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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25)
USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) (1942 - 1943)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Foxtrot - Alpha - Victor
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 - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

USS Arthur Middleton was manned the US Coast Guard during World War II
Arthur Middleton Class Transport:
  • Laid down, 1 July 1940, as SS African Comet, a Maritime Commission type (C3-P&C) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 106) at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 28 June 1941
  • Acquired by the Navy, 6 January 1942, from American South African Lines, Inc.
  • Converted for Naval service at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.
  • Commissioned USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55), 7 September 1942, CDR. P. K. Perry, USCG, in command
  • Redesignated Attack Transport (APA-25), 1 February 1943
  • During World War II USS Arthur Middleton was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Twelve, COMO. H.B. Knowles USN (17);
    TransDiv Thirty-Five, CAPT. R.C. Bartman and participated in the following campaigns;

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa landing, 20 to 29 November 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte Gulf landings, 20 October and 14 November 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, 17 to 23 February 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 24 June 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 5 April 1945

  • Coast Guard crew turned USS Arthur Middleton over to the Naval Transportation Service (NTS), 8 February 1946
  • Decommissioned, 21 October 1946, at Norfolk VA.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 October 1958
  • USS Arthur Middleton earned six battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration, 3 March 1959, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet James River, Lee Hall, VA..
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 9 May 1973, to Consolidated Steel Corp., Brownsville, TX. (PD-X-956, dated 4 April 1973) for $96,666.00, withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet, 10 August 1973
    Displacement 10,812 t.(lt), 16,480 t.(fl)
    Length 489'
    Beam 69' 9"
    Draft 27' 4"
    Speed 18.4 kts.
    Officers - 29
    Enlisted - 501
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 82
    Enlisted 1,255
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    four .50 cal AA machine guns
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO - 10,685 Bbls
    Diesel - 1,120 Bbls
    one General Electric turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler D-type boilers 465psi 765°
    Ship's Service Generators
    one Diesel-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Pre-War Merchant Service
    Arthur Middleton 840k 1940s magazine advertisements featuring SS African Comet built by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS. (Ingalls Ironworks, Birmingham, AL.) Tommy Trampp
    Arthur Middleton 132k
    Arthur Middleton 129k
    Arthur Middleton 34k American South African Lines, Inc.'s SS African Comet as built for merchant service before acquisition by the US Navy, underway, circa late-1941, location unknown. Dan Carey
    USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55)
    Arthur Middleton 30k

