(ARL-31: dp. 3,960 (tl.); l. 328'0"; b. 50'0"; dr. 11'2" (lim.); s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 253; a. 1 3", 8 40mm.; class Achelous)
A mythical Greek hero, the son of Eurymede by either the Corinthian King, Glaucus, or the sea god, Poseidon.
Bellerophon (ARL-31) was laid down on 12 December 1944 at Seneca, Ill., by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.; launched on 7 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Hazel Nitherspoon; and commissioned on 19 March 1945, Lt. Perry P. Wynn in command. On 21 March 1945, the ship sailed for Mobile, Ala., where she was placed out of commission on 31 March to be fitted out as a landing craft repair ship by the Alabama Drydock & Shipbuilding Co. The conversion was completed that summer; and Bellerophon was recommissioned on 21 July 1945 at Mobile, Lt. Samuel H. Alexander, USNR, in command.
On 31 July, the ship began a fortnight's shakedown cruise that took her to Galveston, Tex. She returned to Mobile on 14 August and began preparations for an overseas deployment. On 1 September, Bellerophon departed Mobile and headed for the Pacific Ocean. After transiting the Panama Canal, she headed up the west coast toward San Francisco. She made a stop at San Diego before arriving at Treasure Island on 3 October. There, the ship began duty as the repair ship for a newly formed boat pool. When a strike by civilian workers paralyzed civilian yards during the latter part of October, Bellerophon began making voyage repairs to "Magic Carpet” ships while also carrying out some conversion work to enable attack cargo ships to serve as passenger carriers.
That work lasted until the spring of 1946. On 26 March 1946, she departed San Francisco bound for Hawaii. Upon her arrival in Pearl Harbor, she was assigned to the Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, for duty repairing amphibious warfare ships. She concluded that assignment on 16 July and got underway to return to the west coast. The ship arrived in San Diego at the end of July and resumed repair work on amphibious ships. Bellerophon remained so engaged until placed out of commission at San Diego in September 1947. She remained in reservefirst at San Diego and later at Bremerton, Wash.for the next three decades. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in October 1977, and she was sold on 20 June 1980 to the Levin Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif., for scrapping.
Raymond A. Mann
24 February 2006