USS Hercules, a 5,920-ton C3-E type cargo ship, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1939 as SS Exporter and was acquired by the Navy in July 1941. She served as the U. S. Naval Cargo Ship Hercules with a civilian crew until November 1942, when she was manned by a navy crew and commissioned as USS Hercules. She spent her entire Navy career in the Pacific, where she carried supplies in support of a series of amphibious landings, including Baker Island in 1943, Saipan, Peleliu, and San Pedro Bay in 1944, and Lingayen Gulf and Iwo Jima in 1945.
Hercules received repairs at San Francisco between June and October 1945, made one more voyage to the Philippines, and then proceeded to Norfolk, Virginia, for inactivation. She was decommissioned in June 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission in July. She subsequently returned to mercantile service under the names Exporter, Bostonian, and Exermont. She was laid up in the Maritime Commission reserve fleet in 1958 and scrapped in 1971.
This page features our only view of USS Hercules.
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Photo #: 19-N-39847
USS Hercules (AK-41)
Photographed in 1943.
Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Online Image: 82KB; 740 x 620 pixels
Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
Page made 10 April 2001