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USS Regulus (AK-14) on 20 March 1942
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Class: REGULUS (AK-14)
Design EFC 1046
Displacement (tons): 3,590 light, 10,550 full
Dimensions (feet): 391.75' oa, 377.0' pp x 52.0' wl x 24.0' mn
Original Armament: None installed (1921)
Later armaments: 2-5"/51 4-3"/50 0<8-20mm (1941)
Speed (kts.): 11
Propulsion (HP): 2,500
Machinery: Vertical triple expansion, 1 screw
||7 Nov 21
||Bethlehem Steel, Wilm.
||14 Aug 20
||14 Dec 40
||25 Mar 46
||17 Apr 46
||1 Jul 46
||10 Sep 47
EFC Design 1046 was a design to which the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., Sparrows Point, Md., had built four ships for the British (requisitioned by the U.S. in August 1917) in 1917-1918. The Shipping Board's Emergency Fleet Corporation ordered ten more ships to this design, seven at Sparrows Point and three more at Bethlehem's yard at Wilmington, Del. Three of the Sparrows Point ships were cancelled and the Wilmington ships were not completed until mid to late 1920. In November 1921 the Navy acquired two of the Wilmington ships as ARCTURUS and REGULUS (AK-12 and AK-14). ARCTURUS soon became GOLD STAR (AG-12, q.v.).
By 1920 the Navy realized that many of its pre-war auxiliary vessels were reaching the end of their useful lives, that Congress would not provide appropriations for replacements, and that the Shipping Board had a large number of surplus vessels from its wartime building program that would fill the Navy's needs. In 1920 the Navy's lawyers determined that ships could be acquired from the Shipping Board by Presidential Executive Order, and by 17 Oct 21 negotiations between the Navy and the Shipping Board had reached the stage at which 27 specific hulls (12 tankers, 3 refrigerating ships, 11 cargo ships, and one passenger & cargo ship) had been selected, all but the tankers to replace an equivalent number of worn out Naval auxiliaries. On 29 Oct 21 Executive Order No. 3570 authorized the transfers. SecNav on 2 Nov 21 assigned new Navy names to 17 of the ships including two EFC Design 1046 freighters, GOLD STAR and GLENORA, which became ARCTURUS (AK-12, soon renamed GOLD STAR and reclassified AG-12) and REGULUS (AK-14). Both ships were inoperative and available without delay at Hog Island, Pa.
On 2 Nov 21 CNO directed the Commandant, 4th Naval District, to place ARCTURUS and REGULUS in commission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as reliefs for CAESAR (AC-16) and QUINCY (AK-10) respectively. CAESAR and QUINCY were, after their arrival on the Atlantic Coast, to transfer to ARCTURUS and REGULUS at Philadelphia the personnel and material necessary to place these two ships in commission as their reliefs. By 8 Dec 21 reliefs assignments had been changed and ARCTURUS was now scheduled to relieve SATURN (AG-4). The expected completion dates for ARCTURUS and REGULUS were now 1 Mar 22 and 1 May 22 respectively. On 22 Dec 21 CNO noted that, owing to freight congestion on the Pacific Coast, it had become necessary for QUINCY to make a trip to Pearl Harbor and that this might delay QUINCY's arrival on the Atlantic Coast about 2 weeks. In fact QUINCY visited Hawaii in JanuaryFebruary 1922, and only returned to Philadelphia on 11 April. By 6 Jan 22 REGULUS had been assigned to the Naval Transportation Service to transport freight from Atlantic ports to Pacific ports; she was still expected to be ready on 1 May 22. However a major force cutback ensued and on 4 Apr 22 CNO informed the Bureaus that QUINCY would be replaced by SIRIUS (AK-15) which had been directed to proceed to Philadelphia about 1 Apr 22. Instead of being commissioned, REGULUS lay in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for the next 18 years. Her authorized battery during this period was 2-5"/51 and 4-3"/50 AA guns; it was finally installed in January 1941 a month after the ship was placed in full commission.
As an active Navy unit REGULUS carried supplies to Wake and Midway islands from February to December 1941 and then engaged primarily in resupplying Hawaii from the West Coast until late 1944, interrupted by operations in the Samoan and Ellice Islands in late 1943 and early 1944. REGULUS arrived at Eniwetok and Ulithi in November 1944, and in May 1945 she sailed first to the Philippines and then to Okinawa where she conducted cargo operations into the fall of 1945. The freighter returned to San Francisco and reported for inactivation on 8 Jan 46.
||Ex merc. GLENORA (ID-4421A, completed Sep 20). Commissioned in ordinary at NYd Philadelphia 8 Aug 40, in full commission at NYd New York 12 Dec 40. To buyer 29 Sep 47, scrapped by 20 Nov 47.
Compiled: 02 Sep 2012
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2012