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USS Rolette (AKA-99) on 7 April 1952.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        ANDROMEDA (AKA-15)
Design:        MC C2-S-B1
Displacement (tons):        7,132 light, 14,200 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        459.25' oa, 435.0' pp x 63.0' e x 26.3' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/38 4-3"/50 12-20mm (1943: AKA-15, 19)
Later armaments:        1-5"/38 4-3"/50 18-20mm (1943-44: AKA 15-20); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 8<14-20mmT (1945-57: AKA-16, 19-20); 1-5”/38 4-3”/50 (1957: AKA 19-20);
1-5"/38 2-40mmT 18>10-20mm (1944-47: AKA 15, 53, 55-57); 1-5"/38 2-40mmT 10<12-20mmT (1945-46: AKA-56);
1-5"/38 4-40mmT 18-20mm (1944-46: AKA 53-54, 57-63, 88-100); 1-5"/38 4-40mmT 6<12-20mmS (1946-55: AKA 53-55, 60-61, 88-90); 1-5"/38 4-40mmT 4<14-20mmT (1946-57: AKA-15, 54-61, 88-98, 100); 1-5”/38 4-40mmT (1957-61: AKA-53, 56-57, 61, 88, 92, 94-97, 100);
4-40mmT (1957-63: AKA-54, 58, 88-90, 92-94, 96-97);
4-3”/50 (1963-65: AKA-20)
Complement:        249 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        16.5
Propulsion (HP):        6,000
Machinery:        G.E. turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
AKA Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
15 ANDROMEDA 30 Mar 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 22 Sep 42 22 Dec 42 2 Apr 43
16 AQUARIUS 20 Aug 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 28 Apr 43 23 Jul 43 21 Aug 43
17 CENTAURUS 20 Oct 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 7 Jun 43 3 Sep 43 21 Oct 43
18 CEPHEUS 15 Dec 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 26 Jul 43 27 Oct 43 16 Dec 43
19 THUBAN 9 Jun 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 2 Feb 43 26 Apr 43 10 Jun 43
20 VIRGO 15 Jul 43 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 9 Mar 43 4 Jun 43 16 Jul 43
53 ACHERNAR 29 Jan 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 6 Sep 43 3 Dec 43 31 Jan 44
54 ALGOL 27 Nov 43 Moore DD, Oakland 10 Dec 42 17 Feb 43 21 Jul 44
55 ALSHAIN 31 Mar 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 29 Oct 43 26 Jan 44 1 Apr 44
56 ARNEB 16 Nov 43 Moore DD, Oakland 20 Apr 43 6 Jul 43 28 Apr 44
57 CAPRICORNUS 25 Nov 43 Moore DD, Oakland 5 May 43 14 Aug 43 31 May 44
58 CHARA 16 Mar 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 6 Dec 43 15 Mar 44 14 Jun 44
59 DIPHDA 7 Jul 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 27 Jan 44 11 May 44 8 Jul 44
60 LEO 29 Aug 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 17 Mar 44 29 Jun 44 30 Aug 44
61 MULIPHEN 21 Oct 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 13 May 44 26 Aug 44 23 Oct 44
62 SHELIAK 30 Nov 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 19 Jun 44 17 Oct 44 1 Dec 44
63 THEENIM 22 Dec 44 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 3 Jul 44 31 Oct 44 23 Dec 44
88 UVALDE 18 Aug 44 Moore DD, Oakland 27 Mar 44 20 May 44 18 Aug 44
89 WARRICK 30 Aug 44 Moore DD, Oakland 7 Apr 44 29 May 44 30 Aug 44
90 WHITESIDE 11 Sep 44 Moore DD, Oakland 22 Apr 44 12 Jun 44 11 Sep 44
91 WHITLEY 21 Sep 44 Moore DD, Oakland 2 May 44 22 Jun 44 21 Sep 44
92 WYANDOT 30 Sep 44 Moore DD, Oakland 6 May 44 28 Jun 44 30 Sep 44
93 YANCEY 11 Oct 44 Moore DD, Oakland 22 May 44 8 Jul 44 11 Oct 44
94 WINSTON 18 Jan 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 10 Jul 44 30 Nov 44 19 Jan 45
95 MARQUETTE 19 Jun 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 30 Aug 44 29 Apr 45 20 Jun 45
96 MATHEWS 3 Mar 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 15 Sep 44 22 Dec 44 5 Mar 45
97 MERRICK 30 Mar 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 19 Oct 44 28 Jan 45 31 Mar 45
98 MONTAGUE 13 Apr 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 2 Nov 44 11 Feb 45 14 Apr 45
99 ROLETTE 26 Apr 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 2 Dec 44 11 Mar 45 27 Apr 45
100 OGLETHORPE 5 Jun 45 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 26 Dec 44 15 Apr 45 6 Jun 45
109 SAN JOAQUIN -- Federal SB & DD, Kearny 17 Aug 45 -- --
110 SEDGWICK -- Federal SB & DD, Kearny -- -- --
111 WHITFIELD -- Federal SB & DD, Kearny -- -- --

