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Ship's Namesake

The ship was named in the memory of Alexander Edward Anderson, distinguished soldier and successful businessman. He was born 23 November 1889 in New York City and enlisted in the National Guard in 1910. He rose through the ranks and became a commanding officer of the “Fighting Irish” 69th regiment of the New York National Guard (Later known as the 165th Infantry, 42nd Division). He fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War I. He won the D.S.C., D.S.M., Croix De Guerre with star and palm and the Legion of Honor.

In 1934 he was promoted to command the regiment in which he fought during the war. In 1938 he was promoted to Brigadier General in the National Guard and commanded the 93rd Brigade. At the outbreak of WWII he was appointed Major General and for a time commanded a division overseas. He became the commander of the 86th Infantry Division upon its activation 15 December 1942. He died only nine days later, on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1942.

Construction

The USS General A. E. Anderson was the second in a unique class of eleven troop transports specially designed by the Maritime Commission. USS General John Pope (AP110) was the first hull of its class to be launched. It gave its name to the class of ship and to the hull type which the Maritime Commission (MC) identified as P2. The Anderson hull was MC #689 and it was built at the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. in Kearney, New Jersey.

The USS Anderson was christened by Mrs. George C. Marshall and slid down the ways on 2, May 1943. She was acquired by the Navy 25 August 1943 and placed in partial commission the same day for immediate transfer to Baltimore to the Maryland Dry Dock Co. for conversion to a transport ship. Conversion consisted of alterations to crew quarters and installation of armaments.

It was placed in full commission 5 October 1943 and readied for its shakedown cruise with Captain W. E. Miller in command.

Specifications For the General (P2) Class

DISPLACEMENT: 11,450T (20,175 T fully loaded)
LENGTH: 622’ 7”
BEAM: 75’ 6”
DRAFT: 25’ 6”
SPEED: 20.6 knots
CREW COMPLEMENT: 43 officers, 464 enlisted 507
TROOP CAPACITY: 5,289 officers and enlisted
PROPULSION: Steam turbine engines, twin screws; 18,700 shaft HP
ARMAMENT: Four, single, 5’/38 dual gun mounts; Sixteen, 1.1” guns; Twenty, 20mm guns;

Sister Ships

AP 110 GENERAL JOHN POPE
AP 111 GENERAL A. E. ANDERSON
AP 112 GENERAL W. A. MANN
AP 113 GENERAL HENRY W. BUTNER
AP 114 GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL
AP 115 GENERAL GEORGE M. RANDALL
AP 116 GENERAL M. C. MEIGS
AP 117 GENERAL WALTER H. GORDON
AP 118 GENERAL W. P. RICHARDSON
AP 119 GENERAL WILLIAM WEIGEL
AP 176 GENERAL J. C. BRECKENRIDGE

Another ten “HALF SISTER” ships were contracted to be built on the West Coast at the Bethlehem-Alameda Shipbuilding Company during 1944-45. Of these, the last two were cancelled due to the end of WWII. The eight constructed ships were designated as the Admiral class, but each was subsequently assigned to MSTS, re-named for generals and given T-AP numbers.

The “Admirals” were built on the P-2 hulls, but rather than the distinctive clipper bow, two pole masts and pair of racked stacks of the “Generals”, they had a fairly straight bow, two kingposts and squat stacks. The “Admirals” were considered to be more business-like in appearance. With twin screws, all the P-2’s were fast and highly maneuverable. They had two independent engine rooms so that the ships still had a chance to navigate if hit while plying enemy submarine infested waters.

These ships were designed for point-to-point transfer of large quantities of troops, i.e., dockside to dockside wherever possible. Whereas the smaller APA,s were designed to unload all their troops while floating free, it was an unspoken secret that the AP’s didn’t have the capacity to assure survival of some 5800 passengers and crew in case of sinking.

"The ship was decommissioned at NSC Oakland, CA on 10 Nov. 1958 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. It was transferred to the Maritime Administration and towed to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA where it remained for the next 29 years. In 1986 it was sold to CJW Shipping and Trading, Inc., a US company, for scrapping in Taiwan. It was removed from Suisun Bay in 1987 and towed to Kaohsiung, Taiwan where it was scrapped later that year."

