High-speed transports were converted destroyers and destroyer escorts used to support US Navy amphibious operations in World War II and afterward. They received the US Hull classification symbol APD; "AP" for transport and "D" for destroyer.
APDs were intended to deliver small units such as Marine Raiders, Underwater Demolition Teams and United States Army Rangers onto hostile shores. They could carry up to a company size unit (200 troops). They could also provide gunfire support if needed. The USS Manley was officially designated the Navy's first high-speed transport on 2 August 1940 when she became APD-1.
The first group of APDs (APD-1 through APD-36) were converted from one Caldwell-class, 17 Wickes-class, and 14 Clemson-class "flush-deck" destroyers built during and after World War I. Some of these had been previously converted to aircraft tenders or other uses. In the conversion, the two forward boilers (out of four) were removed along with their smokestacks (reducing speed to 25 knots). Accommodation for 200 troops was installed in the former engine spaces. The original armament of four 4" guns, one 3" AA gun, and twelve 21" torpedo tubes was replaced with three modern 3" AA guns, one 40 mm AA gun, and five 20 mm AA guns. Two depth charge racks and up to six K-gun depth charge throwers were carried. In place of the torpedo mounts, four davit mounted Landing Craft Personnel (Large) (LCP(L)s) were shipped. Later, the LCP(L)s were replaced by a version with a bow ramp, the Landing Craft Personnel (Ramped).
Buckley class conversions
The second group of APDs were converted from 43 Buckley-class destroyer escorts (DE)s built in 1943-1945. Two further planned conversions were canceled at the end of the war. These converted vessels were known as the Charles Lawrence class. In the conversion, the superstructure was expanded to provide accommodation for 162 troops. The original gun armament of three 3" AA guns and six 20 mm AA guns was replaced with one 5" DP gun and six 40 mm AA guns. The Charles Lawrence-class retained the original three torpedo tubes, and carried two depth charge racks and up to eight K-guns. Typically, the converted DEs carried four Landing Craft Vehicle & Personnel (LCVPs) in a stacked davit configuration.
Rudderow class conversions
The third group of APDs were converted from 51 Rudderow-class destroyer escorts (DE)s built in 1943-1945. All but one of these were converted while under construction. These converted vessels were known as the Crosley-class. This conversion was the same as the Buckley-class, except that the original armament had two 5" DP guns instead of three 3" guns; the aft 5" gun was removed.
We offer our High Speed Transport (APD) Models in several size/scale offerings for easy ordering and selection. However, if you would like your model made in a size other than those sizes listed, please contact us with your request. Custom orders are our specialty!
Our models are made-to-order, meaning that we do not stock any pre-made models. Only when a customer tells us the size and/or scale desired do we build the model. Each model is exquisitely crafted by our master model builders and comes fully assembled with a solid hull - hand carved from kiln-dried mahogany. Other parts are made from a variety of woods, putty, resin and metals. Every model includes pedestals, a polished mahogany base board, and a name plate. Options include keel block mounting, waterline models, ships seals and ribbons, and weathering paint schemes.
The model build time is generally 24 weeks from receipt of the order and deposit. The normal procedure is a 50% deposit with the commissioning, with the balance due prior to shipping. Note that prior to shipping, we take a series of photos of the model and send them to you for final review and approval – so you know exactly what your model will look like and allow for any necessary modifications. Once you have approved your model, we’ll collect the final balance and she will be shipped in a robust shipping crate and insured for your protection.
FREE SHIPPING in the USA - Note that our model prices include shipping and insurance within the USA.
Shipping costs outside the USA will depend on the model size ordered and shipping destination. You will be responsible for any applicable taxes or duties, based on the commercial invoice value for the model.
Add a museum-like touch to your model display - Consider our protective display case option. Keep fingers and dust away - forever! Please visit our Display Case page to see our selection.
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