Disposition:
AKA Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
15 ANDROMEDA 1 May 56 1 Jul 60 30 Jun 60 MA/T 12 Mar 71
16 AQUARIUS 23 May 46 13 Nov 46 12 Sep 46 MC/D 22 Dec 47
17 CENTAURUS 30 Apr 46 19 Jul 46 11 Sep 46 MC/D 27 Feb 48
18 CEPHEUS 22 May 46 22 Jan 47 17 Jan 47 MC/D 8 Oct 47
19 THUBAN 31 Oct 68 1 Jan 77 1 Sep 71 MA/T 27 Sep 84
20 VIRGO 18 Feb 71 18 Feb 71 19 Nov 73 MA/S 19 Nov 73
53 ACHERNAR 1 Jul 63 1 Jan 82 2 Feb 65 Trf. 13 May 82
54 ALGOL 23 Jul 70 1 Jan 77 1 Sep 73 MA/T --
55 ALSHAIN 14 Jan 56 1 Jul 60 1 Nov 60 MA/T 16 Feb 78
56 ARNEB 12 Aug 71 13 Aug 71 1 Mar 73 MA/S 1 Mar 73
57 CAPRICORNUS 10 Feb 70 1 Jan 77 1 Sep 71 MA/T 17 Sep 83
58 CHARA 10 Mar 72 10 Mar 72 11 Dec 72 MA/S 11 Dec 72
59 DIPHDA 11 May 56 1 Jul 61 1 Oct 62 MA/T 16 Mar 76
60 LEO 11 Feb 55 1 Jul 60 30 Jun 60 MA/T 19 Jul 76
61 MULIPHEN 31 Aug 70 1 Jan 77 1 Sep 71 MA/T --
62 SHELIAK 10 May 46 21 May 46 11 May 46 MC/D 12 Aug 48
63 THEENIM 10 May 46 21 May 46 12 May 46 MC/D 23 Feb 47
88 UVALDE 29 Nov 68 1 Dec 68 26 Jun 69 MA/S 26 Jun 69
89 WARRICK 3 Dec 57 1 Jul 61 1 Oct 62 MA/T --
90 WHITESIDE 30 Jan 58 1 Jul 61 1 Oct 62 MA/T --
91 WHITLEY 16 Aug 55 1 May 73 1 Feb 62 Trf. --
92 WYANDOT 22 Jan 76 31 Mar 86 1 Oct 77 MA/T 5 Nov 87
93 YANCEY 20 Jan 71 1 Jan 77 1 Jul 72 MA/T --
94 WINSTON Nov 69 1 Sep 76 1 Jul 71 MA/T 15 Nov 79
95 MARQUETTE 19 Jul 55 1 Jul 60 30 Jun 60 MA/T 28 Mar 72
96 MATHEWS 31 Oct 68 1 Nov 68 15 Sep 69 MA/S 15 Sep 69
97 MERRICK 17 Sep 69 1 Sep 76 1 Jul 71 MA/T 15 Nov 79
98 MONTAGUE 22 Nov 55 1 Jul 60 30 Jun 60 MA/T 12 Mar 71
99 ROLETTE 1 May 56 1 Jul 60 30 Jun 60 MA/T 16 Feb 78
100 OGLETHORPE 31 Oct 68 1 Nov 68 26 Jun 69 MA/S 26 Jun 69
109 SAN JOAQUIN -- -- 27 Aug 45 Canc. --
110 SEDGWICK -- -- 27 Aug 45 Canc. --
111 WHITFIELD -- -- 27 Aug 45 Canc. --

Class Notes:
FY 1943 (AKA 15-20), 1944 (AKA 53/111). Although all these ships were built to the MC C2-S-B1 design, the Moore ships were listed as 1 inch shorter (459.2') and appear to have had slightly larger smokestacks. All but AKA 54, 56-57, and 109-111 were completed under the Maritime Commission Military Program.

