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P2 Class, U.S. Transports


Photograph of a P2 ship configured as a Navy auxiliary

P2 configured as Navy auxiliary. U.S. Navy photo


Specifications:


Tonnage 17,951 gross register tons
11,450 tons light displacement
19,650 tons full displacement
Dimensions 623' by 75'6" by 29'
190m by 23m by 9m
Maximum speed       19 knots
Machinery
2-shaft geared turbine (18,000 shp)
4 boilers
Range
15,000 miles (28,000 km)
Passengers 4500 to 4800
Cargo
36,000-48,000 cubic feet
1020-1360 cubic meters


The Maritime Commission standard P2 transports were conventional peacetime designs adapted for more rapid production. Their design was standardized in 1941 and they were intended to be a permanent part of the merchant fleet. With war looming, first consideration was given to making them effective transports, but they were intended to be operated by the Grace or Moore-McCormack lines if war was somehow averted.

The specifications given above are for the P2-S2-R2 variant built by Federal, nominally for Grace Line. The P2-SE2-R1 variant built at Alameda, nominally for Moore-McCormack, had a somewhat deeper draft (25' or 8m) and used turboelectric drive generating a total power of 20,000 shp. All the P2s had sufficient subdivision to be suitable military transports, at some cost in economy for commercial use.

The design and production process was remarkably swift and the first ships were delivered in July 1943. A total of 21 ships of this type were completed by the end of the war. Two more were completed postwar for civilian use. The ships cost about $11.3 million apiece.

References

Lane (1951)

American Merchant Marine at War (accessed 2008-2-29)
Wildenberg (1996)



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