Capella (AK-13) Class: Photographs

These photographs were selected to show the original configuration of this class and major subsequent modifications. For most classes many other photographs exist.
For more complete online collections of U. S. Navy ship photographs see in particular the NHHC Online Library of Selected Images and the NavSource Photo Archive.

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Sirius (AK-15)

Pierside in a tropical location, possibly the Panama Canal Zone.
Her bridge structure is in its original configuration, with an open conning position above the pilot house protected only by a canvas cover.

Photo No. 80-G-456004
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Vega (AK-17)

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 11 April 1929.
Her bridge structure is topped by a partially enclosed conning position with a probable deckhouse behind it.

Photo No. NH 753
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Vega (AK-17)

Probably shown in the late 1930s. The Navy has expanded the bridge structure but the rest of the ship is little altered from its original Hog Island Type A design.

Photo No. None
Source: Shipscribe.

 
USS Capella (AK-13)

At the New York Navy Yard on 26 September 1922 loading an Army 16" gun into the after well deck for shipment to Pearl Harbor.
Transportation of oversized military cargoes was one of the primary missions of Navy cargo ships between the wars. The Merritt and Chapman Co. derrick Monarch has lifted the gun clear of the Moran Towing and Transportation Co. barge No. 30. The barge was then removed and the crane lowered the gun onto Capella. USS Maryland (BB-46) is across the pier.

Photo No. NH 42062
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Spica (AK-16)

Shown near the Boston Navy Yard on 26 April 1941 soon after commissioning for the first time.
She has been armed with one 5"/51 gun on a platform forward and one on the fantail, two 3"/50 guns on the bridge wings and two more on a platform on the poop. The Navy was not yet fitting splinter protection (low bulwarks) around such guns. There is no visible provision for anti-aircrarft machine guns.

Photo No. NH 86626
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Sirius (AK-15)

Near the Mare Island Navy Yard on 16 January 1942 after installation of armament.
Her armament arrangement is similar to that of Spica except that the forward pair of 3"/50 guns has been moved from the bridge wings to two bandstands just aft of the bridge. She also has positions for .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine guns that were soon replaced with 20mm guns. All guns have splinter protection.

Photo No. 19-N-26702
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Vega (AK-17)

Near the Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 February 1942 after installation of armament.
Her four 3" guns have been grouped on a raised deck after the bridge and the hatch there and the kingposts that served it have been removed. The gun positions carry 3"/23 guns pending availability of 3"/50 guns, which were backfitted later in 1942.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19 textual files, item S-22 (inclining experiments)

 
USS Capella (AK-13)

Probably at Baltimore, Md., on 20 July 1942 after installation of armament.
As in Vega, her four 3"/50 guns have been grouped on a raised deck after the bridge and the kingposts that served it have been removed.

Photo No. NH 98063
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Capella (AK-13)

Near the Norfolk Navy Yard on 12 August 1943 after change of armament.
She now has two 3"/50 on the forecastle and two 3"/50 and one 5"/38 on the poop. The area between the bridge and the smokestack is again empty except for a lattice radar mast.

Photo No. 19-N-52044
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Vega (AK-17)

At the Ames Terminal, Seattle, Washington, on 5 January 1944 after change of armament.
Her armament has been modified along the same lines as that of Capella in 1943, including a 5"/38 gun on the stern.

Photo No. 19-N-57176
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Spica (AK-16)

Photographed circa June-July 1944 after change of armament.
She now has an armament of 1-5"/38 and 4-3"/50, but in contrast with her sisters the forward pair of 3"/50 guns and the 5"/38 gun aft are mounted directly on the decks instead of on raised platforms. Her bridge has also been remodeled and made more compact.

Photo No. 19-N-68034
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Sirius (AK-15)

Near the U.S. Naval Drydocks, Hunters Point, San Francisco on 29 January 1945 after change of armament.
Her armament has been modified along the same lines as that of Capella in 1943, including a 5"/38 gun on the stern and two 3"/50s at each end of the ship, all on raised platforms.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
S.S. Pleamar

The former USS Spica (AK-16) in merchant service after the war.
Her bridge remains essentially as it was remodeled circa 1944.

Photo No. NH 105650
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.