An Elegant Lady...as Well As...a Naval Wonder

cshortridge73
9th May 2012, 13:55
USS WEST POINT (AP-23)

Over a period of many years I've banged out of this ole keyboard a good number of 'ship articles,' and one of the things that seems to sadden me the most is, 'what happens to what was once a gallant vessel?....a vessel that has served the war effort with awesome strength....to become an old decrepit rust bucket, and pushed to an unforeseen corner of a backwater bay.

In other words...."we don't know what to do with 'them' so put them somewhere we can't see them and hopefully they'll just rust away"....yep, saddly that is what takes place.

One such example of that is what happen to the USS West Point (AP-23). Started out to become the "Knight in Shinning Honor" named the "SS America" of the United States Lines. I mean to tell you folks she was a beauty....or "one hot dude" as they would say. She could pamper....in extreme comfort, in three classes...1,202 passengers .....and carried a crew of 600 as well.

So...what started out as a "fairy tale"....didn't last long.... Along came WW II....and this "Ship of Dreams" was all dressed up with "no place to go." Her Atlantic route was just plain "Unsafe" due to this rumbling of War that seemed to be on everyones mine.... Well the war became real....and in due course...the SS America was taken over by the U.S. Navy. Converted to a large transport....renamed the USS West Point (AP-23).... And let me tell you folks she done her job with pride...at one time she hauled .....are you ready for this?....9,305 people....including her crew.

Ok....enough said...if you are interested in the "Whole Story" of the USS West Point (AP-23) ...what she was involed in....what happened after the war....and how she ended up....which includes pictures of her in recent years.....(which is not a pretty site)....all you need to do is click on this link:

THE LIFE AND FATE OF THE USS WEST POINT (AP-23) (http://navalmerchantshiparticles.blogspot.com/2010/12/uss-west-point-ap-23.html)
Hope you enjoy the article

Hugh Ferguson
9th May 2012, 18:41
Excellent post, Bud, thanks.

cshortridge73
9th May 2012, 19:15
Thanks Hugh.....much appreciate the comment. I have a "gob more" so I'll post new every now and then....

Jeff Taylor
9th May 2012, 20:01
I understand from some recent photos on the web that even the bow section is now virtually gone. The America was classic William Francis Gibbs, and as detailed in Frank Braynard's book was effectively a "warm up" trial run with many design similarities for Gibbs' ultimate triumph the United States. Sad that she ended as she did, but like Gibbs' Matson trio/quartet (if you include the Malolo) she had an amazingly long service life.