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Fast Attack Transports (APD)


Photograph of fast attack transport (APD)
U.S. Army. Via Leighton and Coakley (1955)

Fast attack transports were usually destroyers converted to carry troops and their equipment. The torpedo tubes were removed, but some gun and antisubmarine armament remained. Often some of the boilers were removed, reducing the speed of the ships by several knots, but rarely to less than 20 knots. This was still relatively fast for a transport and had obvious tactical advantages. The number of troops carried was not great, being the equivalent of less than a company of infantry.

Both the United States and Japan converted some of their older destroyers to fast transports. Japan used these extensively in the opening phases of the war and at Guadalcanal. Later, both navies converted a number of  destroyer escorts to transports on the ways. U.S. fast transports were initially closely associated with the Marine Raider Battalions, but after the Raiders were disbanded the fast transports were often used to carry underwater demolition teams to landing beaches in preparation for amphibious assaults.

Japanese fast attack transports

Momi class

T-1 class

U.S. fast attack transports

Caldwell class
Charles Lawrence class

Clemson class

Crosley class

Wickes class


References

Friedman (2004)

Smith (2000)


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