During WW2 the US Navy created a classification of ship as ‘Attack Transport’, which consisted of a specially built ship that would carry troops in to battle, but as normal troop ships were usually converted merchant ships, and relied on either docking or tenders to deliver the troops ashore an ‘attack transport’ carried her own landing craft so could land troops anywhere.
There is a film called Away all boats , which was made in 1956 and based on a novel by Ken Dodson, who was an officer who served on an attack transport during World War 2. The film stars Jeff Chandler, I’ve seen the film recently and it’s not bad.
Keep your eye out for a young Clint Eastwood – he doesn’t have a speaking part.
On the 13th April 1944 an attack transport, commissioned as Hull 870, was launched and acquired by the US Navy in June 1944 and was named USS Riverside.
She was assigned to the Asiatic- Pacific theater of the war, and at the end of the war spent time in Asia as Occupation Services.
During her wartime appearance . . .
In January 1947 she was reconverted for the merchant service and sold to Pacific Argentina Brazil lines (P&T) in December 1948, and renamed SS P&T Forester.
SS P&T Forester
She was later sold to Moore McCormack Lines Inc. in March 1957, renamed SS Mormacwave
In 1966 she was sold to Grace Lines Inc. and renamed SS Santa Leonor. Under her new name during her maiden voyage she was sailing from Rio de Janeiro to San Francisco. Her previous port of call was Buenos Aires, and her next stop was Valparaiso, Chile.
During our recent cruise on the Azamara Pursuit in the Magellan Straits, we met the Santa Leonor –
On the 31st March 1968 at 1.52 am the Santa Leonor ran aground on rocks off Isabel Island, approximately 20 miles into the Patagonian Channels, in an area called Paso Shoal.
The vessel slid back into the channel and floated a short distance, before finally came to rest on one of a small group of islands called the Adelaide Islands. Neither the vessel nor the cargo was salvaged. The crew and passengers were all saved.
If you would like to read more about this incident read the report it makes interesting reading.
The end of this ship’s biography.