Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Besboro (AG-66)


An island off Norton Sound. off the coast of Alaska.

(AG-66: displacement 5,500 (limiting); length 300'0"; beam 44'0"; draft 19'4" (limiting); speed 9 knots.; complement 68; troop capacity 340; armament 3 3-inch, 4 20 millimeter)

The single-screw cargo vessel Caddopeak was completed in December 1918 at Portland, Oregon, by the Albina Engine & Machine works, and was delivered to the United States Shipping Board. Over the ensuing years, Caddopeak operated under a succession of companies: Cook (1922-1923), the Charles Nelson Co. (1923-1937), and, ultimately, the Burns Steamship Company, which renamed her Lurline Burns in 1937.

The Navy purchased Lurline Burns on 9 June 1943; renamed her Besboro; and classified her as a miscellaneous auxiliary, designating her as AG-66. Besboro was commissioned at Seattle, Wash., on 22 September 1943, Lt. Cmdr. Robert M. Baughman, D-M, USNR, in command.

The auxiliary ship reported for shakedown training on 1 October 1943 and completed it two weeks later. She got underway for the Territory of Alaska on the 14th and reached Dutch Harbor on the 23rd. For almost 31 months, through the end of World War II and during the early postwar period, Besboro steamed along a resupply circuit carrying cargo and transporting troops and passengers (USN and USCG) between Seattle and various bases including Adak, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Ketchikan, Sitka, Amchitka, and Attu. She returned south for the last time early in 1946, clearing Kodiak for Seattle on 19 February, steaming thence to San Francisco, California.

After an inspection and survey at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Calif,., the well-traveled cargoman was declared surplus to the needs of the Navy. Accordingly, Besboro was decommissioned at San Francisco on 3 May 1946. Placed in the Maritime Commission's Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif., at midnight on 30 June 1946, she was turned over to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 1 July 1946. Besboro was stricken from the Naval Register on 8 October 1946.

At 2:50 p.m. on 23 May 1947, ex-Besboro was sold to the Waterman Steamship Corp. which firm converted her back to mercantile service and restored her former name, Lurline Burns. She did not, however, steam long under the Waterman house flag.

Acquired on 19 July 1947 by the Hong Kong-based firm of Wellem & Co. which renamed her Shapur, she operated under Panamanian registry. That company employed her until 1960 or 1961 when all reference to her in mercantile records ceased.

Commanding Officers                                                Date Assumed Command

Lt. Cmdr. Robert M. Baughman, D-M, USNR            22 September 1943

Lt. George Jessen, D-M, USNR                                     8 June 1944

Lt. (j.g.) George H. Williams                                          9 October 1945


Raymond A. Mann,

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

7 October 2021

Published: Thu Oct 07 12:49:59 EDT 2021