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Military History/Ships converted and chartered during WW 2


Hello! My Dad served as Gunner Mate with Navy gun crews on two ships during WW2. Both carried troops to Pacific.For some reason my Dad always referred to USAT Etolin as "Matsonia".Why, I dont know. The other vessel "COMET", He said was smaller than Matsonia,and had been a passenger/car ferry in the Harbor of New York.It was converted at some point to carry troops.He had boot camp in Great Lakes,I think He had Service school for Gunners Mate there as well. He was sent to Brooklyn,and made passage on "COMET" from there through Panama Canal to San Francisco and on out to the Pacific Theatre.Can you tell me anything,or provide links to these ships? I know of the AP166, but it was built in California. I dont know if it ever made passage to New York or not, but it was not a converted vessel. Do you have any links or info on converted ferries? Thank you very much for your help!

Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "He had boot camp in Great Lakes".  Since your father was a member of the US Navy during WW 2, I suggest you obtain his personnel file.  The address you send your letter-of-request you is:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
 St. Louis   MO   63138

With your father's personnel file in hand, you will have a plethora of FACTS to begin your research with.
       In your question you typed "For some reason my Dad always referred to USAT Etolin as "Matsonia".Why, I dont know."  Prior to August 1940, the USAT Etolin was known as the SS Matsonia.  However, during WW 2 there was a SS Matsonia, known by the name SS Malolo prior to WW 2.  History is never easy, especially when FACTS are involved.
       I am familiar with the USS Comet  AP-166, built by Moore Drydock Company, Oakland, CA in 1943.
       In your question you typed "Can you tell me anything".  At the end of this reply I will provide you with an e-mail address.  Contact me via e-mail & I will provide you with the FACTS I have.
       In your question you typed "provide links to these ships?"  No.
       In your question you typed "Do you have any links or info on converted ferries?"  No.
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     2011 Richard Jones Road
      Apt      E 26
       Nashville   TN   37215-2837

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Richard V. Horrell


Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.


A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

Past/Present Clients
Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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