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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Pierce (APA-50)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Mike - Tango
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Individual Awards

Purple Hearts (2 KIA - Lingayen Gulf, 9 January 1945)

Ormsby Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down, 22 July 1942, as SS Northern Light a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 289), at Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Assigned to the Navy as Naval Transport as Pierce (AP-95)
  • Launched, 10 October 1942
  • Reclassified and redesignated Attack Transport (APA-50), 1 February 1943
  • Commissioned USS Pierce (APA-50), 30 June 1943, CDR. Arthur R. Ponto in command
  • During World War II USS Pierce was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
    TransRon Thirteen, COMO. M.O. Carson USN (16);
    TransDiv Thirty-Seven and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Makin Island, 20 to 24 November 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 13 to 21 October and 19 to 29 November 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 24 June 1944
    Manila Bay-Bicol operation
    Zambales-Subic Bay, 29 to 30 January 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Anguar, 5 September to 14 October 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 5 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Pierce was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 to 5 September 1945 and 14 to 26 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 11 March 1946, at Mobile, AL.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • USS Pierce earned eight battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 2 May 1946, for disposal
  • Merchant Service
    Title transfer for commercial service, 24 October 1947, to the United States Lines, renamed SS American Planter
    Returned to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA., 13 June 1965
    Withdrawn from reserve and chartered to States Marine Lines for MSTS operation, 26 August 1965
    Returned to the MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 17 November 1967
  • Final Disposition, purchased for scrapping, 3 March 1969, by National Metal and Steel Corp., Terminal Island, CA. Physically withdrawn from the reserve fleet, 25 March 1969 and scrapped in May 1969 at Terminal Island, CA.
    Displacement 13,910 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 3"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 24'
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    46 Officers
    478 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    83 Officers
    1,465 Enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 2,700 DWT
    non-refrigerated 150,000 cu. ft.
    two LCM(3)s
    twenty-two LCVPs
    two LCPUs
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 8,900 Bbls
    Diesel 675 Bbls
    one General Electric geared drive turbine
    two Foster-Wheeler D-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 250Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    one propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Pierce (APA-50)
    Pierce 97k Amidships looking forward plan view of USS Pierce (APA-50) at San Francisco, 1 September 1943
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6220-43
    Darryl Baker
    Pierce 84k Aft plan view of USS Pierce (APA-50) at San Francisco, 1 September 1943
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6222-43
    Darryl Baker
    Pierce 62k Stern view of USS Pierce (APA-50) off San Francisco, 3 September 1943
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6237-43
    Darryl Baker
    Pierce 62k Broadside view of USS Pierce (APA-50) off San Francisco, 3 September 1943. Notice that she has no landing craft in her boat davits.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6239-43
    Darryl Baker
    Pierce 82k USS Pierce (APA-50) at anchor, date and place unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Phil Kettmann
    Pierce 49k USS Pierce (APA-50) at anchor, date and place unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Phil Kettmann
    Pierce 55k USS Pierce (APA-50) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Phil Kettmann
    288k USS Pierce (APA-50), closest ship in background, stands off Saipan during the invasion of that island in June 1944.
    US National Archives ID 205586550, Local Identifier 26-G-2493, US Coast Guard photo # 2493 by Coast Guard photographer Gates.
    David Upton
    Pierce 62k USS Pierce (APA-50) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Pierce 91k USS Pierce (APA-50) off Hunters Point Navy Yard, San Francisco, 17 July 1945. Note the armament aft, including the two twin 40 mm mounts that replaced the ship's original two 1.1" quadruple mounts.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-90209, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Merchant Service
    Pierce 291k Watercolor/print of ex-Pierce (APA-50) in commercial service as the United States Line's freighter SS American Planter underway by M. Lenne. Ellene Emborn
    Pierce 61k SS American Planter berthed in Bremen, Germany, February 1963. Photo by Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus
    Pierce 275k SS American Planter underway, date and location unknown.
    (Originally copyrighted by &A. Duncan.)
    Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus

    USS Pierce (APA-50)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Ponto, Arthur Rudolph USN30 June 1943 - 30 April 1944
    02CAPT. Adams, Francis McKee, USN (USNA 1922)30 April 1944 - 30 April 1945
    03CDR. Ray, Clarence 'C' :RADM USN (USNA 1925)30 April 1945 - 11 March 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 27 August 2021