During the America's conversion for wartime use, her passenger cabins have been removed in order to create compartments with a large bunk capacity. But not only former passenger cabins have been reused for this purpose as you can see in the following pictures which give a good impression on how it was possible to extend the ship's peacetime capacity of 1200 Passengers to 7500+ Passengers by using every available space aboard. For the exact location of the most important berthing compartments have a look at the inbord profile on page one.
P-3 Compartment, former Ball Room
Marines in their quarters on B-Deck
A number of wash rooms for were located throughout the ship. Above two exmples can be seen. The left picture shows the former third class children playroom and the right picture shows the former first class library reused as wash room.
The Westpoint's forward fire control station was located at a very unique position: A platform was placed in the top of the ship's forward dummy funnel. This spot was chosen because of two big advantages over all other possible locations: it was the highest structural part of the West Point and featured a 360 degrees view. Not even the vessel's crow's nest could provide these features.
Forward Fire Control Station and Lookout
The West Point was equipped with several anti aircraft guns of different caliber. For a general overview of the location of these see the inboard profile on page one.
On the left image you can see the big five inch guns mounted on aft upper deck. On the picture above, two smaller guns can be spotted. The one left to the funnel is a small anti aircraft gun. The gun on the right is only a mockup used for training purposes.
Anti Aircraft Guns
U 5+6 Compartments, former Duck Suite
Bunks on former enclosed Promenade Deck
Inspections have been an inportant part of daily routine aboard the West Point. See passage from Instruction manual above for more details.
for comparision: click thumbs to see Ball Room, Promenade Deck and Duck Suite as they appeared aboard peacetime AMERICA
for comparision: click thumbs to see the Third Class Children Play Room and First Class Library as they appeared aboard peacetime AMERICA
Tour aboard the U.S.S. West Point
In june 1941 the America was ordered to her builders yard at Newport News to be converted into the troop transport U.S.S. West Point for the U.S. Navy. This task was completed in just 11 days and completely transformed the luxury passenger liner into a well organized troop transport. The following pages with images kindly provided by Bill Lee are meant to give an impression of the different locations aboard and every day life during the ship's wartime service.