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Regulus II (AF-57)

(AF-57: displacement 11,900 (full load); length 455'3"; beam 62'; draft 23'2"; speed 16 knots; complement 250; armament 8 3"; class Denebola)

A star of the first magnitude in the constellation Leo.


The second Regulus, built under Maritime Commission contract, was laid down as Escanaba Victory (MCV hull 112) by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., 29 April 1944; launched 7 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Aubrey D. Day; and delivered to the Maritime Commission 29 June 1944. Initially operated for the Maritime Commission by American-South African Lines, Escanaba Victory was acquired by the Navy from the Commission's successor, the Maritime Administration, 5 May 1952; converted by the Todd Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and commissioned as Regulus (AF-57) 3 February 1954, Comdr. John D. Lautaret in command.

Completing initial training and outfitting on the west coast, Regulus, homeported at Alameda, loaded at San Francisco and on 8 May 1954 got underway for the Far East. A unit of ServRon 3, she operated out of Sasebo and replenished units of the 7th Fleet at sea and in ports from Japan to the Philippines until November when she steamed for the United States. Returning to San Francisco 2 December, she deployed again 26 February-26 August 1955, extending her range on that tour to ports in Indochina. For the remainder of that decade and through the next, she continued to rotate regularly to the western Pacific, transporting in 1957 art treasures from Korea to the United States for exhibition. During the early sixties, her deployed time in WestPac was increased and from 1964 her primary mission was shifted to replenishment of 7th Fleet units operating off the coast of Vietnam. Her triennual [sic; triennial] overhaul periods excepted, Regulus, equipped in 1965 with a helicopter deck for vertical replenishment, continued to carry provisions to the units of the Pacific Fleet until the night of 16-17 August 1971. While riding out typhoon Rose at Hong Kong, Regulus grounded on Kau I Chau Island, ripping open her hull. After three weeks of attempting to refloat Regulus, it was finally decided that the damage she had incurred was too severe to warrant salvage. Regulus was decommissioned 10 September and subsequently struck from the Navy list.

23 September 2005

Published: Thu Aug 27 07:47:47 EDT 2015