dale, USN (USNA 1933)17 September 1956 - 12 July 1957
    15CAPT. Lee, John Marshall, USN (USNA 1935) :VADM12 July 1957 - 1 August 1958
    16CAPT. Dabney, Thomas Bullard, USN (USNA 1936)1 August 1958 - 12 September 1959
    17CAPT. Currie, John Patteson, USN (USNA 1937)12 September 1959 - 16 May 1960
    18CAPT. Robinson, Leslie Somers, USN (USNA 1939)16 May 1960 - May 1961
    19CAPT. Brownlie, Robert Marvin, USN (USNA 1939)May 1961 - 22 April 1962
    20CAPT. Block, George Lawrence, USN (USNA 1940)22 April 1962 - 18 May 1963
    21CAPT. Smith, Robert Good, USN (USNA 1943)18 May 1963 - 1 July 1964
    22CAPT. Brock Jr., Clarence Columbus, USN (USNA 1944)1 July 1964 - July 1965
    23CAPT. Talley Jr., George Clyde, USN (USNA 1944) :VADMJuly 1965 - 1 June 1966
    24CAPT. Petersen, Chester Lawrence, USN1 June 1966 - 4 August 1967
    25CAPT. Nelson, Wayne Stuart, USN (USNA 1945) :RADM4 August 1967 - 12 July 1968
    26CAPT. Cantwell Jr., William Patrick, USN (USNA 1946)12 July 1968 - 3 October 1969
    27CAPT. Haslip, John, USN 3 October 1969 - 2 November 1970
    28CAPT. Snowden, Macon St.Clair, USN (USNA 1946)2 November 1970 - 3 November 1971
    29CAPT. Mallard Jr., John Boyd, USN (USNA 1949)3 November 1971 - 31 May 1972
    30LCDR. Keyes, Bradley Nichols, USN (USNA 1959)31 May 1972 - 1 July 1972
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 11 March 2022