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Aristaeus

 

In Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Apollo and the nymph Cyrene. Aristaeus is believed to have been born in Libya. He later traveled to Thebes, where he received instruction from the Muses in the arts of healing and prophecy. Aristaeus is credited with introducing the cultivation of bees. He is also regarded as the protector of herdsmen and hunters.

 

(ARB-l: dp. 4,100; 1. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'2"; s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 260; a. 1 3", 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. Aristaeus)

 

LST-329 was laid down on 12 November 1942 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; reclassified ARB-1 on 25 January 1943 and named Aristaeus; launched on 1 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Taylor; converted at Fairfield, Md., by the Maryland Drydock Co., for service as a battle damage repair ship; and commissioned on 18 May 1943, Lt. Ralph M. G. Swany, Jr., in command.

 

On 1 June, the ship got underway for Norfolk, Va. During the next six weeks, she conducted shakedown training out of Norfolk and in the Chesapeake Bay. On 23 July, she left the east coast and shaped a course for the Pacific. The vessel transited the Panama Canal and joined the Pacific Fleet on 1 August. She then continued on—via Bora Bora, Society Islands, and Tutuila, American Samoa—to Noumea, New Caledonia.

 

Aristaeus reached Noumea on 14 September and operated in its immediate vicinity through the remainder of 1943 and the first six months of 1944. Early in July 1944, she anchored at Sydney, Australia. After upkeep at that port, the repair ship journeyed to New Guinea in late September and provided battle damage repairs to vessels in this area into April 1945. On 1 May, she anchored at Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands.

 

The vessel remained at Kerama Retto during the next two months. As a member of Service Squadron 10, she performed battle damage and voyage repairs to various ships of the fleet. On 2 July, the ship moved her base of operations to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where she provided routine repair services. On 13 August, she was ordered to assist in repairing the torpedoed Pennsylvania (BB-38). Many of the battleship's compartments were flooded, and she had settled heavily by the stern. Aristaeus repair efforts, however, enabled the man-of-war to get underway for Pearl Harbor on 24 August, nine days after the Japanese capitulation ended hostilities.

 

Aristaeus remained at Buckner Bay until early December. She left Okinawa on the 3d and shaped a course for the west coast of the United States. The ship reached San Francisco, Calif, on the 27th and entered a period of upkeep and repairs. She remained at San Francisco until 22 May 1946, when she got underway for San Diego, Calif. Upon her arrival there, the vessel reported to the San Diego Group, 19th Fleet, for inacti-vation. Aristaeus was decommissioned on 15 January 1947 and was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1961. The vessel was sold to Brown Industries, Inc., Oakland, Calif, on 14 March 1962, and she was subsequently scrapped.

 

Aristaeus earned one battle star for her World War II service.