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Amphitrite

 

In Greek mythology, Amphitrite was the wife of Neptune and the daughter of Oceanus.

 

III

 

(ARL-29: displacement 3,960 (trial); 1ength 328'0"; beam 50'0"; draft 11'2" (limiting); speed 11.6 knots (trial); complement 253; armament 1 3", 8 40 millimeter, 8 20 millimeter; class Achelous)

 

Originally projected as the unnamed tank landing ship LST-1124, Amphitrite (ARL-29) -- the name and classification approved on 27 October 1944 -- was laid down on 6 November 1944 at Seneca, Ill., by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Works; launched on 1 February 1945; sponsored by Miss Lillie Williams Kidd; placed in reduced commission on 13 February 1945 for the voyage to Baltimore, Md., where she was to be converted from a tank landing ship to a landing craft repair ship; after proceeding via New Orleans, La., she was decommissioned at Baltimore on 3 March 1945. Converted by Bethlehem Steel's Key Highway Shipyard, Amphitrite was placed in full commission on 28 June 1945,  Lt. Thomas S. Medford, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay and post-shakedown availability at Norfolk (Va.) Naval Shipyard, Amphitrite proceeded to Davisville, R.I., to load pontoons. She put to sea on 8 August 1945, reached the Canal Zone on the 17th and reached San Diego, Calif., on the last day of August. Moving to San Francisco, Calif., soon thereafter, she pushed on for Hawaiian waters on 18 September, and arrived at Pearl Harbor, T.H., on 27 September.


Standing out on 7 October 1945 for Okinawa, Amphitrite (sometimes nicknamed "The Mighty A" by her crew) con
tinued across the Pacific with Task Unit (TU) 13.11.97, and reported to her first duty station, Buckner Bay, on 14 October, where she performed a myriad of repair duties to "scores of ships," ("their troubles have become her troubles," her historian wrote, "their repair has become her job"). Undoubtedly, some of that work had been rendered necessary by typhoon Louise, which had swirled her destructive way across Buckner Bay less than a week before Amphitrite's arrival. The ship toiled at Buckner Bay until 17 March 1946 when she was transferred to Apra Harbor, Guam, to load cargo earmarked for delivery to Shanghai and Tsingtao, China. The ship departed Guam on 9 June and, with the big harbor tug Tlingit (YTB-497) in tow, arrived at Tsingtao on 19 June, where she discharged much of her cargo and embarked many replacement crewmen. She then settled into a repair routine in the inner harbor at Tsingtao, where she offloaded the rest of the cargo brought from Guam.

Amphitrite remained at that North China port -- save for a round-trip voyage in July 1946 during which she towed the barrack ship APL-29 to Sasebo, Japan -- until 23 September. On that day, the landing craft repair ship weighed anchor for Shanghai, where she resumed her repair duties until 25 November, when she got underway for the Marshall Islands. She then carried out her work at Kwajalein until 26 June 1947, when she sailed for the west coast of the United States. Pausing at Pearl Harbor en route (13-21 July), she arrived at San Francisco on 30 July, whence she proceeded to San Pedro, Calif., on 8 August.

Decommissioned at San Diego, Calif., on 18 November 1947 "in [the] interests of the inactivation program," Amphitrite was "placed out of commission, in reserve" on 2 December 1947 and berthed
with that portion of the Pacific Reserve Fleet located there.

Amphitrite remained in re
serve until her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1961. Sold to River Equipment, Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., for scrapping, on 13 March 1962, the ship was delivered to her purchaser on 12 April 1962.

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Corrected and rewritten, Robert J. Cressman, 12 December 2007