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USS Polaris (AF-11) circa May 1941.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        POLARIS (AF-11)
Design:        MC C2-Cargo (Sun)
Displacement (tons):        6,398 light, 13,875 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        459.1' oa, 435.0' pp x 63.0' e x 25.8' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 4-3"/23 (1941)
Later armaments:        1-5”/51 4-3”/23 4-20mm (1942);
1-5"/51 4-3"/50 4<8-20mm (1942-43);
8-20mmT (1949);
5-3”/50 8>4-20mmT (1951-56)

Complement:        227 (1944)
Speed (kts):        16.4
Propulsion (HP):        6,000
Machinery:        Sun-Doxford diesel, 1 screw


AF Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
11 POLARIS 27 Jan 41 Sun SB & DD 25 Jul 38 22 Apr 39 4 Apr 41

AF Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
11 POLARIS 12 Jan 57 10 Oct 57 12 Feb 57 MA/R 13 Jun 74

Class Notes:
FY 1941. This ship, designated C2-Cargo by the MC, was the first C2-type ship to be completed. On 9 Oct 40 SecNav directed acquisition of a second C2 for conversion to a Provision Store Ship. The Maritime Commission offered the DONALD MCKAY, which, although diesel propelled, had been on the Navy's list of candidate refrigerated C2s and which was accepted. The conversion was to be based on plans already developed by the Navy, which called for an increase in the ship's refrigerated cargo space. Splinter protection, degaussing equipment, and an increased allowance of boats were also to be provided.

POLARIS was plagued throughout her career by unreliable main propulsion diesels. COMSERVPAC recommended her for disposal in August 1945 "because of unsatisfactory type main propulsion," and she was transferred to the Maritime Commission in 1946. She was reacquired for further Pacific Fleet service during 1948, but her problems continued. In July 1950 the Mare Island Navy Yard reported after post shakedown repairs that "due history of repeated failures, Yard unable give definite and positive assurance will perform properly." In May 1956 the Navy directed she be laid up, much sooner than the steam-powered ALDEBARAN, and replaced her with SIRIUS (AF-60). She lasted almost as long in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, however, as her more successful--and more heavily used--contemporary.

Ship Notes:
AF Name MC# Notes
11 POLARIS 18 Ex merc. DONALD McKAY (ID-4996, completed Jun 39). Converted by Tietjen & Lang DD (Todd), Hoboken, N.J. Stk. 7 Feb 46, to MC 30 Jun 46. From MC 8 Oct 48, reinst. 21 Oct 48. To buyer 12 Jul 74.

Page Notes:
AF        1941

Compiled:        29-Dec-2000
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2000