The P2 transport was a United States Maritime Commission design for a passenger ship which could be readily converted into a troop transport. Three variants of the design were built, the P2-SE2-R1 (Admirals), P2-S2-R2 (Generals), and P2-SE2-R3 (Presidents).
Ten P2-SE2-R1 ships were ordered by the Maritime Commission during World War II. The ships were laid down by Bethlehem Steel in Alameda, California. The intended use of these ships after the War was for trans-Pacific service. As ordered, the ships were all named after U.S. Navy admirals. Only eight ships were completed as troop transports for the U.S. Navy, with the last two ships canceled on 16 December 1944. Despite being canceled, the last two ships were completed after the war to the P2-SE2-R3 design as civilian ships.
In 1946, the ships were all decommissioned by the Navy, and transferred back to the Maritime Commission, and from there to the United States Army. The Army operated them with civilian crews as part of the Army Transport Service and renamed them after generals of the United States Army. In 1950, the ships were transferred back the Navy, but not recommissioned. Instead, they were assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service and still manned by a civil service crew, and keeping the name the Army had given them.
|United States Navy||Army Transport Service||Military Sea Transportation Service|
|USS Admiral W. S. Benson (AP-120)||USAT General Daniel I. Sultan||USNS General Daniel I. Sultan (T-AP-120)|
|USS Admiral W. L. Capps (AP-121)||USAT General Hugh J. Gaffey||USNS General Hugh J. Gaffey (T-AP-121)|
|USS Admiral R. E. Coontz (AP-122)||USAT General Alexander M. Patch||USNS General Alexander M. Patch (T-AP-122)|
|USS Admiral E. W. Eberle (AP-123)||USAT General Simon B. Buckner||USNS General Simon B. Buckner (T-AP-123)|
|USS Admiral C. F. Hughes (AP-124)||USAT General Edwin D. Patrick||USNS General Edwin D. Patrick (T-AP-124)|
|USS Admiral H. T. Mayo (AP-125)||USAT General Nelson M. Walker||USNS General Nelson M. Walker (T-AP-125)|
|USS Admiral Hugh Rodman (AP-126)||USAT General Maurice Rose||USNS General Maurice Rose (T-AP-126)|
|USS Admiral W. S. Sims (AP-127)||USAT General William O. Darby||USNS General William O. Darby (T-AP-127)|
|USS Admiral D. W. Taylor (AP-128)||Canceled 16 December 1944 and completed as civilian passenger liners.|
|USS Admiral F. B. Upham (AP-129)|
Eleven P2-S2-R2 ships were ordered by the Maritime Commission during World War II. The ships were laid down by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Kearny, New Jersey. The intended use of these ships after the War was for South American service. As ordered, the ships were all named after United States Army generals.
Unlike the Admirals, the Generals did not have a relatively uniform life after World War II. Three were transferred to the Army as the Admirals had been, of which one was disposed of by the Army and converted to a passenger liner before the Korean War. Five were retained by the Navy and were transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service in October 1949 to be manned by civilian crews, and two others were transferred to American President Lines with the intent of being converted to a passenger liners, but ended up being chartered troop ships that during the Korean War were rejoined to military control as part of the Military Sea Transportation Service.
|World War II name||Post USN - service names|
|USS General John Pope (AP-110)||USAT General John Pope |
USNS General John Pope (T-AP-110)
|USS General A. E. Anderson (AP-111)||USNS General A. E. Anderson (T-AP-111)|
|USS General W. A. Mann (AP-112)||USNS General W. A. Mann (T-AP-112)|
|USS General H. W. Butner (AP-113)||USNS General H. W. Butner (T-AP-113)|
|USS General William Mitchell (AP-114)||USNS General William Mitchell (T-AP-114)|
|USS General George M. Randall (AP-115)||USNS General George M. Randall (T-AP-115)|
|USS General M. C. Meigs (AP-116)||SS General M. C. Meigs |
USNS General M. C. Meigs (T-AP-116)
|USS General W. H. Gordon (AP-117)||SS General W. H. Gordon |
USNS General W. H. Gordon (T-AP-117)
|USS General W. P. Richardson (AP-118)||USAT General W. P. Richardson |
SS La Guardia
SS President Roosevelt
SS Emerald Seas
SS Sapphire Seas
SS Ocean Explorer I
|USS General William Weigel (AP-119)||USAT General William Weigel |
USNS General William Weigel (T-AP-119)
|USS General J. C. Breckinridge (AP-176)||USAT General J. C. Breckinridge |
USNS General J. C. Breckinridge (T-AP-176)
As noted above, the last two Admirals were canceled in 1944 while under construction. They were completed to the P2-SE2-R3 design and operated by American President Lines as the SS President Cleveland (ex-USS Admiral D. W. Taylor) and the SS President Wilson (ex-USS Admiral F. B. Upham). The President Wilson would be later renamed the SS Oriental Empress when sold to C.Y. Tung in 1978.