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Antares II (AK-258)

Image related to Antares II
Caption: Antares (AKS-33), with a Sikorsky HUS-1 "Seahorse" helicopter hovering over her stern, as seen from Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-2), 7 March 1963. Dahlgren (DLG-12) appears in the background of this view taken by Photographer 3d Class Edwin L. Hawkins. (USN 1074683)

(AK-258: dp. 4,600; 1. 455'0"; b. 62'0"; dr. 29'2" (lim.); s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 145; a. 8 40mm.; cl. Greenville Victory; T. VC2-S-AP3)

A star in the constellation Scorpio.


The second Antares (AK-258) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 107) as SS Nampa Victory on 6 April 1944 at Portland, Oreg., by the Oregon Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 19 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. R. A. Hadley; and delivered to the Maritime Commission on 10 June 1944. Operated during World War II by the International Freighting Co. under a contract with the War Shipping Administration, SS Nampa Victory was acquired by the Navy in 1951. She was converted to a Navy cargo ship at Baltimore by the Maryland Drydocks Co.; renamed Antares on 26 July 1951 and simultaneously designated AK-258. Antares was commissioned at Baltimore on 12 February 1952, Comdr. Grant O. Hansen in command.

During the first seven years of her Navy career, Antares operated as a cargo carrier between ports on the Atlantic coast, in the West Indies, and along the Mediterranean littoral. During the fall of 1958, the ship earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for her support for the ships and troops engaged in the intervention in Lebanon. Redesignated a stores issue ship, AKS-33, on 1 April 1959, Antares entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in June to receive modifications to allow her to perform underway replenishment missions. The work was interrupted in August in order that she might conduct refresher training in Cuban waters and then make a two-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. In November, she resumed her conversion overhaul at Norfolk.

Antares returned to active service in February of 1960 with a new mission and a new pattern of employment. She and Altair (AKS-32) were to alternate as station underway replenishment ship for the 6th Fleet. Whichever of the two not on that duty would serve as backup while on the east coast and in the West Indies. Late in 1961, the stores issue ship received an additional mission when she was designated a support ship for fleet ballistic missle (FBM) submarines deployed abroad. She spent October and November of 1961 receiving additional modifications at Norfolk and at Charleston. During the first five months of 1962, she operated out of Norfolk conducting type training and participat ing in a multiship exercise in the West Indies. In June, Antares loaded supplies at Charleston and then sailed for Scotland on her first resupply voyage to the FBM base at Holy Loch. She returned to Norfolk on 25 July and then conducted local operations and received a tender availability.

Antares departed Norfolk in September 1962 to relieve Altair in the Mediterranean. That deployment proved to be a long one since Altair's overhaul was delayed by the Cuban missile crisis in October and hence that stores issue ship was unable to relieve Antares at Naples, Italy, before 30 May. Antares arrived back in Norfolk early in June and, following tender availability alongside Cadmus (AR-14), operated along the east coast for the remainder of 1963.

Following a resupply mission to the FBM base at Holy Loch in January 1964 and participation in the annual "Springboard" exercise near Puerto Rico, she returned to Norfolk later that spring to prepare for inactivation. She reported to the Norfolk Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, on 15 September 1964 and was decommissioned there on 18 December 1964. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 September 1965, and she was transferred to the Maritime Administration to be laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet facility at James River, Va. She remained there until late in 1975 when she was sold, apparently for scrapping.

Published: Wed Jun 17 17:37:11 EDT 2015