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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USAT Contessa (X-96)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

  • Laid down in 1930 as the refrigerated cargo ship SS Contessa at Workman Clark, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Launched, 18 February 1930
  • Delivered in 1930 to Vaccaro Brothers & Co. flagged Honduras
  • Acquired, 29 May 1942, at New Orleans, LA. from Standard Fruit & Steamship Co.
  • Allocated, sub bare bottom charter, to the War Department, at New York, N.Y., 14 July 1943
  • Contessa was assigned to the US Army Small Ship Section Southwest-Pacific Area (with the local fleet number X-96)during World War II from 18 September 1943 into 1945 as a troop ship
  • Turned over to the War Shipping Administration (WSA), 28 May 1946, at Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Returned to United Fruit & Steamship Co. at New Orleans, 20 August 1947
    Displacement 5,228 gross tons
    Length 381'
    Beam 53'
    Draft 30'
    Speed 16 kts.
    Officers unknown
    Enlisted, unknown
    Cargo Capacity refrigerated 327,886 cu ft.
    Cruise Radius unknown
    one 4-cyl steam engine
    single shaft

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    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Contessa 39k SS Contessa moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    Photo from Wikipedia Commons
    Contessa 77k SS Contessa under way, date and location unknown.
    Photo from Wikipedia Commons
    USAT Contessa (X-96)
    83k Aerial port view of Contessa (X-96) underway, circa 8 September 1943 to early 1945, location unknown. Note the 5inch gun and the 20mm Oerlikon AA guns aft. Further 20mm guns are mounted in the bows and at either end of the superstructure.
    Australian War Memorial, Naval Historical Collection ID Number: 303150.
    Robert Hurst

    USAT Contessa
    History from Wikipedia
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    "Twelve Desperate Miles" by Tom Brady
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 4 October 2020