Crater (AK-70) 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 Crater (AK-70)

In San Francisco Bay on 2 November 1942 soon after conversion.
This was one of only three World War II U.S. Navy auxiliary vessels fitted with the pre-World War I vintage 5"/50 caliber gun, the others being Thurston (AP-77) and Calamares (AF-18).

Photo No. 19-N-39663
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Giansar (AK-111)

In San Francisco Bay on 8 November 1942 soon after conversion.
One of eight ships of this class initially fitted with a 5"/51 instead of a 5"/38 gun, this ship is carrying a normal inventory of two LCM(3) tank lighters and four LCV landing boats.

Photo No. 19-N-57516
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Adhara (AK-71)

In San Francisco Bay on 26 November 1942 soon after conversion.
This was the only ship of this class sent to war with a single 20mm gun instead of a 3"/50 on the bow gun platform. She got the 3"/50 when her 5"/51 aft was upgraded to a 5"/38 in mid-1943. These ships often carried oversized items such as the aircraft shown here as deck cargo.

Photo No. 19-N-39818
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Bootes (AK-99)

In San Francisco Bay on 10 December 1943 after six months of service.

Photo No. 19-N-57818
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Ganymede (AK-104)

In San Francisco Bay on 16 August 1943 soon after conversion.
This ship was completed with the standard armament for this class of 1-5"/38 aft and 1-3"/50 forward. She was also one of many that carried a towing engine under the after gun platform, some of whose fittings are visible on the stern. The configuration of these installations varied considerably between different ships.

Photo No. 19-N-57269
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Melucta (AK-131)

Underway on 2 August 1944 off Jacksonville, Florida, a few days after commissioning.
This late East Coast cargo ship conversion differs from her earlier sisters in several details, including the higher splinter protection around the 5"/38 gun aft and the small but tall lattice platform aft of the deckhouse.

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

 
USS Cetus (AK-77)

In San Francisco Bay on 25 August 1945.
She has been modified with 2-40mm guns instead of 2-20mm guns in the after positions on the deckhouse. The 40mm guns are stowed horizontally while the 20mm guns in the forward positions on the deckhouse are stowed vertically.

Photo No. 19-N-90243
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Sabik (AK-121)

In San Francisco Bay on 21 September 1945.
This is one of 14 troop carriers and 5 cargo ships of this class given an anti-aircraft armament of 4-40mm singles and 12-20mm instead of the usual 1-3"/50 and 8-20mm. Configurations of this armament aft varied: Sabik and some others carried the aft pair of 40mm guns aft of the after pair of 20mm while in other ships these positions were reversed. The forward 40mm guns were carried side by side on an enlarged bow gun platform. Sabik's forward lifeboats on each side have been replaced with unidentified equipment, possibly experimental life rafts.

Photo No. 19-N-89593
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Matar (AK-119)

Underway off Jacksonville, Florida, in May 1944 after completing conversion.
Demonstrating the many differences in detail in ships of this class, this troop carrier had unusually prominent platforms for her 40mm guns which extended across the width of the ship both fore and aft. In contrast to Sabik, above, her after 40mm guns were located forward of the after pair of 20mm guns.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: Shipscribe

 
USS Phobos (AK-129)

In the Mississippi River near New Orleans, La., circa 20 June 1944.
A troop carrier, this ship was the only one of this class converted by the War Shipping Administration instead of the Navy. Note the platform on the bow for two 40mm guns side by side, and the numerous minor differences in configuration compared to her sisters.

Photo No. 19-N-68104
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Azimech (AK-124)

In San Francisco Bay on 3 November 1943 soon after conversion.
This was one of four ships of this class converted with an old 4"/50 gun aft. This low-angle weapon is noticeably smaller than the old, low-angle 5"/51 and 5"/50 guns mounted in some sisters.

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

 
USS Allioth (AK-109)

In San Francisco Bay on 19 November 1943 soon after conversion.
This ship retained her small mercantile 3"/50 gun gun aft when converted for Navy use. She and the other ship of this class similarly fitted, Grumium (AK-112), were converted to aviation stores issue ships in 1944 and given upgraded armaments.

Photo No. 19-N-63594
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Venus (AK-135)

In a Southwest Pacific port, possibly in Australia in early 1945.
This ship was repaired and placed in Navy service in Australia after being badly damaged off Fiji by a torpedo in 1943. Note the bow platform for 2-40mm guns, crudely obscured by a wartime censor.

Photo No. None
Source: Shipscribe

 
USS Allegan (AK-225)

In Chesapeake Bay off her conversion yard at Baltimore, Maryland, on 29 September 1944.
She and the other late addition to this class, Appanoose (AK-226), were acquired to serve as pontoon assembly ships but initially had no distinctive external fittings for this purpose.

Photo No. 19-N-72320
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM