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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Sumter (APA-52)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Quebec - Uniform
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Goldwyn Sumter
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

Sumter Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down, 3 April 1942, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-E1) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 474) for the Waterman Steamship Co., as SS Iberville at Gulf Shipbuilding Co., Chickasaw, AL.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 30 April 1943
  • Renamed and classified as the Navy Transport Sumter (AP-97)
  • Launched, 4 October 1942
  • Reclassified Attack Transport (APA-52), 1 February 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 30 April 1943, placed in reduced commission, CDR. William A. McHale USNR (APA Ferry Crew #5) in command
  • Decommissioned, 13 May 1943, at Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, MD. for fitting out as an Attack Transport
  • Re-commissioned in full USS Sumter (APA-52), 1 September 1943, CAPT. Allan D. Blackledge in command
  • During WWII USS Sumter was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Twelve, COMO. H.B. Knowles USN (17);
    TransDiv Thirty-Six, CAPT. G.W. Johnson USN (18) 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
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, San Pedro Bay, 16 to 21 October and 19 to 29 November 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 24 June 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and capture of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 5 April 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944

  • Following World War II USS Sumter was assigned to Occupation service from 13 to 27 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 19 March 1946, at Gulf Shipbuilding Co., Chickasaw AL.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • USS Sumter earned five battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 1 August 1946, for disposal
  • Merchant Service
    Title passed to Waterman SS Co., 8 April 1947
    Converted into a containership at Mobile SR Inc., Chickasaw, AL., September 1957, renamed SS Gateway City
    Sold to Pan-Atlantic SS. Co., 7 February 1956
    Converted to a Cargo Trailership in September 1957
    Resold to Coastal Ship Corp., in December 1957
    Resold to Donmac Corp., 15 May 1968
    Resold to R.J. Reynolds Industries Inc., 12 December 1970
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 31 August 1978, to Four Seas Enterprises Limited for scrapping at Hong Kong in October 1978
    Displacement 13,910 t.(fl)
    Length 468' 9"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 23' 3"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    39 Officers
    410 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    91 Officers
    1,472 Enlisted
    Cargo Capacity 1,300 DWT
    non-refrigerated 170,000 cu. ft.
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    ten single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 8,575 Bbls
    Diesel 750 Bbls
    one General Electric geared drive turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gear
    three 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Sumter (APA-52)
    Sumter 23k
    Thomas Sumter, (born August 14, 1734, Hanover county, Virginia [U.S.]—died June 1, 1832, South Mount, South Carolina, U.S.), legislator and officer in the American Revolution, remembered for his leadership of troops against British forces in North and South Carolina, where he earned the sobriquet “the Carolina Gamecock.” Sumter served in the French and Indian War and later moved to South Carolina. After the fall of Charleston (1780) he escaped to North Carolina, where he became brigadier general of state troops. After successes over the British at Catawba and at Hanging Rock (Lancaster county), he was defeated the same year at Fishing Creek (Chester county). He defeated Mayor Wemyss at Fishdam Ford and repulsed Colonel Banastre Tarleton at Blackstock (both in Union county) in November 1780. After the war Sumter served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789–93; 1797–1801) and in the U.S. Senate (1801–10). He was the last surviving general officer of the Revolution. Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was named for him. Text from the Encyclopedia Britannica
    Bill Gonyo
    Sumter 98k Sumter (APA-52) off Baltimore, MD., 10 May 1943, after arriving on her ferry voyage from Mobile, AL., and before conversion. Note that her rig as delivered by the builder consisted of three single masts.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # 19-N-44543, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy
    Mike Green
    US National Archives 80-G-81683
    201k The just completed USS Sumter (APA-52) underway off Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA., 9 September 1943, her davits as yet empty of landing craft. The two empty gun tubs aft were soon filled by a pair of quad 1.1" machine cannon, ultimately replaced by twin 40 mm guns.
    NavSource photo #'s NS 1000305206 and NS 100305207, US Navy photos, and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-81683, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Robert Hurst
    Mike Green
    Terry Tull
    NS 100306206
    NS 100306206
    Sumter 43k USS Sumter (APA-52) underway, date and location unknown. Terry Tull
    Sumter 47k USS Sumter (APA-52) underway, date and location unknown. Terry Tull
    Merchant Service Waterman Steamship Co. Sea-Land Service Inc.
    Sumter 72k Ex-Sumter (APA-52) under way while in merchant service as the Waterman Steamship Co.'s SS Gateway City departing Bremen, Germany, on the River Wiser, Germany, in thick fog, September 1966. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Sumter 164k The Waterman Steamship Co.'s SS Gateway City under way in the English Channel, circa early-1950s.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Sumter 211k Ex-USS Sumter (APA-52) the Sea-Land Service Inc. containership SS Gateway City under way in US waters, date and location unknown.
    ©C. A. Duncan.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Sumter (APA-52)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
     CDR. McHale, William Alfred, USNR (APA Ferry Crew #5)30 April 1943 - 13 May 1943
    01CAPT. Blackledge, Allan Douglas1 September 1943 - 11 December 1943
    02CAPT. Haff, Theodore Germond11 December 1943 - 30 July 1944
    03CDR. O'Pry Jr., James Theodore30 July 1944 - 1 December 1945
    04CAPT. Van Swearingen, Earl Kendall USN (USNA 1927)1 December 1945 - 10 January 1946
    05LCDR. Winkel, Matthew John10 January 1946 - 22 January 1946
    06LCDR. Callahan, Francis Thomas (Frank), USNR22 January 1946 - 19 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 17 March 2017