    Arthur Middleton was born on 26 June 1742 on his family's estate, Middleton Place, near Charleston, S.C. He was educated in England and, upon returning to South Carolina, became active in local politics. Middleton was elected to the colonial House of Assembly in 1764; served until 1768; and, after a four-year absence, was reelected to the House in 1772. He sat in the first provincial congress and served on the secret committee of five people that arranged and directed the seizure of powder and weapons from the public storehouses in Charleston on the night of 21 April 1776. On 14 June, he became a member of the first Council of Safety, which assumed the executive power of the colony.
    On 11 February 1776, Middleton was appointed to a committee of 11 to draft a constitution for South Carolina. A few days later, he was elected to the Continental Congress and, still later, signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of South Carolina. He continued serving in the Congress until October 1777. While he was reelected three more times between 1778 and 1780, Middleton did not actually serve in Congress during these years. During the siege of Charleston in 1780, Middleton was a member of the militia. He was taken prisoner when the British captured the city and was sent to St. Augustine, Fla., as a prisoner of war. He was exchanged in July 1781 and sat in the session of Congress of 1782. After the war ended, Middleton devoted himself to managing his plantation. He died at Goose Creek, S.C., on 1 January 1787.
    Bill Gonyo
    Arthur Middleton 90k SS African Comet, 10 January 1942, soon after her arrival at the Tietjen & Lang Dry Dock Co. yard in Hoboken, N. J. for interim conversion to USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55). Although this handsome ship was completed and ran trials as a merchant ship, the Navy took her over before she could enter mercantile service.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-27716 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Arthur Middleton 87k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) departing New York, 18 January 1942, enroute to the Pacific after interim conversion for Naval service at Tietjen & Lang Dry Dock Co. yard in Hoboken, N. J. She operated as a civilian-manned convoy-loaded transport until arriving at San Francisco in June 1942 for final conversion to a combat-loaded (attack) transport.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-27271 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Arthur Middleton 67k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55), underway in the Pacific Ocean, date unknown.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    Arthur Middleton 104k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) undergoing conversion from a Maritime Commission Passenger and Cargo liner to an Attack Transport in drydock at San Francisco Navy Yard, Hunters Point, circa 1942. Photographs show how much had to be added to a cargo liner to convert her into an attack transport. She needed heavier booms to handle landing craft (note the boat chocks atop the hatch in the photo of the ship's after end). Note also the catwalk to assist in handling personnel boats launched from the new triple Welin davits, and the boat chocks positioned under the davits. The small lattice mast ultimately carried a radar antenna.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photos from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Arthur Middleton 126k
    Arthur Middleton 117k
    Arthur Middleton 732k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) under tow in Suisun Bay after modification at Mare Island Navy Yard, 2 September 1942.
    US Navy Mare Island Navy Yard Photo #'s 5310-9-42 and 5312-9-42 from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and History Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Arthur Middleton 781k
    Arthur Middleton 122k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) in late 1942 after completing conversion to a combat-loaded (attack) transport. Note the 5"/51 gun on the stern.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-27271 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Arthur Middleton 22k USS Arthur Middleton (AP-55) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Russ Padden
    USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25)
    Arthur Middleton 85k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, 4 September 1943. Her 5"/51 gun aft has been removed and two twin 40mm mounts have been added, one on the stern in place of the 5" gun and one in a new elevated position at the bow.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-50432 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Arthur Middleton 59k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    Arthur Middleton
    443k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) headed toward the Marshall Islands, with Marines where they will storm the beaches of formidable Japanese bases in the Pacific. The invasion resulted in a sweeping victory, circa. January 1944.
    US National Archives Identifier 205585861, Local Identifier 26-G-3247, US Coast Guard Photo # 26-G-3247.
    David Upton
    President Monroe
    318k USS President Monroe (AP-104) emerges from a smoke screen laid down by USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) in Kwajalein Lagoon during assault on the Marshall Islands, 12 February 1944. Smoke was generated to hide ships from Japanese aircraft detected in the area. (ref. USS Arthur Middleton War Diary 1/1/44 to 2/29/44).
    US National Archives Identifier 205585888, Local Identifier 26-G-3249 Coast Guard Photo # 26-G-3249.
    David Upton
    Arthur Middleton
    501k Hundreds of the ship's company and Marines of the 2nd Batt. 25th Reg., 4th Marine Div. gather in reverence during an Easter season memorial mass conducted on the after boat deck of USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) off the Marshall Islands to honor those Marines and Sailors that gave their lives in the victorious invasion of Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls and other Marshall Island strongholds. The ship's chaplain, assisted by the Navy chaplain assigned to the Marines, lead the services before an improvised altar, marked by the American flag draped from a landing craft.
    US National Archives Identifier 205586013, Local Identifier 26-G-3438, US Coast Guard Photo # 26-G-4120
    David Upton
    Arthur Middleton
    552k An American soldier who gave his life in the fighting for Luzon is buried at sea from USS Arthur Middleton )APA-25). As Navy CDR. Herbert P. McNalley, the Chaplain, performs the last rites, the guard of honor stands at "present arms" and the Coast Guard crew salute in honor of the dead," before 14 March 1945.
    US National Archives Identifier 205585684., Local Identifier 26-G-4120, US Coast Guard Photo # 26-G-4120.
    David Upton
    Arthur Middleton 124k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) overhead view, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Dan Carey
    Arthur Middleton 96k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) underway off San Francisco, 30 August 1945. Improvements visible include a twin radar-controlled 40mm AA gun mount forward, just abaft the two 3"/50s, and an enclosed control position just forward of the lattice radar mast.
    US Navy photo # USN 339869 from the collections of the Office of the US Coast Guard Historian.
    Mike Green and Robert Hurst
    Arthur Middleton 71k LT. Robert E. Burke USCGR on board USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25)during World War II. Dan Carey
    Arthur Middleton 70k LT. Robert E. Burke USCGR and two fellow USS Middleton officers with Jack Dempsey. Dan Carey
    Arthur Middleton 197k USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) returning veterans to San Francisco from the Pacific after the war during "Operation Magic Carpet," circa 1946. Dan Carey

    USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Perry, Paul Kelly, USCG7 September 1942 - 31 July 1943AP-55 / APA-25
    02CAPT. Olsen, Severt Andrew, USCG31 July 1943 - 19 December 1943APA-25
    03CAPT. McKean, George W., USCG Temporary19 December 1943 - 8 March 1944APA-25
    04CAPT. Olsen, Severt Andrew, USCG8 March 1944 - 20 August 1945APA-25
    05CAPT. Glynn, John Arthur, USCG20 August 1945 - 8 February 1946APA-25
    06CAPT. Adams, Jr., Joseph Wade, USN (USNA 1924)8 February1946 - 8 August 1946APA-25
    07CDR. Beyer Jr., Aaron Frederick, USN (USNA 1933)8 August 1946 - 21 October 1946APA-25
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Data Base
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 23 July 2021