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(ARL-32: dp. 3,960 (tl.); l. 328'0"; b. 50'0"; dr. 11'2" (lim.); s. 11. k (tl.); cpl. 253; a. 1 3", 8 40mm.; cl. Achelous)


A Roman goddess of war variously identified as the sister, daughter, and wife of Mars. Bellona was generally thought to be the daughter of Phorey and Ceto while Mars had Jupiter and Juno as parents. Bellona prepared his chariot for Mars when he went forth to war; and her temple was used by Roman senators while giving audiences to ambassadors and for declarations of war.

Bellona (ARL-32) was laid down as LST-1136 on 27 December 1944 at Seneca, Ill., by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Works; launched on 26 March 1945; sponsored by Miss Huberta Jean Malsie; placed in reduced commission on 6 April 1945 for the voyage to Baltimore for conversion to a landing craft repair ship (ARL); decommissioned at Baltimore on 27 April 1945; converted by the Bethlehem Steel Key Highway Shipyard; and placed in full commission on 28 July 1945, Lt. W. P. Sullivan, USNR, in command.

Bellona departed Baltimore, Md., on 6 August 1945 for shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay. After post shakedown repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard, she got underway for the Pacific Ocean on 5 September. The ship arrived in the Canal Zone on 12 September, transited the canal, and headed for San Diego on the 14th. She stood out of San Diego on 11 October, stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor, and then headed on to the Bonins on 31 October. Bellona arrived at Iwo Jima on 14 November and began duty as station repair ship there.

Bellona went hard aground on the north side of Kama Rocks on 1 December 1945. After the failure of several attempts to refloat her, Bellona proved unsalvageable. Finally, after all salvageable equipment had been removed, she was destroyed with explosives on 14 May 1946. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 5 June 1946.

Raymond A. Mann
24 February 2006

Published: Wed Jun 24 14:20:47 EDT 2015