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Samar

 

An island in the Visayas island group in the central Philippines.

II

 

(ARG-11: displacement 5,159 tons; length 441'6"; beam 56'11"; draw 23'; speed 12.5 knots; complement 401, armament 1 5-inch gun, 3 3-inch guns, 4 40mm., 12 20mm., class Luzon)


The second Samar (ARG-11) was laid down on 21 September 1944 by Bethlehem-Fairfield, Sparrow's Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2683); launched on 19 October 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Elsie M. Alexander, delivered to the Navy on 31 October 1944, converted to an internal combustion engine repair ship (ARG) by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Key Highway Plant, Baltimore, Md. and commissioned on 5 June 1945, Comdr. Andrew M. Harvey in command.


Following shakedown, Samar sailed for the Panama Canal Zone, arriving at Coco Solo on 28 July. She transited the canal on the 29th and, while enroute to Hawaii, received word of the Japanese surrender. At Pearl Harbor on 16 August, the crew serviced ship for four days while awaiting orders. Underway 21 August, the repair ship sailed to Okinawa via Eniwetok and Saipan, arriving in Haguishi Bay on 22 September. Reporting for duty to ComSerDiv 101 and Task Unit (TU) 70.2.3, she proceeded to China six days later, stood up the Yangtze River on the 28th and moored to buoys in the Hwangpu River off Shangha on 1 October. Within hours of her arrival, she had six small craft alongside for engine repairs. Samar remained at Shanghai for five months, racing against time as demobilization of sailors stripped her crew of trained repair technicians. At one point, 26 ships and boats were simultaneously assigned to Samar for repairs. As put by the ships' newspaper, demobilization cut "so heavily in fact that when the ship sailed for Tsingtao, China (on 6 March 1946) ... only a skeleton repair force was left."


Assigned to TU 70.2.2 (the North China Service Unit), Samar continued the grinding work of repair services on the China station until 5 May, when the repair ship got underway to return to the United States. Arriving at San Pedro on 27 May Samar later shifted to San Diego and decommissioned there on 24 July 1947. Berthed with the Pacific Reserve Fleet, she remained there until struck from the Navy list and officially transferred to the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif., on 1 September 1962.


Updated 03 October 2007