Monrovia (APA 31) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1966

Page 8 of 72

 

Monrovia (APA 31) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1966 Edition, Page 8
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HISTORY OF U.S.S. MONROVIA (APA-31) The USS MONROVIA is an Amphibious Attack Transport (APA), with a primary mission of trans- porting troops and combat equipment from rear areas and landing them in assault on enemy-held beaches. MONROVIA carries 23 assault boats with which to carry out these landings. She is also fitted out as a flagship, and is presently the flagship for Amphibious Squadron EIGHT. Her keel was laid on 26 March 1942 at Bethlehem Steel ' s Sparrows Point Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. She was first intended to be the DELTARGENTINA, part of the maritime fleet of Delta Lines, Inc; however, the U.S. Navy purchased the hull for conversion to an attack transport and she was christened USS MONROVIA on 19 September 1942. The ship was named for the home of President James Monroe, " MONROVIA " , located near the Potomac River not far from Wakefield, Westmor- land County, Virginia. The USS MONROVIA is 491 feet long with a beam of 65.8 feet. Her maximum speed is 17 knots with 7,800 shaft horse power. The daily fresh water distilling capacity is 40,000 gallons. Her displacement fully loaded (799 troops, with their associated equipment) is 14,281 tons and the normal cruising radius is 15,700 miles. The crew consists of 27 officers and 348 enlisted men. MONROVIA ' S homeport is Norfolk, Virginia. MONROVIA was commissioned on 1 December 1942. After training, shakedown and further con- version, she received Army troops on 10 May 1943 for transport to Oran, Algeria, in support of operations in North Africa. On 30 June 1943 General George S. Patton, Jr., boarded MONROVIA with his staff and troops to participate in the Sicilian Landings. MONROVIA received her first battle scars on 19 July 1943 in an attack off Sicily by a Stuka dive bomber which inflicted minor damage. After repairs, she set sail for the United States with Italian prisoners of war aboard. She was transferred to Pacific waters and operated in the New Zealand-New Hebrides area. On 20 November 1943, the bloody Tarawa assault found MONROVIA in the force, landing her troops and then acting as a casualty evacuation ship. On the 15th of June 1944, MONROVIA again flew her battle colors during the Saipan invasion. She once again came through air attacks and shore fire unscratched. In the Guam landings which followed, MONROVIA spent seven days with assault area landing elements of the 77th Infantry Division and experienced casualties. After repairs in Pearl Harbor, MONROVIA participated in the Leyte invasion. On the 20th of October 1944, she landed elements of the 96th Infantry Division and completed offloading equipment the next day, just in time to miss the arrival of units of the Japanese Fleet coming up from the Sulu Sea. The exit from the transport area was made under cover of a heavy smoke screen. On New Year ' s Eve, 1944, MONROVIA got underway to participate in the assault on Luzon, Philippine Islands. She made two trips to Luzon during the month of January 1945 and MONROVIA landed her troops in the assault on Okinawa, harrassed by vicious air attacks. After the war, MONROVIA served as shuttle ship between China a ' nd Japan, carrying troops and supplies. She was decommissioned into the Reserve Fleet on 31 January 1947.

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