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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(ARG-6: dp. 4,621; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 23'; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 583; a. 1 5"; cl. Luzon)

An island of the central Philippines.

Cebu (ARG-6) was launched 18 October 1943 by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards, Inc., Baltimore, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract as Francis P. Duffy; sponsored by Mrs. M. C. Bird; acquired by the Navy 27 October 1943; and commissioned 15 April 1944, Captain G. W. Scott in command.

Cebu's special mission was providing shops and trained men for the repair of internal combustion engines, but through the course of the war, her men performed an impressive variety of tasks, ranging from the repairing of ship's clocks to major work on battleships. She arrived at Manus in the Admiralty Islands 10 September 1944. At this great fleet base, she prepared small craft and larger ships for their role in the Philippine operations, working many times around the clock in order to insure the readiness of ships vital to the success of the invasion assaults.

At Manus on 10 November 1944, Cebu was anchored only 800 yards from Mount Hood (AE-11) when the ammunition ship exploded, showering Cebu's decks with bomb fragments and heavy projectiles. Five of her men were killed and six wounded, but quick work prevented serious damage to the ship itself. She was able to continue her essential work without interruption, preparing ships for the Lingayen and Two Jima assaults.

Cebu was stationed at Ulithi from 22 January 1945 to 12 February when she sailed for San Pedro Bay, P.I. Her work continued at a furious rate as victims of suicide attacks required immediate repairs. Her services to small craft at Leyte continued until 21 September, when she sailed for occupation duties at Okinawa and Japan until 11 March 1946.

Cebu prepared at Pearl Harbor from 29 March 1946 to 11 May for her role supporting the atomic tests of Operation "Crossroads" at Bikini and Kwajalein in the summer of 1946. She arrived at San Diego 28 September, and was placed out of commission in reserve at Stockton, Calif., 30 June 1947.

Cebu received one battle star for World War II service.