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Leedstown I (AP-73)

(AP-73: dp. 9,135; l. 484'; b. 72'; dr. 25'11-"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 538 trp. 2,505)

A city in Westmoreland County, Va., noted for the Leedstown Resolutions, which were drawn up by Richard Henry Lee during the Stamp Act crisis. The resolutions signed by 150 citizens, represented the first public defiance of the Stamp Act. Its principles were later embodied in the Declaration of Independence.


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 Leedstown 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, she 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 she 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 Leedstown 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 Leedstown. About noon Leedstown 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. Leedstown 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, Leedstown sank near Cape Matifou, about 12 miles from Algiers.

Leedstown was awarded one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Jul 29 01:40:14 EDT 2015