Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
USS PRESIDENT ADAMS AP-38
President Adams (AP-38), built under Maritime Commission contract, was laid
down as MC hull 57 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport
News, Va. 6 June 1940, Launched 31 January 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Robert R.
Jackson, delivered to the Navy 5 June 1941, converted by the Norfolk Navy
Yard; and commissioned 19 November 1941, Comdr. C. W. Brewington in command.
Stripped for war service with the entry of the United States into World War
II, 7 December 1941, President Adams fired her guns against the enemy, a U-
boat, for the first time on Christmas Day. Following the encounter, she
continued her shakedown exercises, then, steamed to the Pacific and trained
troops off California as she readied for her first amphibious operation. In
June, 1942, she embarked the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, and got underway 1
July for the south Pacific. Between 7 and 9 August, as the United States
launched the first step on the island paved path to victory in the Pacific
her LCMs and LCVPs landed the marines in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area.
Retiring from the area, the converted liner carried casualties to Samoa,
whence she began bringing in reinforcements. For six months she transported
fresh troops and equipment to, and brought out wounded from, Guadalcanal.
Organized resistance on that island ceased 9 February 1943 but the campaign
for the Solomons was not over. President Adams, redesignated APA-19
(effective 1 February) continued to carry men and equipment to and from
embattled islands of the south Pacific, escaping serious damage from numerous
Japanese air attacks. During March and April she trained assault troops in
New Zealand, then transported men and materiel from there, and from
Australia, to Guadalcanal, whence she steamed with Army forces for Rendova.
Landing those troops 30 June, she took on survivors from McCawley 1 July, and
sailed to Noumea.
From New Caledonia, President Adams returned to New Zealand, underwent an
abbreviated overhaul, then resumed transporting men and equipment to the
Solomons and training assault troops for amphibious operations, this time for
Bougainville. On 1 November, after bombarding the beaches at Torokina Point,
she landed the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, at Empress Augusta Bay.
During the next six months, President Adams thrice returned to Bougainville
with reinforcements; carried Army Engineers to Emirau; transported two groups
of Army reinforcements to Cape Gloucester on New Britain and, then, prepared
for action in the Marianas. In June, 194i, she steamed to Kwajalein, thence
to Saipan, where, as a floating reserve, she stood by to the east of the
island as the Battle of the Philippine Sea raged to the west. With the
postponement of the assault on Guam and her troops not needed on Saipan, she
steamed to Eniwetok where she remained until 17 July. On the 21st, she stood
off Guam as that operation got underway and during the next five days,
unloaded men and equipment sent supplies and provisions, including hot food,
to the beaches and took on casualties for evacuation to Pearl Harbor and the
By 16 October, having undergone overhaul, President Adams embarked
construction equipment at Port Hueneme and Sea Bee personnel at San Francisco
and sailed for Manus. Thence she returned to New Caledonia where she took on
Army infantrymen for transportation west, to the assault beaches on Lingayen
President Adams landed "passengers" and cargo 11-12 January 1945 then retired
to Leyte, discharging casualties from Lingayen, then she sailed back to Guam,
whence she carried Marine Corps units to Iwo Jima, landing them 19 February.
During the next ten days she stood off the beaches, unloading cargo,
receiving casualties, provisioning and repairing small boats.
After retiring to Saipan, President Adams continued on to Noumea, whence she
carried Army personnel to Leyte, and then, for the next two months, she
ferried troops from New Guinea to the Philippines. On 17 July she got
underway for the United States.
Emerging from overhaul at Portland, Ore., after the cessation of hostilities,
President Adams commenced moving occupation troops to the Far East and
returning veterans to the United States. After the initial post-war transport
assignments, she carried dependents to occupied zones and transported
military personnel and equipment to ports in Japan China and the Philippines.
On 7 March 1947, she departed the west coast for Norfolk. Arriving on the
24th, she commenced cargo and passenger runs between the east coast and the
Caribbean. Designated for inactivation in October, 1949, she completed her
last Caribbean run, to Port au Prince, Trinidad, and Coco Solo, 19 January-2
February 1950, and on the 8th departed Norfolk for the west coast. On 2 March
she arrived at San Francisco, where she decommissioned 14 June 1950 and
joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She remained berthed at San Francisco until
struck from the Navy List, 1 October 1958, and transferred to the Maritime
Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet, and was berthed at Suisun
Bay, Calif. into 1970.
President Adams earned 9 battle stars during World War II.