Transports (AP)

Photograph of Admiral-class transport

Navy Historical Center #83460

Transports are ships equipped to carry large numbers of troops. Together with cargo ships, they are the reason why navies exist.  As might be expected, many transports were converted passenger liners.  However, civilian liners are rarely designed to carry the largest possible number of passengers, so considerable modification took place to increase the carrying capacity.  Because there were never enough passenger liners for all the troops needing to be transported, freighters were also converted to transports.  These tended to be terribly uncomfortable, particularly in the Japanese Navy. Supplying adequate drinking water for so many men was often a problem.

Many transports were controlled by the navies of their respective nations, but because of their role as troop carriers, both the Japanese and the Allies placed significant numbers of transports under the direct control of their armies. In addition, the Allies operated some troop ships under bare boat charter, so that they were still technically civilian ships. Because of the bewildering variety of transport types, the following lists of transport ships and ship classes are not exhaustive.

The Japanese had few dedicated transports and moved most of their troops using cargo ships modified to serve as transports. The Japanese typically assumed that it would require about 3 deadweight tons to deploy an infantryman and his equipment, 9 tons to deploy a horse, and 18 tons to deploy a field gun. The average for large formations (men and equipment) was estimated at 5 tons per man.

Specialized transport types, such as attack transports and fast attack transports, are listed separately.

U.S. transports

Admiral W.S.Benson class


Elizabeth C. Stanton class
General G.O. Squier class

General John Pope class

Heywood class
Hugh L. Scott class
La Salle class

McCawley class

Mount Vernon

P2 class

President class

President Coolidge

William Ward Burrows


"Handbook on Japanese Military Forces" (1944-9-15)
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