On 28 Aug 42 CominCh directed the acquisition of 24 combat loaded transports and 6 combat loaded cargo ships. On 16 Sep 42 the JCS wrote to the Maritime Commission in support of the Navy request, stating that there was a need to increase the number of combat loaded transports and cargo ships, that 30 C2, C3 or equivalent hulls were needed, that these ships would be continually employed for war operations, and that they should be in addition to any ships then building for Army or Navy account. The Auxiliary Vessels Board determined on 19 Sep that the only available source for these ships was the Maritime Commission building program. It identified 30 candidate hulls (along with three for acquisition as AGC 1-3). MC hulls 199-204 at Federal, described as identical to the hulls converted to AKA 12-14, were initially selected to become AKA 15-20, but on 17 Dec 42 hulls 200-202 were reallocated for conversion to AGC 1-3 and hulls 205-207 replaced them as AKA 16-18.

On 9 Jul 43 CominCh wrote that the known requirements for APAs and AKAs now exceeded the total numbers provided for by existing construction and conversion programs and directed that enough MC hulls be acquired to support the immediate acquisition of 8 APAs and 6 AKAs and the subsequent delivery of one APA every month and one AKA every two months. The Auxiliary Vessels Board on 16 Jul 43 identified 14 MC hulls (soon increased to 15) for acquisition as APAs and 11 to become AKAs. SecNav approved this program on 21 Jul 43 and the VCNO asked the MC for the ships on 26 July. Of the AKAs, 8 were acquired from Federal and 3 from Moore (AKA 53-63). The Moore ships were placed in commission for transfer by ferrying crews from Oakland, Calif., to Portland, Ore., where they were decommissioned and converted. MC hull 1159 replaced MC hull 1157 as AKA-56 on 11 Sep 43.

On 9 Nov 43 JCS requested that the MC construct 130 standard APAs and 30 standard AKAs for the Navy for completion as early in the fourth quarter of 1944 as practicable. Most of the AKAs came from the North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., but six (AKA 88-93) were acquired from Moore as duplicates of the AKA-53 type. These were converted by the builder at Oakland.

On 6 Jun 44 JCS requested that the MC modify its building program for the first half of 1945 to provide for the construction of 56 merchant type vessels as Naval auxiliaries. The MC on 22 Jun 44 agreed to supply 54 ships, including seven more AKAs from Federal (AKA 94-100) that were to be duplicates of AKA-58.

On 26 Feb 45 the JCS asked that the MC construct some additional shipping to meet military requirements, including 12 APAs and three AKAs. These were to be similar to the ones in previous programs but with all known defects and deficiencies corrected and with provisions for certain new requirements resulting from operational experience. Three hulls at North Carolina (MC 2609-2611) were initially designated, but on 17 Apr 45 the MC informed CNO that due to construction difficulties at North Carolina the MC would be unable to build the ships there and would build them instead at Federal (AKA 109-111) as duplicates of AKA-100.

The main design innovation in this class was the quadruped mast, which became a feature on all subsequent AKA's. When planning for future AKA's on 31 Jul 42, BuShips told the New York Navy Yard that the future ship should have center and side kingposts somewhat similar to those in LIBRA (AKA-12), but that those on LIBRA were of too heavy a design. The Bureau asked New York to lighten the kingpost design as much as possible and submit it for Bureau approval before purchasing the equipment. BuShips felt that the capacity of the heavy booms could be reduced from 40 tons as in the AKA-12 class to 30 tons, a model that were easier to obtain and faster in operation. In an early September conference call with the Bureau, Mr. Copenhaver, Design (Fittings) at New York, proposed to replace the triple kingposts with a design of four straight line pipes merging at the top. These could support both the four small and two 30-ton booms served by the three kingposts, and topmasts and lookout stations could be mounted on top. This arrangement would provide a simplified design weighing much less and would not require stays (thus enlarging the safe arcs of fire of the ship's anti-aircraft guns). The Bureau immediately approved proceeding with the design, and New York duly built the first twelve fabricated masts for installation by Federal on AKA 15-20. Other conversion features included provisions for stowing and handling eight 50-foot LCM(3) tank lighters along with ten 36-foot LCVPs on deck and another six in two triple Welin davits on the sides of the superstructure.

