Tasker H. Bliss (AP-42) was built in 1921 as President Cleveland in 1921 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA and was owned and operated as a passenger liner by the American President Lines. The steamship was chartered by the Army in July 1941 and renamed Tasker H. Bliss. She was converted for troop use and made five Pacific voyages for the Army before being routed on to Baltimore, Md., where she arrived on 15 August 1942.
At Baltimore, the ship was transferred to the Navy on 19 August 1942; was converted for use as a Navy transport by the Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, Md.; and was commissioned on 15 September 1942, Comdr. Gerald L. Schetky in command.
Tasker H. Bliss arrived at Norfolk on 22 September and joined Task Force 34. After loading troops and equipment to participate in Operation "Torch," the invasion of North Africa, the ships of the task force sailed on 24 and 25 October for the coast of Morocco.
Tasker H. Bliss was assigned to Task Group 34.9, Center Attack Group, and arrived off Fedhala, Morocco, on 8 November. On the evening of 12 November, she was riding at anchor in Fedhala Roads when the. German submarine U-130 slipped in among the ships and fired five torpedoes at three transports. All torpedoes hit their targets, and they burst into flames. The victims were Edward Rutledge (AP-52), Hugh ,L. Scott (AP-43), and Tasker H. Bliss. All were abandoned and the first two sank shortly; but Tasker H. Bliss burned until 0230 the next morning and then sank. She was struck from the Navy list on 7 December 1942.
USAT Tasker H. Bliss (US Army)