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Avery Island (AG-76)


An island in the salt water marshes of Iberia Parish, Louisiana, near the gulf coast.

(AG-76: displacement 11,500; length 441'6"; beam 56'; draft 24'4"; speed 12.5 knots; complement 878; armament 1 5-inch, 4 40 millimeter, 12 20 millimeter; class Basilan; type EC2-S-C1)

Avery Island (AG-76) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (M. C. E. Hull 3085) on 31 October 1944 at South Portland, Maine, by the New England Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 13 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Robert LeBourdais; and acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 21 December 1944, Lt. Cmdr. J. H. Graves, Jr., in command.

Avery Island steamed to the Atlantic Basin Iron Works, Brooklyn, N.Y., where she was placed out of commission on Christmas Eve for conversion work. Avery Island was recommissioned on 31 July 1945 at the New York Naval Shipyard; conducted trial runs in Long Island Sound and shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay; and underwent a yard availability at Norfolk, Va. With her training period complete, Avery Island reported on 6 September to Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, for duty.

On 7 September 1945, Avery Island steamed out of Hampton Roads, bound for the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on 15 September; paused briefly at San Diego, Calif.; then continued on to Hawaii. The ship dropped anchor in Pearl Harbor on 14 October and, after embarking Navy personnel for transport to Japan, proceeded to Tokyo, where she remained until 18 November.

Avery Island returned to San Francisco, Calif., on 7 December 1945 and was overhauled at Hunters Point, Calif. Loaded with supplies and personnel for Operation Crossroads, Avery Island sailed on 6 May as a unit of Joint Task Force 1. The ship reached Pearl Harbor on 14 May and got underway again on 22 May, bound for Bikini Atoll.

The ship entered the lagoon there on 1 June 1946 and carried out instrumentation tests during Operation Crossroads, tests to determine the effects of atomic bombs on ships. Following the end of this mission, Avery Island returned to San Francisco on 21 August and shifted to San Pedro, Calif., on 3 October, and was assigned to the Nineteenth Fleet. She steamed to Santa Cruz Basin on 13 November to undergo radiological decontamination before beginning deactivation procedures. The vessel was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 26 May 1947, at San Pedro, Calif.

Her designation changed to a stores issue ship (AKS-24) on 18 August 1951, she was transferred to the Maritime Administration at 1100 on 5 December 1960, and that same day purchased by Hugo Neu Steel Products, Inc., to be broken up for scrap.

Published: Tue Apr 07 11:18:02 EDT 2020