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  USS President Taylor (Granite State, President Polk)

10,508 Tons
522' 8" | 62'0" 32'3"

Click For Enlargement
USN 1945

Ship History
Built by NY Shipbuilding Corp. in 1921. The ship had a maximum speed of 8 knots with a range of 6,000 miles and cargo capacity of 150,000 cubic feet. Captain A. W. Aitken.

Wartime History
In December, 1941 she was hastily outfitted as a troop carrier at San Francisco capable of carrying 1,873 passengers.

Departed San Francisco on December 27 to Honolulu, arriving on January 7, 1942. Returned to San Francisco on January 21, 1942 and left January 31, 1942, en route to the Philippines with one stop at Canton on the way.

Beached off Canton Island at 6:20pm on February 14, 1942 due to a navigation error from staying too close to Canton because the commander of its escort aboard the USS Porter, CPT H. E. Overesch, who did not want the ship too far from shore due to the threat of Japanese submarines. Afterwards, tugs attempted to free the ship, but failed to float it. The approximately 1,000 troops aboard took off most useful equipment, and the ship was abandoned.

Erik Andal mentions:
"My grandfather, Frank Dyer, served on Canton Island as a USN Seabee. He went aboard the beached USS President Taylor. I recall him telling me he didn't know why it was beached, but one day he walked/swam to it and remembered that there was water inside the ship. He recovered the log book. When he died a couple years ago the log book was given to me. I gave it to the Maritime Museum in San Francisco"

Charles Martin recalls:
"On numerous occasions I visited Canton Island while in the U.S. Navy, between 1946 through 1948. There was a ship beached at the end of the island. I often wondered what it's name was and what happen to it apparently during the war."

In 1952 the ship was sold to North Coast Corporation for scrap metal. In 1954 the scrapping began, removing most of the wreckage.

"Troopships of WWII" Charles Roland, 1947 (page 238).
Thanks to Erik Andal for transcribing

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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