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USS Leedstown (AP-73)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Leedstown (AP-73)

Santa Lucia, built in 1933 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. of Kearny, N.J.; was acquired by the Navy 6 August 1942; renamed USS Leedstown (AP-73) 20 August 1942; and commissioned 24 September 1942, Lt. Comdr. Duncan Cook in command.

Prior to World War II, Santa Lucia operated commercially with the Grace Lines and with the U.S. Army. After being turned over to the Navy in August 1942, USS Leedstown (AP-73) was pressed into immediate service due to the urgent need for transports in the forthcoming invasion of north Africa. She departed New York 26 September and arrived in Belfast, Ireland, 7 October. On 26 October USS Leedstown (AP-73) stood out from Clyde, Scotland, as a member of a large convoy of about 37 transports and cargo ships with escorts. The convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar 6 November, and on the 8th was attacked by Heinkel-111s and Junker-88s of the German Luftwaffe. An aerial torpedo hit USS Leedstown (AP-73) in the stern destroying her steering gear and flooding her after section.

Early the next morning the convoy proceeded to Algiers leaving British corvette HMS Samphire to stand by USS Leedstown (AP-73). About noon USS Leedstown (AP-73) was again attacked, and three near misses increased her damage of the previous night. Fighting on, she splashed one of the enemy Junkers before two torpedoes hit her amidships. USS Leedstown (AP-73) took a heavy list to starboard. At 1320 the order to abandon ship was passed and after another bombing attack at 1615 the same day, USS Leedstown (AP-73) sank near Cape Matifou, about 12 miles from Algiers.

For a complete history of USS Leedstown (AP-73) please see its DANFS page.