ARNEB (AKA-56) was fitted for Arctic service under FY1948. Some AKAs and APAs were resubordinated from amphibious forces to the Naval Transportation Service in 1945-46 to assist in the transition to peacetime and occupation operations, and on 1 Oct 49 MSTS inherited the 12 AKAs (AKA 12-13 and ten units of the AKA-15 class) and three APAs (18, 19, and 30) that were still on commissioned NTS duty. WYANDOT (T-AKA-92) was in MSTS service on 1 Jan 69 when her surviving sisters in the amphibious force were reclassified LKA and she was reclassified T-AK.

Ship Notes:
AKA Name MC# Notes
15 ANDROMEDA 199 Ex AK-64 1 Feb 43. Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 to 30 Sep 50. In USN reserve 1955-60. To NDRF 8 Apr 60, to buyer 6 Apr 71.
16 AQUARIUS 205 Ex AK-65 1 Feb 43. Stk. 19.7.46, reinstated 8.10.46. Merc. PIONEER LAKE 1947. In NDRF 1963-65 as AMERICAN TRAPPER. Sold by MA 17 Apr 67, to buyer 8 May 67, scrapped by 29 Feb 68.
17 CENTAURUS 206 Ex AK-66 1 Feb 43. Merc. PIONEER BAY 1948. In NDRF 1962-70 as AMERICAN GUNNER. Sold by MA 1 Jul 70, to buyer 11 Jul 70, scrapped by 30 Oct 70.
18 CEPHEUS 207 Ex AK-67 1 Feb 43. Stk. 19 Jul 46, to MC 12 Sep 46. Reinst. 8 Oct 46, from MC 21 Nov 46. Merc. PIONEER SEA 1947. Wrecked 3 Apr 68 as BROOKVILLE.
19 THUBAN 203 Ex AK-68 1 Feb 43. Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 until transferred back to regular naval service with amphibious forces circa September 1950. To LKA-19 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 30 Sep 69, to buyer ca. Jul 85, sunk Dec 85.
20 VIRGO 204 Ex AK-69 1 Feb 43. Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 to 15 Sep 50. In USN reserve 1958-60. To NDRF 23 Aug 60, stk. 1 Jul 61, to MA 1 Oct 62. From MA 19 Aug 65, to AE-30 1 Nov 65, converted by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Wash., and recomm. 19 Aug 66. To NDRF 19 May 71, to buyer 26 Dec 73.
53 ACHERNAR 208 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 until transferred back to regular naval service with amphibious forces 16 Apr 51. In USN reserve 1955-61, then active. To NDRF 11 Oct 62, stk. 1 Jul 63, to MA 1 Jul 63. From MA 22 Jul 64, trf. to Spain as CASTILLA. Stk. by Spain 1 Jan 82. Returned to MA for disposal, to buyer 2 Aug 82, scrapped by 22 Nov 82 in Spain..
54 ALGOL 1153 Ex merc. JAMES BAINES. Ferry comm. 27 Nov-3 Dec 43. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. In USN reserve 1947-48 and 1957-61. In NDRF (MA custody) 18 Nov 60 to 11 May 61 and 27 Jun 61 to 5 Aug 61. To LKA-54 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 23 Jul 70, delivered by MA to New Jersey for use as a fish reef 11 Jun 91.
55 ALSHAIN 209 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 until transferred back to regular naval service with amphibious forces 30 Apr 51. In USN reserve 1955-60. In NDRF 10 Aug 60 to 1978.
56 ARNEB 1159 Ex merc. MISCHIEF. Ferry comm. 16-24 Nov 43. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. In USN reserve 1947-48. To LKA-56 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 28 Mar 72, to buyer 14 May 73.
57 CAPRICORNUS 1160 Ex merc. SPITFIRE. Ferry comm. 25-30 Nov 43. Converted by Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Ore. In USN reserve 1947-50. In NDRF 12 Aug 70 to 1983. Scrapped by 16 May 85.
58 CHARA 210 Delivered 90.2% complete. Converted by Todd Shipyards, Brooklyn, N.Y. Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 to mid-1950 and from circa late 1952 to 1 Jul 54. In NDRF 28 Jan 60 to 1965. Stk. 1 Jul 60, to MA 30 Jun 60. From MA 23 Aug 65, to AE-31 1 Nov 65, converted by Willamette Iron & Steel Corp, Portland, Ore., and recomm. 25 Jun 66. To buyer 12 Dec 72.
