United States Maritime Commission P-Type Passenger Ships used in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War

The two P1-S2-L2 ships were built for the Navy and used as Attack Transports (APA). They were 411.5 feet long, 56 beam, 34 foot depth, 19 foot draft, 6,710 gross tons, 2,150 deadweight tons, 4,351 displacement tons. they had twin greared turbines 8,800 horsepower, speed 19 knots.

P2-SE2-R1, P2-S2-R2, P2-SE2-R3 Type Ships
The P2-S2-R2 types, named for Generals, were built at Federal Shipbuilding in Kearny, New Jersey; the P2-SE2-R1 types, named for Admirals, were built by Bethlehem Steel in Alameda, California. The intended use of the West Coast-built ships after the War was for trans-Pacific service, while the New Jersey-built ships were intended for the South American service.

The Admiral D. W. Taylor and the Admiral E.W. Eberle were laid down as P2-SE2-R1 type, but cancelled with the end of fighting and completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Cleveland and President Wilson for commercial service.



P2-SE2-R1 "Admiral"

P2-S2-R2 "General"
Troop capacity 5,200 4,500 to 4,800
Cargo 100,000 cubic feet 36,000-48,000 cubic feet
Cruising Range 12,000 miles 15,000 miles
Propulsion Unit Twin screw, turbo-electric Twin screw, C3 type geared turbines
Horsepower 19,000 18,000
Draft 25 feet 29 feet
Length overall 609 feet 623 feet
Beam 75.5 feet 75.5 feet
Depth 43.5 feet 51.5 feet
Gross tons 17,001 17,951
Displacement tons 12,650 11,450
Deadweight tons 8,750 8,200
Speed  19 knots 19 knots

P2-S1-DN3 Type Ships
Three ships were laid down in 1950, designed for commercial service, but converted to troop transports before completion.


Troop capacity 1,500 troops + 396 officers
Shaft HP 13,750 horsepower
Length overall 503 feet
Beam 73 feet
Depth 49 feet
Gross tons 13,319
Displacement tons 17,600
Deadweight tons 6,898
Speed 19-20 knots

P3-S2-DL2 Type Post-war liners

Two ships were built, the Independence, completed in December 1950 and the Constitution, completed in May 1951.


Troop capacity 5,000


Twin screw steam turbine 55,000 horsepower
Length overall 682.4 feet
Beam 89.1 feet
Depth 37.2 feet

30 feet

Gross tons 23,719
Speed rating 22.5 knots
Cruising range

20,000 miles

P4-S2 Type Ship "America"
The America was the first U.S. Maritime Commission program ship, laid in August 1938, launched in August 1939, and completed in June 1940. In June 1941 she began service as a troopship renamed West Point (AP 23). She resumed service as America in November 1946.


Troop capacity 8,175
Twin screw steam turbine 34,000 horsepower
Length overall 723 feet
Beam 93.25 feet
Depth 45.3 feet
Gross tons 26,454
Displacement tons 34,4400
Speed rating 20 knots
Cruising range

11,000 miles

P6-S4-DS1 Type

SS United States was the last ship built for the U.S. Maritime Commission, completed in 1952.


Troop capacity (calculated) 14,000 plus 400 bed hospital


Twin screw steam turbine 240,000 horsepower
Length overall 990 feet
Beam 101.5 feet
Draft 32.5 feet
Gross tons 38,216
Speed rating 42 knots



Admiral C. F. Hughes, P2-S2-R2 (AP 124, renamed General Edwin D. Patrick, T-AP 124)
Admiral D. W. Taylor, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Cleveland
Admiral E.W. Eberle, P2-S2-R2 (AP 123, renamed General Simon B. Buckner, T-AP 123)
Admiral F. B. Upham, P2-S2-R2 laid down as P2-S2-R2 type, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Wilson; renamed Oriental Empress
Admiral H.T. Mayo, P2-S2-R2 (AP 125, renamed General Nelson M. Walker, T-AP 125)
Admiral Hugh Rodman, P2-S2-R2 (AP 126, renamed General Maurice Rose, T-AP 126)
Admiral R. E. Coontz, P2-S2-R2 (AP 122, renamed General Alexander M. Patch, T-AP 122)
Admiral W.L. Capps, P2-S2-R2 (AP 121, renamed General Hugh L. Gaffey, T-AP 121)
Admiral W. S. Benson, P2-S2-R2 (AP 120, renamed General Daniel I. Sultan, T-AP 120)
Admiral W. S. Sims, P2-S2-R2 (AP 127, renamed General William O. Darby, T-AP 127)
America, renamed West Point, reverted to America, P4-S2

Barrett, renamed, T-AP 196; laid down as President Jackson (II); training ship for New York State Maritime College renamed Empire State V; renamed Empire State; P2-S1-DN3

Constitution P3-S2-DL2

Doyen, P1-S2-L2

Feland, P1-S2-L2

Geiger, laid down as President Adams (II); T-AP 197; P2-S1-DN3
General Alexander E. Anderson, P2-S2-R1 (AP 111, renamed General A. E. Anderson T-AP 111)
General C. H. Barth, laid down as; completed as General William Weigel; P2-S2-R1 (AP 119, later T-AP 119)
General George M. Randall, P2-S2-R1 (AP 115), later T-AP 115)
General Henry W. Butner, P2-S2-R1 (AP 113, renamed General H. W. Butner T-AP 113)
General J. C. Breckinridge, P2-S2-R1 (AP 176, later T-AP 176)
General John Pope, P2-S2-R1 (AP 110, later T-AP 110)
General M. C. Meigs, P2-S2-R1 (AP 116, later T-AP 116)
General W. H. Gordon, P2-S2-R1 (AP 117, later T-AP 117)
General W. P. Richardson, P2-S2-R1 (AP 118, renamed: La Guardia, Leilani, President Roosevelt, Atlantis, Emerald Seas)
General William A. Mann, P2-S2-R1 (AP 112, renamed General W. A. Mann T-AP 112)
General William Mitchell, P2-S2-R1 (AP 114, later T-AP 114)
General William Weigel, completed as; laid down as General C. H. Barth; P2-S2-R1 (AP 119, later T-AP 119)

Independence P3-S2-DL2

President Adams (II) laid down as; renamed Geiger T-AP 197; P2-S1-DN3
President Cleveland, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type named Admiral D. W. Taylor, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type
President Hayes (II) laid down as; renamed Upshur T-AP 198; training ship for Maine Maritime Academy, renamed State of Maine; P2-S1-DN3
President Jackson (II) laid down as; renamed Barrett T-AP 196; training ship for New York State Maritime College Empire State V; renamed Empire State; P2-S1-DN3
President Wilson, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type named Admiral F. B. Upham; completed as P2-SE2-R3 type; renamed Oriental Empress

Upshur, laid down as President Hayes (II); T-AP 198; training ship for Maine Maritime Academy, renamed State of Maine; P2-S1-DN3

West Point, former America P4-S2



Source:From America to United States: The History of the long-range Merchant shipbuilding Programme of the Unites States Maritime Commission (1937-1952 ) Part 1 and 4, L.A. Sawyer and W.H.Mitchell London: World Ship Society, 1986

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