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Excerpts from the USS Hermitage War Diary

Concerning transport of 11th Armored Division troops
from the
United States to the European Theater of Operations

27 Sept. 1944                  (Moored at Staten Island, N.Y.).

1205-1315 Embarked 112 US Army Officers and 1163 US Army Enlisted Men.

28 Sept. 1944

1100-1630 Embarked 205 US Army Officers and 4508 US Army Enlisted Men.

29 Sept. 1944

0400 All preparations for getting underway.....sailing under orders for Convoy CU-41.

1036 Steaming at 7.0 knots, commenced forming convoy. (44.37 from NY, 7 from Boston).

Captain E.H. Tillman, JR.....is Convoy Commodore. Captain W.L. Benson.....USS Winslow.....is the Escort Commander......

3 and 4 Oct. 1944

.....Voting by Federal ballot was held.

7 Oct. 1944

0912 Medical personnel transferred by breeches buoy to DE-383.....emergency appendectomy.....on board the SS Santa Elisa. (Operation for a burst appendix was performed on ship’s mess table).

1138 Screening escort reported under water contact, and dropped several depth charges. Results not known...... ( No record of sinking contained in Commodore’s Report).

9 Oct. 1944

2052 Moored starboard side.....Southampton, England.

10 Oct. 1944

0650 Commenced debarking.

1930 Completed debarking.....a total of.....5994.....personnel.


1) The USS Hermitage was launched in 1925 as the Italian luxury liner Conte Biancamano.

In 1942 she was interned by the United States at Cristobal, in the Panama Canal Zone. Following conversion to a U.S. Navy troopship, she was commissioned as the USS Hermitage (AP-54) on August 14, 1942. During WWII, she was engaged in troop transport for the African, Pacific, and Normandy campaigns. In addition to transporting soldiers, sailors, and marines, she at times carried refugees and prisoners of war. Following decommissioning by the U.S. Navy ship on August, 1946, she was returned to the Italian government. Refurbished, she reentered service as a passenger liner. She was decommissioned and laid up in1960. The bridge, some staterooms, and the ballroom were salvaged and are now on display in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy.

2) On the return trip from England to the USA in Oct. 1944, the Hermitage carried 2600 German prisoners of war.

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