Banner II (AKL-25)
A county in western Nebraska with its seat at Harrisburg. The name is a shortened form of Nebraska's nickname, the "banner state."
The second Banner (AKL-25), a small cargo ship built for the Army in 1944 at Kewaunee, Wis., by the Kewaunee Shipbuilding & Engineering Corp. as Captain William Galt (FS-345), was acquired from the Army on 1 July 1950 and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. Sometime before 20 August 1952, the ship was designated a light cargo ship (AKL-25). She was renamed Banner on 5 September 1952 and commissioned at Pearl Harbor on 24 November 1952, Lt. Horace W. Atkisson in command.
Banner was assigned to Service Division (ServDiv) 51, Pacific Fleet, and made regular supply runs to advanced bases in the Pacific. Later, she was assigned duty in the Mariana Islands. From Guam, Banner made frequent resupply runs to bases on such islands as Rota, Saipan, Pagan, Chi Chi Jima, Haha Jima, and numerous others. Occasionally, she also voyaged to Japan and Hong Kong. Those missions continued to occupy her time until 25 July 1965 when she departed Guam on her way back to the United States. At the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Banner was converted to an environmental research ship. She headed for Japan in October and operated out of Yokosuka until 26 December when she shaped a course back to Guam. There, the ship underwent further modifications to enhance her environmental research capabilities.
In February 1966, the ship returned to Yokosuka and began operations from that port which became her home port on 1 April 1966. She spent the remainder of her career, some three years and seven months, making cruises out of Yokosuka gathering oceanographic and other environmental data for the Navy. On 1 June 1967, Banner was redesignated AGER-l. Surveyed in mid-1969, the ship was declared unfit for further naval service. Accordingly, she was decommissioned at Yokosuka on 14 November 1969, and her name was struck from the Navy list that same day. On 5 June 1970, she was sold to Mitsui & Co., Tadotsu, Japan, for scrapping.
Raymond A. Mann
6 March 2006