Captians Onboard

1. CAPT. WILLIAM EDWARD MILLER USN 055936 DOB 1-6-1898 DOD 2/8/88 MA. FIRST ANDY CO 11/1943 - 12/1944

2. CAPT. GEORGE WHITEFIELD MEAD Jr. USN 020448 DOB 6/29/1897 DOD 7/72 D.C. CO 12/1944 – 4/1946

3. CAPT. RALPH ELMER BUTTERFIELD USN 056844 DOB 3/25/1899 DOD 6/81 CA CO 4/1946 - ?/1947

4. CAPT. JOHN FRANCIS NEWMAN JR. USN 060219 DOB 5-15-04 DOD 6/63 CO ?/1948 - 7/1949

5. CAPT. PAUL CYRIL WIRTZ USN 058288 DOB 9/30/02 DOD 11/66 HI
CO 7/1949 - 6/1950

6. CAPT. WILFRED ERIC LANKENAU USN 058628 DOB 11-04-01 DOD 12/89 CA. CO 6/1950 - ?/1951

7. CAPT. JOHN AMES HOLBROOK USN O58661 DOB 10/26/02 DOD 4/86 CA CO 5/1951 - ?/1952

8. CAPT. JOSEPH WILLIAM FOWLER USN 058597 DOB 11/22/03 DOD 5/76 CO ?/1952 - ?/1953 (ONBOARD 7/52 AND 7/53)

9. CAPT. HENRY MORRIS MARSHALL USN 061498 DOB 10/06/03 DOD 6/94 WA CO ?/1953 - ?/1954? (ONBOARD 4/54)

10. CAPT. JOSEPH RONALD HAMLEY USN 061409 DOB 1/15/05 DOD 1/90 CO ?/1954 - ?/195? (ONBOARD 9/54)

11. CAPT. GEORGE RUSSELL OVER USN 063141 DOB 6/5/06 DOD 5/91 CA CO ?/1955 - ?/1956 (ONBOARD12/55)

12.CAPT. JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN USN 063408 DOB 11/24/06 DOD 2/83 CA CO ?/1956 - 2/1958 (LAST SEA COMMAND WAS THE USS GENERAL ANDERSON. HE RETIRED AS REAR ADMIRAL. COMMANDED TWO DESTROYERS DURING WWII. AWARDED TWO BRONZ STARS AND PRESIDENTIAL CITATION)

13. CAPT. JAMES FRANCIS TUCKER USN 072400 DOB 7/6/10 DOD 4/96 C CO 2/1958 - ?/1958 (SERVED IN SUBMARINE SERVICE 1937-42 AND ON SEVERAL OTHER FLEET SHIPS)

14. COMMANDER ERNEST L. CARPENTER USN DOB 11/04/02 DOD 9/30/91 DECOMMISSIONING CAPTAIN

Here’s your chance to help add to ship’s history

A question frequently asked is: “Who was the skipper when I was onboard during 19--?” I had thought about developing a list of skippers, but didn’t get around to it until Al Grobmeier ESN, (1949-50), sent me a list of officers from that time, plus info on several of our captains. An e-mail request to several shipmates for more skipper info brought responses from (George Isom (1946-47), Jim Wagoner (1948-50), Bill Hoberg (1948-52), Malcolm Alarid (Captain’s Yeoman 1951-54), Richard Quindt (52-54), Larry Dorsey (1952-55), Ed Brown (1955-56), Bill Oviatt (1951-55) and George W. Mead III (Son of Capt. Mead)

There are still a few blanks to be filled in and questions to be answered. If you have information, please contact webmaster Mel Shapiro at mels75248@yahoo.com or Swede Lagerstedt at ussgeneralanderson@yahoo.com

References

www.navsource.org/archives/09/22111.htm
www.hazegray.org/danfs/auxil/ap111.htm
www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/dafs/AP/ap111.html
www.usmm.org/msts/line.html