Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Hamul (AK-20/AD-20) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hamul (AK-20/AD-20) 

Doctor Lykes -- built in 1940 under a Maritime Commission contract (M. C. Hull 40) at Kearney, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. -- made two voyages to the Orient under the house flag of Lykes Brothers Steamship Co. of New Orleans, La.  Acquired by the Navy on 5 June 1941, she was renamed Hamul, given the classification AK-30, and commissioned on 15 June 1941 at Charleston, S.C., Cmdr. Elwood M. Tillson in command. 

USS Hamul rendered logistical support for the Allied occupation of Iceland. After working with General Electric in experiments on night camouflage, USS Hamul set out from Boston, Mass., in January 1942 to head a convoy of five ships with men and material to establish a base at Bora Bora in the Society Islands. This mission completed, the cargo ship returned to the United States via Chile, while she loaded 10,000 tons of nitrate. USS Hamul discharged the valuable cargo at Mobile, Ala., and remained there for conversion to a destroyer tender, where she was reclassified to AD-20 on 2 June 1942. 

After overhaul at New York Navy Yard, USS Hamul (AD-20) sailed for the Pacific on 1 January 1945, reaching Saipan in the Marianas on 12 February via the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, T.H., and Eniwetok in the Marshalls. She remained there until 27 March preparing amphibious craft for Operation Detachment — landings by the Fourth and Fifth Marine Divisions on Iwo Jima in the Kazan Rettō (Volcano Islands). USS Hamul (AD-20) reached Okinawa on 10 May 1945 and remained there until February 1946 to repair battle-damaged ships. With over 400 homeward bound veterans aboard, she departed Okinawa on 10 February 1946. After discharging them at San Diego, Calif., she proceeded to Jacksonville, Fla., and subsequently Orange, Texas, to prepare for decommissioning. 

Aa USS Hamul (AD-20) entered the final stages of the decommissioning process, she was called back into active service as station ship at Plymouth, England. Reaching the British port on 17 April 1947, Hamul remained there for three years tending various American ships and making quarterly cruises to Atlantic and Mediterranean ports. Again ordered to decommission, USS Hamul (AD-20) stood out of Plymouth on 17 July 1950; but the outbreak of the Korean War again called for every available ship. Going west via Norfolk, Va., USS Hamul (AD-20) reached Sasebo, Japan, on 23 October and began servicing the ships operating off the Korean coast. USS Hamul (AD-20), Capt. Eugene H. Simpson in command, was decommissioned on 9 June 1962, at Long Beach.

For a compelte history of USS Hamul (AD-20) please see its DANFS page.