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Sarpedon

 

A Trojan leader in Homer's Iliad.

 

(ARB-7: dp. 3,960; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'2"; s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 286; a. 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. Aristaeus)

 

Sarpedon (ARB-7) was laid down as LST-956 on 11 July 1944 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Hingham, Mass.; reclassified ARB-7 and named Sarpedon on 14 August 1944; launched on 21 August 1944; commissioned on 16 November 1944, Lt. (jg.) J. B. Shaum in command, for transit to the conversion yard; decommissioned on 29 November 1944 for conversion by the Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, Md.; and recommis-sioned on 19 March 1945, Lt. W. H. Farrar in command.

 

After shakedown, Sarpedon sailed from Norfolk, Va., for the Pacific. Following brief stops at the Panama Canal Zone, San Pedro, Calif., Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam, Sarpedon arrived at Saipan on 2 July 1945. While awaiting further routing there, she began functioning as a repair ship, doing numerous jobs on equipment brought to her shops from other ships. She sailed for Okinawa on 1 August; and, upon arrival on 7 August, began work repairing the damage caused to ships there by heavy enemy air attacks and long continuous operations. The Japanese surrendered on 15 August but Sarpedon—plagued by a new enemy, the weather—continued to work in support of occupation forces. After riding out one typhoon at anchor on 16 September, she went to sea to avoid the storm of 29 September, but was ordered to remain in port when a third typhoon struck on 8 and 9 October. Many craft were wrecked in the harbor, but Sarpedon's anchor held despite collisions with two barges and a PC which broke their moorings and crashed alongside. Later moving to Shanghai, China, Sarpedon continued to provide repair support to ships engaged in occupation duties until sailing from Shanghai on 20 March 1946 for Bikini. However, her participation in the atomic bomb tests there was cancelled. After remaining at Kwajalein from 5 April to 8 May, she arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 28 May 1946 for inactivation. Sarpedon was decommissioned on 29 January 1947 and placed in reserve at San Diego, where she remains into 1974.