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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Leedstown (APA-56)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Victor - Hotel
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 (6)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Windsor Class Attack Transport:
  • Laid down, 26 August 1942, as SS Exchequer, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-A1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 590) at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Assigned to the Navy, 26 August 1942, as Wood (AP-101)
  • Reclassified Attack Transport (APA-56), 1 February 1943
  • Launched, 13 February 1943
  • Renamed Leedstown, 17 March 1943
  • Commissioned USS Leedstown (APA-56), 16 July 1943, CDR. Harold Bye in Command
  • During World War II USS Leedstown was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Eleven, COMO. D.W. Loomis USN (18);
    TransDiv Thirty-One (flagship) 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 5 February 1944
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 13 to 25 October and 14 November 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 July to 25 July 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 4 to 10 January 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 6 March 1945

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

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    12 to 25 October 1945
    22 to 26 December 1945

  • Decommissioned, 7 March 1946, at Seattle WA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 12 February 1946
  • USS Leedstown earned six battle stars for World War II service
  • Towed from Seattle to Norfolk, VA., by Wood Towing Transportation Co.
  • Delivered, 11 December 1946, to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Merchant Service
    Towed, 17 December 1946, by Moran Towing Co. from the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Norfolk, VA.
    Delivered, 20 December 1946, at Gulf Shipbuilding Corp. Chickasaw, AL. for conversion to merchant service
    Sold, 17 July 1947,to Shepard Steamship Co., renamed SS Minute Man
    Resold to American Export Lines, 2 August 1949, renamed SS Exilona
    American Export Isbandtsen Lines Inc, 8 June 1964
    Renamed to Mutual Steamship Operating Co., 8 January 1970, renamed SS Ilona
    Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in April 1970 to Tung Ho Steel Enterprises Corp. Taiwan

    Displacement 7,950 t.(lt), 13,143 t.(fl)
    Length 473' 1"
    Beam 66'
    Draft 25'
    Speed 18.6 kts.
    45 Officers
    522 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    91 Officers
    1,496 Enlisted
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 1,600 DWT
    non-refrigerated 150,000 Cu. ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 12,330 Bbls
    Diesel 675 Bbls
    one Bethlehem Shipbuilding geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 742°
    single Falk Main Reduction Gear
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V. D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller 8,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Leedstown (APA-56)
    Leedstown 95k USS Leedstown (APA-56) near the Norfolk Navy Yard, 19 August 1943.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-53218, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Leedstown 83k USS Leedstown (APA-56) underway, circa mid-1943. This view was probably taken just after completion of the ship's conversion to an attack transport but before she embarked her landing craft.
    US Navy photo # NH 99047 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Leedstown 98k USS Leedstown (APA-56) underway, 19 August 1943, location unknown. Circles on the photograph mark alterations, in this case the addition of life rafts.
    US Navy photo from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Leedstown 100k USS Leedstown (APA-56) at anchor, October 1943, location unknown. .
    Leedstown 142k USS Leedstown (APA-56) underway off the California coast, 30 August 1945. Photographed from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station San Pedro, CA.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-339875 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Merchant Service American Export LInes
    Leedstown 268k Ex-USS Leedstown (APA-56) in commercial service as the American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines SS Exilona underway on the River Weser enroute to Bremen, Germany, October 1964 Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Leedstown (APA-56)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Bye, Harold16 July 1943 - 20 December 1944
    02CAPT. Carlisle, H. A. USN (USNA 1921b)20 December 1944 - 9 August 1945
    03CAPT. Miller, Adolph Jerome9 August 1945 - 7 March 1946

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 11 August 2017