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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Mink

 

A mammal found in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, valued for its lustrous f ur.

 

(IX‑123: dp. 14,500; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 105; a. 1 5", 1 3", 8 20mm.; T. Z‑ET1‑S‑C3)

 

Mink (IX‑123) was laid down as Judah Touro 20 October 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by Delta S. B. Shipbuilding Co., New Orleans, La.; launched 4 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. E. S. Lazarus; renamed Mink 27 October 1943; acquired by the Navy 8 January 1944; and commissioned 9 January 1944, Lt. W. J. Meagher in command.

 

After shakedown off Texas, Mink arrived Balboa, C.Z., 2 February 1944. She then sailed to Milne Bay, New Guinea, with a cargo of diesel oil and motor gasoline, arriving 12 March to strengthen the service force of the 7th Fleet. After unloading cargo and fuel along the coast of New Guinea, she joined a convoy which anchored in Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, 30 May. Mink spent the next 2 months discharging cargoes, of aviation gas, diesel, and lubricating oil to many ships and craft during the buildup for the invasion of the Philippines.

 

She arrived in Leyte Gulf, Philippines, 24 October from Hollandia, New Guinea. Mink’s gunners shot down two Japanese planes during the great Battle for Leyte Gulf, a milestone victory on the route to Tokyo. This battle gave the Japanese a painful reminder of the tremendous importance of securing safe passage for tankers and supply craft. Despite formidable logistics problems, the U.S. Navy’s control of the sea enabled the service forces to carry out their orders, essential to the success of all operations afloat and ashore. After Leyte, the Japanese merchant navy could not even supply adequately what was left of its fighting ships. On the other hand, services forces of the United States continued to provide the “beans, bullets, and black oil” that enabled the 7th Fleet to strike overwhelming blows against the Japanese Empire.

 

Mink steamed with a convoy to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, reaching her destination 13 January 1945. There Vice Adm. T. C. Kincaid and the 7th Fleet landed army troops in a smooth amphibious operation which contributed greatly to the success of the Luzon campaign. For the next 4 months, Mink steamed off the Morotai Islands, refueling ships, and during the final month of the war, she ranged from Luzon to Mindanao, refueling craft.

 

Following the Japanese surrender, she sailed to Newport News, Va., arriving 16 May 1946. Mink decommissioned 26 June and was delivered to the War Shipping Administration 27 June. On 19 July she was stricken from the Naval Register. Renamed Judah Touro, she was subsequently sold into merchant service, and later carried the names Seavalor, Apukia, and Eleni V.

 

Mink, received three battle stars for World War II service.