(APA-56: dp. 8,600; l. 473'1"; b. 66'0"; dr. 25'0"; s. 18.6 k.; cpl. 453; trp. 1,587; a. 2 5", 8 1.1", 22 20mm.; cl. Windsor)
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.
Leedstown (APA-56) was laid down as Exchequer by Bethlehem Steel Co., Baltimore, Md., 26 August 1942; classified AP-101 and renamed Wood 5 October 1942; reclassified APA-56 1 February 1943; launched 13 February; sponsored by Mrs. William O. Douglass; renamed Leedstown 17 March 1943; and commissioned 16 July 1943, Comdr. Harold Bye in Command.
Leedstown arrived Norfolk 16 July 1943 for amphibious training in the Chesapeake Bay with units of U.S. Army. She departed Norfolk, 11 December for the Pacific, arriving Honolulu New Year's Eve 1943.
The ship sailed from Honolulu 22 January bringing troops to Kwajalein 31 January for the invasion of the Marshall Islands, a major step in the Navy-s mighty island hopping campaign which relentlessly pushed Japan back to her home islands and defeat. After the Marshalls were secured she departed Kwajalein 5 February and spent the next 3 months transporting supplies and reinforcements to the Solomon and Marshall Islands. From 10 to 28 May the ship was at Tulagi, training for the amphibious assault on Guam. Sailing 12 June, she debarked her troops in the resistless assault on Guam 21 July. Leedstown cared for 270 battle casualties, and departed 5 August for Guadalcanal, returning many of the wounded for hospitalization. The busy APA rehearsed for the next operation and departed Guadalcanal 8 September for the invasion of Peleliu 15 to 20 September. During this operation she repaired numerous landing craft and cared for a total of 326 casualties. On 13 October she sailed from Hollandia as a unit of TF 78, Central Philippine Attack Force, for the attack on Leyte Island 20 October. On 14 November she brought reinforcements to this crucial battle zone and then departed for New Guinea 29 November. She then participated in the landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 9 January, and Iwo Jima 22 February 1944.
Leedstown spent the remainder of the war engaged in training operation and transportation duties in the Pacific. After the conclusion of hostilities, she participated in two "Magic Carpet" operations to San Francisco and Seattle. She last entered Seattle in March, decommissioned 7 March 1946, and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 1 July 1946. She was sold to Shepard S.S. Co., in 1947 and renamed Minute Man.
Leedstown was awarded six battle stars for World War II service.