SS President Grant (USS Republic) first found in USS Helena CL-50 War Diary on 20 July 1942

USS Republic (AP-33) Awards

USS Republic (AP-33) was a troop transport that served with the US Navy during World War II.
In World War I she served with the Navy as USS President Grant (ID-3014) before being turned
over to the Army and named Republic. The ship was renamed the President Buchanan in 1921
before reverting to Republic in 1924.

Originally christened as the SS Servian, she was built in 1903 by Harland and Wolff, Ltd. of
Belfast for the Wilson & Furness-Leyland Line, a subsidiary of International Mercantile Marine Co.
spearheaded by J.P. Morgan. After plans for a North Atlantic service collapsed, she spent four years at
anchor in the Musgrave Channel in Belfast.

After being purchased by the Hamburg-American Packet Steamship Company
(Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft or HAPAG) in 1907, it was renamed the
SS President Grant, the third ship named for Ulysses S. Grant. In August 1914, after seven years
of trans-Atlantic passenger service, she took refuge at New York City when the outbreak of World War I
made the high seas unsafe for Allied merchant ships. She was interned at Hoboken, New Jersey and
remained inactive for nearly three years until the United States entered the war in April 1917. The ship
was seized when the United States officially declared war against Germany.

Turned over to the Navy, she was commissioned USS President Grant (SP-3014) on 2 August
1917, Comdr. J. P. Morton in command. During her operations as a troop transport, she made
sixteen round trips between New York and ports of France, carrying a total of 40,104 servicemen
on her eastbound passage, and a total of 37,025 servicemen on her westbound returns to New York.

President Grant was transferred to the Army 6 October 1919. During the period January to November
1920, she served as the United States Army Transport Republic and made two voyages repatriating
Czechoslovak troops from Vladivostok to Trieste. After a trip to France, she was delivered to the
United States Shipping Board (USSB) by the Army in March 1921. Until 1924, she lay at Norfolk,
Virginia and then was placed on North Atlantic passenger service with United States Lines.

At eleven in the morning of 7 December Commander Clark received a message indicating an attack on
Pearl Harbor that was first thought to be from an exercise until another message from Commander in Chief,
U.S. Asiatic Fleet removed all doubt. Republic and other ships in the convoy improvised wartime
measures by painting superstructures gray and searching cargo for weapons. In Republic's holds were
found four British made 75-mm artillery pieces that men of the 453d Ordnance (Aviation) Bombardment
Company, part of the 7th Heavy Bombardment Group, lashed to deck even though no ammunition was found.
The Republic had been in Stateside dry-dock just prior to the 2nd Battalion's boarding, and had four 3-inch
guns and one 5-inch gun (on the "fan-tail"). The Battalion manned these guns from 7 December until their
arrival in Brisbane Australia.

Between March and November 1942 she served on the San Francisco-Honolulu run, completing a total of
seven voyages. During 1943 and 1944, the Republic operated out of San Francisco, transporting troops
and supplies to Honolulu and the Southwest Pacific. She called at Fiji, Samoa, Nouméa, Guadalcanal,
Sydney, Funafuti, Hollandia and other ports.

Republic returned home in early 1945 and decommissioned at New Orleans 27 January 1945. She was struck
from the Navy Register 2 February 1945 and turned over to the Army for conversion to a hospital ship,
designated USAHS Republic.




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