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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Leon (APA-48)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Victor - Kilo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

Bayfield Class Attack Transport:
  • Originally assigned the name SS Sea Dolphin by the Maritime Commission
  • Assigned to the Navy as a Transport and renamed Leon (AP-93)
  • Reclassified an Attack Transport (APA-48), 1 February 1943
  • Laid down, 6 February 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (C3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 428) at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 19 June 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 11 September 1943, and placed in reduced commission for transit to her fitting out yard at Brooklyn, N.Y., LCDR. James H. Budd, USNR, (Ferry Crew #4), in command
  • Decommissioned, 27 September 1943, at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Leon (APA-48), 12 February 1944, CAPT. Bruce Byron Adell in command
  • During WWII USS Leon was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Twenty, COMO. H. W. Grap USN (15);
    TransDiv Fifty-Nine, CAPT. J. K. Davis and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 24 June 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 11 January 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of Southern Palau Islands (Angaur Island), 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 5 April 1945
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 16 to 21 October and 19 to 24 November 1944

  • Following World War II USS Leon was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 to 28 September 194530 September to 28 November 1945
    30 November to 9 December 1945 

  • Decommissioned, 7 March 1946, at Chickasaw, AL.
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 2 April 1946, at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Mobile, AL. Group, for disposal
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • USS Leon earned five battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to Waterman SS Corp, Mobile AL. under a General Agency Agreement for conversion to merchant service
  • Sold to Isthmian Steamship Corp., 11 April 1947, renamed SS Steel Chemist
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in Spain, 29 July 1971, to Hierros Ardes S.A.
    Displacement 8,100 t.(lt), 16,100 t.(lim)
    Length 492'
    Beam 69' 6"
    Draft 26' 6" (lim)
    Speed 18.4 kts.
    642 Officers
    509 Enlisted
    Flag Accommodation
    43 Officers
    108 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    96 Officers
    1,457 Enlisted
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,700DWT
    non-refrigerated 175,000 cu. ft.,
    12 LCVP
    4 LCM (Mk-6)
    3 LCP(L) (MK-IV)
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20 mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Oil Capacity
    Navy Standard Fuel Oil 8,510 bbls.
    Diesel 750 bbls.
    one Westinghouse geared turbine
    two Foster-Wheeler D-type boilers 465psi 765°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive Ship Service Generators, 250kW 240V D.C.
    one propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service Isthmian SS CO.
    Leon 68k Ex-USS Leon (APA-48) in commercial service as the Isthmian Steamship Co.'s SS Steel Chemist underway in the harbor at Philadelphia, PA., date unknown. David Nixon

    USS Leon (APA-48)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
     LCDR. Budd, James Hodgeson, USNR11 September 1943 - 27 September 1943
     Decommissioned27 September 1943 - 12 February 1944
    01CAPT. Adell, Bruce Byron12 February 1944 - 1944
    02CAPT. Southworth, Harrison Belknap :RADM1944 - May 1945
    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 Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index Back To The Attack Transport (APA) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 21 November 2014