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Adhara (AK-71)


A star in the constellation Canis Majoris.

(AK-71: displacement 14,550; length 441'6"; beam 56'11"; draft 28'4"; speed 12.5 knots; complement 198; armament 1 5-inch, 1 3-inch, 8 20 millimeter; class Crater; type EC2-S-C1)

G. H. Corliss was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (M. C. E. Hull 425) on 16 September 1942 at Richmond, Calif., by the Permanente Metals Corp.; launched on 27 October 1942; sponsored by Miss Ginny Simms, the lead vocalist for the popular bandleader Kay Kayser's orchestra; acquired by the Navy upon completion on 6 November 1942; renamed Adhara (AK-71); and commissioned on 16 November 1942, Cmdr. William W. Ball, USNR, in command.

Adhara sailed from San Francisco, Calif., on 27 November 1942 bound for the South Pacific. For the next eight months, she served with Service Squadron (ServRon) 8, transporting cargo and passengers between the ports of Tutuila, Samoa; Efate, New Hebrides; Espiritu Santo; Guadalcanal; Tulagi; Noumea, New Caledonia; and Wellington, New Zealand.

While at Guadalcanal on 7 April 1943, Adhara was among several ships subjected to a Japanese air attack. Five bombs exploded close aboard Adhara and punctured her hull in three places. The ship received jury patching at Espiritu Santo and then steamed to Australia for repairs.

After emerging from drydock at Wellington, Adhara got underway for the west coast of the United States and on 10 July entered the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif. When again ready for action, she sailed on 6 September for the South Pacific. Upon her arrival at Noumea, the cargo ship rejoined ServRon 8 and once more served as an interisland transport. Her labors took her to the Treasury Islands; the Russell Islands; Emirau, Green Islands; and to various ports in New Guinea, New Hebrides, New Georgia, the Admiralty Islands, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and Eniwetok. The ship served at Okinawa from 8 to 27 May during the fighting for that island.

Following Japan's capitulation in mid-August 1945, Adhara arrived at Seattle, Wash., on the 30th and remained in availability there through 27 September. She then got underway for the east coast of the United States. The ship paused in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to have her naval equipment removed and then continued on to Baltimore, Md., where she arrived on 21 November.

Adhara was decommissioned on 7 December 1945 and returned to the Maritime Commission, entering the War Shipping Administration (WSA) Reserve Fleet berthing area at Lee Hall, Va., at 1500 on 11 December 1945. Adhara was stricken from the Navy Register on 3 January 1946.

The ship resumed her former name, G. H. Corliss, and carried it until she was sold for scrap on 26 October 1971 to Hierros Ardes, S.A., a Spanish firm that took delivery of the vessel almost a month later, on 23 November 1971.

Adhara was awarded  two battle stars for her World War II service.

Published: Tue Aug 30 23:33:53 EDT 2016