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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Sterope

 

A cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus.

 

(AK-96: dp. 14,350; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 207; a. 1 5", 1 B", 2 40mm.; cl. Crater; T. EC2-S-C1)

 

Sterope (AK-96), ex-James Wilson (MC hull 183), was laid down on 9 December 1941 by the Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, Oreg.; launched on 22 February 1942; sponsored by Mrs. John Spady; acquired by the Navy on 27 March 1943; and commissioned on 14 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. Leo P. Toolin, USCG, in command.

 

Sterope was converted to Navy specifications by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., and completed her shakedown cruise on 10 June. The ship-assigned to the Naval Transportation Service-proceeded to San Francisco, loaded, and sailed on 24 June for New Caledonia. Sterope arrived at Noumea on 16 July 1943 and, for the next two years, shuttled supplies to advanced bases as a part of the Service Force, Pacific Fleet.

 

Highlights of her service came in July 1944 when she delivered supplies to American forces engaged in recapturing Guam and in May 1945 when she took supplies to troops fighting for Okinawa.

 

Late in July 1945, Sterope headed for Pearl Harbor and the west coast. She reached San Francisco on 6 August and was undergoing overhaul there when the war ended. On 9 October 1945, the ship sailed for Guam and moved varied cargo among the islands of the Central Pacific for the next six months.

 

Sterope arrived at Pearl Harbor on 18 April 1946 and was decommissioned there on 16 May. In August 1947, she was towed to San Francisco and returned to the Maritime Commission. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 19 November 1947.

 

Sterope received two battle stars for World War II service.

 

USS Sterope (AK-96)  unloading cargo onto pontoon lighters at Guadalcanal, 1943. A relatively small number of Maritime Commission-built Liberty ships were acquired by the Navy for use as auxiliaries.