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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Menelaus

 

A son of Atreus, king of Sparta, husband of Helen and younger brother to Agamemnon.

 

(ARL‑13: dp. 2,125; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 262; a. 8 40mm.; cl. Achelous)

 

LST‑971 was laid down by the Bethlehem‑Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass., 17 November 1944 launched 20 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William Cosgrove; and placed in reduced commission 15 January 1945. Proceeding to Baltimore, Md., she decommissioned on the 29th; was converted to an ARL at the Bethlehem Key Highway Plant; and commissioned‑in full as Menelaus (ARL‑13), 29 May 1945, Lt. Peter F. Tripp in command.

 

Having completed shakedown and fitting out by 2 July, the landing craft repair ship headed north to Davisville, R.I., to take on pontoons for transport to forward areas. On 7 July she departed the east coast, transited the Panama Canal on the 15th, and was 2 days out of Pearl Harbor when she received word of the Japanese surrender. Mooring in that Hawaiian harbor, 16 August, she got underway again on the 20th for Saipan, where she ably carried out her repair duties for the next 6 months.

 

Departing Saipan 18 February 1946, Menelaus proceeded, via Hawaii, the Panama Canal and New Orleans, to Galveston, Tex., arriving 17 June to begin inactivation. Completing the process at Orange, she decommissioned 5 June 1947 and was berthed there as a unit of the Reserve Fleet.

 

Recommissioned 14 December 1950, she sailed for Charleston for outfitting and on 24 March 1951 arrived at Norfolk, Va., to report for duty to ComAirLant. On 5 September, having added aviation supply duties to her role as a repair ship, she departed Norfolk for an extended tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. For the next 412 years, with only one interruption for availability at Norfolk (9 March to 15 August 1953), Menelaus operated throughout the Mediterranean. On 19 March 1955 she returned to Norfolk for her second preinactivation overhaul. In June, she steamed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 5 September. The ARL remained berthed in Florida as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy Register, 1 June 1960. On 28 October 1960 she was sold to the Norfolk, Baltimore & Caroline Line, which subsequently placed her in service as Maryland Clipper.