USS President Polk first found in USS Helena CL-50 War Diary for 20 July 1942,

Below Photo No. (NH 78584) President Polk. Late 1945.

USS President Polk (AP-103) Awards

USS President Polk (AP-103) was a President Jackson-class attack transport in the service of
the United States Navy during World War II. President Polk was laid down by the Newport News
Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia (MC hull 110) 7 October 1940; launched
28 June 1941; sponsored by Miss Patricia Kennedy. The ship was delivered to American President Lines
(APL) in 1941 when she began operating as of 5 December as SS President Polk, a transport under
government charter in the Pacific reinforcing Pacific bases, until 6 September 1943 when the ship
was requisitioned and acquired by the Navy for conversion to a troop ship. The ship commissioned
as USS President Polk (AP-103) at San Diego 4 October 1943, Commander Clarence J. Ballreich
in command. After the war she was returned to APL for commercial operations.

War Shipping Administration transport. Shortly after delivery in 1941 the SS President Polk
began operating under government charter to supply and reinforce Pacific bases. The ship was
then acquired by the War Shipping Administration (WSA) on 5 December 1941 with American
President Lines operating the ship as WSA's agent. In a particularly critical delivery the ship was
diverted from a planned shipment to Hawaii and departed San Francisco on 19 December 1941
along with a tanker and two freighters with arrival in Brisbane, Australia on 12 January 1942.
Thereshe delivered 55 P-40E and 4 C-53 aircraft including 55 pilots, 20 million .30 caliber, 447,000
.50 caliber, 30,000 three-inch AA and 5,000 75 mm rounds of ammunition along with five carloads of
torpedoes, over 615,000 pounds of rations and 178 officers and men in addition to the pilots. From
Brisbane Polk, making a stop at Townsville, sailed to Soerabaja arriving on 30 January with
ammunition, bombs, airplanes, and rations for forces in Java. Of eight vessels planned for relief of Java,
and indirectly the Philippines, only Polk and the chartered Dutch vessel Bloemfontein, one of the
convoy vessels, arrived before that island fell on 9 March. Polk transported elements of the 7th Naval
Construction Battalion composed of 7 officers and 433 enlisted men departing American Samoa
6 August 1942 arriving Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides on 11 August. The other element, 15 officers and
465 enlisted men, were embarked aboard Wharton.

United States Navy. After acquisition 6 September 1943 and conversion by the Navy the ship was
assigned to the Naval Transportation Service. USS President Polk loaded construction battalion
men and cargo at Port Hueneme, California and sailed 12 October 1943 for Pearl Harbor.




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