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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Francis Marion (LPA-249)
USS Francis Marion (APA-249) (1961 - 1969)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Delta - Echo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon
Navy Expeditionary Medal (Cuba) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba)

USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) was transferred to Spain and renamed Aragón (L-22)
Paul Revere Class Amphibious Transport:
  • Laid down as SS Prairie Mariner, a Maritime Administration type (C4-S-1A) hull, under a Maritime Administration contract, at New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 13 February 1954
  • Delivered to the Maritime Administration, 25 May 1954
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, 6 January 1955
  • Acquired by the Navy, 16 March 1959
  • Commissioned USS Francis Marion (APA-249), 6 July 1961, CAPT. David S. Bill, Jr. in command
  • Redesignated Amphibious Transport (LPA-249), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 January 1980
  • Sold to Spain, 11 July 1980, under the Security Assistance Program, renamed Aragón (L-22)
  • Decommissioned by the Spanish Navy in 2000
  • Final Disposition, as of 2002 in use as a training hulk by UOE ("Unidad de Operaciones Especiales", Special Operations Unit) at La Carraca, Cádiz, Spain
  • Struck by the Spanish Navy per Order 600/15622/00), 20 September 2000
  • Final Disposition, scrapped
    Displacement 16,828 t (fl)
    Length 563' 6"
    Beam 76'
    Draft 27'
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement 414
    Troop Accommodations 1500
    Armament four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two Babcock and Wilcox WT boilers, 620 psi
    one geared turbine
    single propeller, 19,250shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    United States Maritime Administration
    Francis Marion
    431k Launching of SS Prairie Mariner, 13 February 1954, at New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, N.J., Dale Hargrave
    USS Francis Marion (APA-249 / LPA-249)
    Francis Marion 191k

    Francis Marion was born in 1732 at Winyah, a plantation in St. John’s Parish, Berkeley County, S.C., near Georgetown. He gained his first military experience fighting Cherokee Indians in 1759 and 1761, during the French and Indian Wars. Elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress in 1775, he was soon commissioned captain and helped defend Patriot positions in Charleston Harbor in 1776. Marion participated in the unsuccessful American campaign to take Georgia in 1779. When the British took Charleston in the following year and overran most of the State, Marion was commissioned a brigadier general and distinguished himself in organizing and leading a guerrilla band which soon won fame harassing British units and intimidating Tories. When the perplexed red coats sent their reliable troubleshooter Colonel Tarleton in pursuit of Marion, the crafty American won the sobriquet, “the Swamp Fox,” by slipping through the Carolina marshlands. He subsequently joined General Green and assisted in the skillful series of tactical maneuvers which exhausted the British Army under Cornwallis, ultimately causing him to abandon the Carolinas and head toward his doom at Yorktown. After peace returned, Marion served in the State senate until retiring from public life in 1790. He died 27 February 1790.
    Image from the University of San Diego, Department of History
    Bill Gonyo
    Francis Marion 34k USS Francis Marion (APA-249) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Francis Marion 70k USS Francis Marion (APA-249) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Bob Martin
    USS Francis Marion web site
    Hermitage 93k Amphibious Group at sea, 17 April 1964. The ships are USS Hermitage (LSD-34) in left foreground, USS Francis Marion (APA-249) in center, USS Plymouth Rock (LSD-29) in the left rear and USS Yancey (AKA-93) in the right rear. Three UH-34 helicopters are flying in formation over Francis Marion. Photo was received from USS Francis Marion in 1964.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #: NH 85059
    Robert Hurst
    Francis Marion 233k USS Francis Marion (APA-249) under way in Hampton Roads, VA. in 1968
    US Navy photo
    Photo by Masao Aochi
    Francis Marion 145k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) moored pierside at Norfolk, VA., Fall 1976 Photo by Steven Loomis IC3, USNR
    Francis Marion 41k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) moored pierside at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Fall 1976 Photo by Steven Loomis IC3, USNR
    Francis Marion 75k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) departing Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA., circa 1977. Tommy Trampp
    Francis Marion 151k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) moored pierside at NOB Norfolk, VA. circa 1978.
    Photo by Karsten Petersen
    Robert Hurst
    Francis Marion 82k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Francis Marion 316k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) in tow in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, 7 October 1978. Photos by Gilbert Gyssels
    Francis Marion 206k
    Francis Marion 68k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) at anchor in the harbor at Valletta, Malta, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Francis Marion
    332k USS Francis Marion (LPA-249) underway in the harbor at Valletta, Malta, circa 1970s.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker
    Aragón (L-22)
    Francis Marion 45k Aragón (L-22) Ship's patch Francisco Javier Santos Vazquez, La Coruña, Spain
    Francis Marion 92k Ex-USS Francis Marion (APA-249), seen here in Spanish service as Aragón (L-22), Cadiz, Spain in 1984. Photo by Ignacio Lopez
    ex member Armada Espanola
    Francis Marion
    34k Aragón (L-22) underway, date and location unknown Antonio Gómez Martín
    Francis Marion
    42k Aragón (L-22) underway, date and location unknown Antonio Gómez Martín
    Francis Marion
    251k Aragón (L-22) with Castilla (LA-21) [ex-USS Paul Revere (APA-248) moored astern of her at Rota, Spain, circa late 1980s. Photo by Antonio Gómez Martín
    Francis Marion
    691k All the remains of USS Francis Marion (APA-249), [Aragón (L-22)], is this section of her foremast. It was donated by the Spanish Navy (Armada Española) to the municipality of Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz, and dedicated in 2006. Photo by Diego Quevedo Carmona

    USS Francis Marion (APA/LPA-249)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Bill Jr., David Spencer, USN (USNA 1939)6 July 1961 - 29 July 1963
    02CAPT. Harris, Raymond Maxwell, USN29 July 1963 - July 1964
    03CAPT. De La Mater, Stephen Truesdell, USN (USNA 1944)July 1964 - August 1965
    04CAPT. Now, John George, USNAugust 1965 - 19 August 1966
    05CAPT. Frame Jr., Ralph Wilcutt, USN (USNA 1944)19 August 1966 - November 1967
    06CAPT. Masica, Eugene Milo, USN (USNA 1845)November 1967 - May 1969
    07CAPT. Hoover, Lloyd Nims, USN (USNA 1949)May 1969 - July 1970
    08CAPT. Pace Jr., Robert Dunlap, USNJuly 1970 - 16 February 1972
    09CAPT. Fenwick, Joseph Eugene, USN16 February 1972 - 29 August 1973
    10CAPT. Zacharias, Jerrold Matthew (Zack),USN (USNA 1952)29 August 1973 - 6 December 1974
    11CAPT. Rueff, Eugene Carl, USN6 December 1974 - 31 January 1976
    12CDR. Hurley Jr., Michael James, USN (temporary)31 January 1976 - 29 February 1976
    13CAPT. Rueff, Eugene Carl, USN29 February 1976 - 14 May 1976
    14CAPT. Carr Sr., Nevin Palmer, USN (USNA 1953)14 May 1976 - 9 September 1978
    15CAPT. Martin, Richard Lee, USN (USNA 1959)9 September 1978 - 30 September 1979
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional 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 22 September 2023