59 DIPHDA 211 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 to 31 Mar 51 and from 5 Feb 52 to 11 Nov 52. In USN reserve 1955-60. To NDRF 29 Nov 60, to buyer 13 Apr 76.
60 LEO 212 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 to mid-1950 and from 19 May 52 to 1955. In USN reserve 1955-60. To NDRF 29 Mar 60, to buyer 3 Aug 76.
61 MULIPHEN 213 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 until reassigned to regular naval service with amphibious forces 31 Oct 50. To LKA-61 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 2 Dec 70, delivered by MA for use as a fish reef 28 Oct 88.
62 SHELIAK 214 Merc. PIONEER ISLE 1948. Scrapped 1969 as TRANSLUNA.
63 THEENIM 215 Merc. AMERICAN INVENTOR 1947. Scrapped 1970 as SURFER.
88 UVALDE 1188 Ex merc. WILD PIGEON. In USN reserve 1957-60. To NDRF 7 Jan 60, stk. 1 Jul 60, to MA 30 Jun 60, reinst. 1 Sep 61, from MA 3 Aug 61. To buyer 22 Jul 69.
89 WARRICK 1189 Ex merc. BLACK PRINCE. In USN reserve 1957-60. To NDRF 19 Jul 60, to Navy for use as target 20 Apr 71.
90 WHITESIDE 1190 Ex merc. WINGS OF THE MORNING. In USN reserve 1957-60. To NDRF 7 Jun 60, to Navy for use as target 22 Apr 71.
91 WHITLEY 1191 In USN reserve 1954-60. To NDRF 14 Jul 60, stk. 1 Jul 60, to MA 31 Jul 60. Reinst. 1 Dec 61, from MA 30 Nov 61, trf. to Italy as ETNA. Stk. by Italy 1 Nov 77, scrapped at Naples Jul 79.
92 WYANDOT 1192 To NDRF 18 Jan 60, to MA 30 Jun 60, stk. 1 Jul 60. From MA 5 Aug 61, reinst. 1 Sep 61. To MSTS from the Navy's reserve fleet at Norfolk 4 Mar 63. Reclas. AK-283 1 Jan 69. Inactivated by MSTS 22 Jan 76, in NDRF 5 Mar 76 to 1987.
93 YANCEY 1193 In USN reserve 1957-60. In NDRF (MA custody) 11 Oct 60 to 11 May 61 and 30 Jun 61 to 4 Aug 61. To LKA-93 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 18 Mar 71, delivered by MA to the State of North Carolina for use as a fish reef off Atlantic Beach, N.C., 15 Dec 89.
94 WINSTON 216 In USN reserve 1956-60. In NDRF (MA custody) 1 Sep 60 to 7 Sep 61. Stk. 1 Jul 61, reinst. 1 Sep 61. To LKA-94 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 17 Feb 70, to buyer 18 Dec 79, scrapped by 23 Apr 80.
95 MARQUETTE 217 In USN reserve 1955-60. To NDRF 9 Feb 60, to buyer 3 May 72.
96 MATHEWS 218 Stk. 23 Apr 47, to MC 9 Apr 47. Reinst. 17 Jul 51, from MC 30 Jul 51. To buyer 23 Oct 69.
97 MERRICK 219 Stk. 1 Aug 47, to MC 25 Jun 47. From MC 9 Jul 51, reinst. 17 Jul 51. To LKA-97 1 Jan 69. To NDRF 2 Dec 69, to buyer 19 Dec 79, scrapped by 13 Mar 80.
98 MONTAGUE 220 In USN reserve 1955-60. In NDRF 11 Feb 60 to 1971. To buyer 2 Apr 71.
99 ROLETTE 221 Stk. 23 Apr 47, to MC 31 Mar 47. Reinst. 17 Jul 51, from MC 13 Aug 51. In USN reserve 1955-60. To NDRF 28 Jan 60, to buyer 8 Mar 78.
100 OGLETHORPE 222 Served in MSTS as a commissioned naval vessel from 1 Oct 49 until reassigned to regular naval service with amphibious forces 22 Jan 51. To buyer 14 Jul 69.
109 SAN JOAQUIN 2896 Completed 1946 as merc. SANTA MONICA (C2-S1-DG2 type). Scrapped 1969 as COSMOS TRADER.
110 SEDGWICK 2897 Completed 1946 as merc. SANTA CLARA (C2-S1-DG2 type). To NDRF 27 Jun 60. Sold by MA 24 Jul 70, to buyer 27 Aug 70, scrapped by 20 Nov 70.
111 WHITFIELD 2898 Completed 1947 as merc. SANTA SOFIA (C2-S1-DG2 type). Scrapped 1970 as COSMOS MARINER.

Page Notes:
AKA        1943
Compiled:        06-Feb-2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007