Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Besboro

(AG-66: dp. 5,500 (lim.); l. 300'0"; b. 44'0"; dr. 19'4" (lim.); s. 9 k.; cpl. 68; trp. 340; a. 3 3", 4 20mm.)


An island in Norton Sound off the coast of Alaska.

Lurline Burns, a steamer built in 1918 at Portland, Oreg., by the Albina Engine & Machine works as Caddopeak, was purchased by the Navy on 9 June 1943 from the Burns Steamship Co.; renamed Besboro; classified a miscellaneous auxiliary and designated AG 66; and commissioned at Seattle, Wash., on 22 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. Robert M. Baughman, USNR, in command.


The auxiliary ship reported for shakedown training on 1 October and completed it two weeks later. She got underway for Alaskan waters on the 14th and arrived in Dutch Harbor on the 23d. For almost 31 months, through the end of World War II and during the early postwar period, Besboro steamed along a resupply circuit carrying cargo and troops between Seattle and various points on the coast of Alaska. She returned south for the last time early in 1946.


After an inspection and survey at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the cargoman was declared surplus to the needs of the Navy. Accordingly, Besboro was decommissioned at San Francisco on 3 May 1946. She was turned over to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 1 July 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 October 1946.


On 23 May 1947, she was sold to the Waterman Steamship Corp. which firm converted her back to mercantile service and restored her former name. However, Lurline Burns did not stay long in its service. By 1948, the Hong Kong firm, Wellem & Co. operated her under Panamanian registry as SS Shapur. That company employed her until 1960 or 1961 when all reference to her in mercantile records ceased.

Raymond A. Mann
15 February 2006

Published: Thu Jun 25 08:41:45 EDT 2015