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Antigua

 

An island of the Leeward group of West Indies. Discovered by Columbus in 1493 and settled by English subjects from St. Christopher in 1632, Antigua is a self-governing state within the Commonwealth of Nations.

 

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(AF-17: t. 6,892; 1. 447'10"; b. 60'3"; dph. 24'1"; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 114; a. 1 5", 4 3")

 

On 28 December 1941, some three weeks after the United States entered World War II, the American Navy acquired— through the Maritime Commission by an indefinite-time charter—Antigua, a turbo-electric screw steamer built in 1932 at Quincy, Mass., by the Bethlehem Ship Building Corp. Prior to her takeover by the Federal Government, the ship had operated out of New York carrying passengers and cargo for her owner, the United Mail Steamship Company.

 

On 27 December 1941, the day before it took custody of the ship, the Navy classified her a store ship, designated her AF-17, and decided to retain her merchant name Antigua. However, for some unrecorded reason, the ship never joined the active Fleet. She was apparently returned to her owner sometime before 26 May 1944, the day her name was cancelled.

 

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Sometime between 10 June and 26 July 1943, after she had been slated for transfer under the lend-lease program to the United Kingdom, the frigate Hamond (PF-73) (q.v.) was renamed Antigua.