USS PRESIDENT JACKSON (AP-37, LATER APA-18))
IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS DURING WW2

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The 16,000 ton transport, USS President Jackson, was acquired by the US Navy in June 1941. She had been built at Newport News, Virginia, during 1939-40. The US Navy commissioned the USS President Jackson in January 1942.

Photos # NH 97890 USS President Jackson near Norfolk, Virginia on 12 March 1947

After working along the west coast of the USA she was sent to the Southwest Pacific area in July 1942 as part of Transport Division 2.

In early August 1942, she took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi. USS Presdient Jackson landed her Marines on the Tulagi. During the rest of 1942 and into 1943, USS President Jackson supported the Guadalcanal campaign. She brought in fresh troops and supplies and evacuated many casualties. In February 1943, USS President Jackson was reclassified as an attack transport and given the new hull number APA-18.

USS President Jackson was involved in amphibious exercises in Cleveland Bay off Townsville, in north Queensland in 1943. This involved LCVP's and LCM's and some landings on the beach at The Strand on Townsville's beautiful seafront. The exercises included loading at least one 155mm gun onto an LCM from the beach on The Strand.

Photos # NH 82763 LCVP's from USS President Jackson during exercises off Townsville in
1943. In the background at the right of the photo you can see the breakwater wall of the
harbour entrance and Magnetic Island can be seen in the distance at the left of the photo.

 

Photo # NH 82765 LCVP's from USS President Jackson practice
landings on the beach on The Strand in Townsville in 1943

 

Photo # NH 82768 Loading a 155mm gun on an LCM from USS President
Jackson on the beach on The Strand in Townsville in 1943

She was hit by a 550lbs Japanese bomb on about 8 November 1943, but it did not explode, so damage was slight. The Marines on board rolled the bomb over the side of the ship. 

On 23 October 1944 USS President Jackson returned to south and southwest Pacific areas with Transport Division 32. 

While putting Marines ashore on Iwo Jima, she was hit by a small 37 mm coastal artillery shell. She suffered minor damage and casualties. 

Landed the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Florida Island Solomons 7 August 1942
Evacuated 500 survivors of the "First Battle of Savo Island" to Noumea Savo Island mid August 1942
Brought in reinforcements and evacuating casualties of land and sea actions. Savo Island mid August 1942
Landed 172nd U.S. Army Combat Team and two construction battalion companies Rendova 30 June 1942

Transported survivors of McCawley, torpedoed by a submarine, to Noumea

- abt 30 June 1942
Landed elements of the 3rd Marine Division Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville 1 Nov 1942
landed Army, Navy, and Construction Battalion units Emirau Island 25 March 1944
Carried the 40th Division, U.S.A. New Britain April 1944
Returned the 1st Marine Division to Russell Island in the Solomons Russell Island in the Solomons April 1944
Landed elements of the 3rd Marine Division and evacuated casualties to Pearl Harbor and the United States Guam 21 July 1944
Landed elements of the 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Lingayen Gulf 11 January 1945
landed elements of the 3rd Marine Division Iwo Jima 21 February 1945
Departed Iwo Jima with 515 casualties for Saipan and Noumea - 6 March 1945
Transported Army and Navy casualties and miscellaneous passengers to the United States  - 7 May 1945
Departed San Francisco and completed two round-trips to Manila - 14 June 1945

President Jackson earned 8 battle stars during World War II.

 

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This page first produced 10 July 2004

This page last updated 11 July 2004