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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hyperion

 

A satellite of Saturn named for one of the Titans of Greek mythology, the son of Uranus and Gaea and the father of Helios, the sun-god.

 

(AK-107: l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 206; a. 15", 13"; cl. Crater)

 

Hyperion (AK-107), formerly liberty ship SS Christopher C. Andrews, was launched 24 June 1943 by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Percy Lindt; acquired by the Navy from WSA 10 July 1943; and commissioned 25 August 1943 at San Diego, Lt. Comdr. C. C. Newman in command.

 

With gasoline barge YOG-85 in tow, Hyperion sailed for the Pacific 18 September on what was to be a memorable voyage. During the 42-day trip, the tow was lost twice; lightning struck the mainmast; a crewman was lost in high seas; and emergency flares were spotted but nothing was found. Hyperion finally reached Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides 30 October 1943. The following half year saw the cargo ship shuttling among the Solomon Islands bringing valuable supplies—gasoline, diesel oil, rolling stock, foodstuffs—to the staging area for some of the Pacific's most hard-fought campaigns.

 

On 5 April 1944 Hyperion steamed from the Solomons with 45 passengers in addition to her usual cargo of oil and supplies. Arriving 10 April at Emirau Island in the Bismarcks, occupied only 3 weeks earlier, Hyperion discharged cargo by day and steamed out to safety at night. She then returned to her valuable work in the staging areas, operating between New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, and the Bismarcks.

 

In the fall of 1944, as the war advanced steadily across the Pacific and culminated in the climactic Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the greatest naval engagements of all time, Hyperion had her first taste of battle. Departing Espiritu Santo 22 September, Hyperion picked up stores at Tulagi and joined TG 78.8's reinforcement group which supported Admiral Daniel Barbey's Northern Attack Force TF 78. She sailed into Leyte Gulf in a 33-ship convoy 29 October, only 3 days after the conclusion of that great battle. During the next fortnight, Hyperion went to general quarters 87 times, fought off 37 Japanese air attacks, and splashed 2 enemy planes.

 

Another tour of duty shuttling cargo in the staging area between New Zealand and New Caledonia ended in late April 1945 as Hyperion loaded 6,500 tons of Army engineering equipment at Noumea and steamed for Okinawa, still the scene of bloody fighting. During the 18 days it took her to discharge cargo at Okinawa 8 May, Hyperion witnessed naval bombardments of the Japanese positions on the island, the battles of Naha and Shuri, and countless kamikaze attacks—she was anchored less than 500 yards from New Mexico when two suicide planes damaged the battleship 12 May.

 

As the war drew to a close, Hyperion sailed for San Francisco 4 August 1945 ending 2 years of continuous service in the Pacific. The cargo ship had steamed some 75,225 nautical miles, carried 150,000 tons of cargo, transported over 1,000 passengers, made 62 voyages to 29 islands and 37 ports, and had fought at Leyte and Okinawa, Hyperion had crossed the equator six times and the international date line four times (she celebrated two Fourths of July in 1944!).

 

After minor repairs at San Francisco, which she reached 24 August, Hyperion sailed for the East Coast via the Panama Canal. Beaching Norfolk 24 October 1945, she decommissioned 16 November and was returned to WSA the following day. Hyperion was placed in the Maritime Commission National Defense Reserve Fleet, and was berthed in the James River until she was scrapped in 1961.

 

Hyperion received three battle stars for World War II service.