USS Leedstown, an 8600-ton Windsor class attack transport, was built at Baltimore, Maryland. Originally intended to become the commercial freighter Exchequer, she was taken over for Navy purposes while still in the early stages of construction, designated AP-101 and renamed Wood in October 1942. In February 1943 she was reclassified as an attack transport, receiving the new hull number APA-56. Renamed Leedstown in mid-March 1943, about a month after launching, she was commissioned in mid-July.
Following shakedown and training operations in the Chesapeake Bay area, Leedstown went to the Pacific in December 1943. During late January and early February 1944 she participated in the assault on Kwajalein. Occupied with logistics missions between the Solomon Islands and the newly-captured Marshalls until May, she then began preparations for the Marianas campaign. In July Leedstown took part in the seizure of Guam. Her next amphibious operations were at Peleliu in September and Leyte a month later.
In January and February 1945 Leedstown put troops ashore during the invasions of Lingayen Gulf, on Leyte, and Iwo Jima. She engaged in training and logistics work for the rest of the Pacific War and, after Japan's surrender, made two voyages bringing veterans back to the West Coast from the former war zone. USS Leedstown was decommissioned in March 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission in July. Towed to Mobile, Alabama, late in 1946, she was converted to a freighter and soon began long commercial service, mainly under the name Exilona. The ship was sold for scrapping in April 1970.
This page features our only views of USS Leedstown (APA-56).
|If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."|
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 99047
USS Leedstown (APA-56)
Underway, circa mid-1943. This view was probably taken just after completion of the ship's conversion to an attack transport but before she embarked her landing craft.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 585 pixels
Photo #: 80-G-339875
USS Leedstown (APA-56)
Underway off the California coast, 30 August 1945.
Photographed from an aircraft based at Naval Air Station San Pedro, California.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Online Image: 136KB; 590 x 765 pixels
Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
In addition to the images presented above, the National Archives appears to hold other views of USS Leedstown (APA-56). The following list features some of these images:
The images listed below are NOT in
the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."
USS Leedstown (APA-56) underway in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, on 19 August 1943. Photographed from a Naval Air Station Norfolk aircraft.
Aerial view taken from off the ship's starboard quarter, rather tight on the stern.
As 80-G-78661, but taken from almost directly ahead.
As 80-G-78661, but starboard broadside aerial view.
As 80-G-78661, but taken from almost directly overhead and slightly to port.
As 80-G-78661, but starboard bow aerial view. This photo is dated 20 August 1943, but appears to be part of the same sequence as the other views in the series.
USS Leedstown (APA-56) on 9 September 1943, moving very slowly, if at all.
Port broadside low aerial view, with the ship essentially seen in silhouette.
USS Leedstown (APA-56) in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, on 12 October 1943, possibly during amphibious exercises. Photographed from a NAS Norfolk airplane.
Starboard bow high aerial view. Many of the ship's landing craft are not on board and other landing craft are underway in the vicinity.
As 80-G-87370, but starboard broadside (somewhat toward the bow) aerial view.
Reproductions of these images should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the Naval Historical Center.
The images listed in this box are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections. DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."
Page made 27 December 2003