(AR-7: dp. 9,140; l. 529'5" ; b. 73'4" ; dr. 23'4" ; s. 19 k.; cpl. 1,108; a. 4 5", 8 40mm.; cl. Vulcan)
In the Iliad, one of Priam's 50 sons. Husband of Andromache, Hector was bravest of the Trojans. He slew Patrocles and was in turn slain by Achilles.
Hector (AR-7), a modified Liberty ship, was launched 11 November 1942 by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; sponsored by Mrs. Schuyler F. Helm; and commissioned 7 February 1944, Comdr. J. W. Long in command.
After shakedown along the West Coast, the new repair ship sailed for the Pacific, reaching Pearl Harbor 9 April 1944. She remained at Pearl Harbor effecting repairs on various ships, primarily landing craft, until she departed for Eniwetok 5 June. Arriving there 13 June, Hector spent the summer at Eniwetok and then sailed for Ulithi 30 September. Her biggest repair job of the war came to her 27 October at Ulithi as the cruiser Houston, torpedoed twice by Japanese submarines, was towed alongside. Although hampered by a severe typhoon season which twice sent her out to sea for safety, Hector managed to repair Houston by the end of the year besides aiding many other smaller craft.
Hector departed Ulithi 16 February 1945 and 5 days later steamed into Tarragona, Leyte Gulf, to repair ships as the battle for the Philippines raged. This task completed, she returned to Ulithi 30 March and continued on to Saipan 22 May. After the long war ended 1 September, Hector remained in the Pacific to prepare various ships for return to the States.
Departing Saipan 21 January 1946, Hector reached Long Beach 3 February. After serving as a repair ship there, she sailed for her first WestPac cruise 7 May 1947, thereby settling into a peacetime schedule interrupted 3 years later by the outbreak of war in Korea. Hector sailed into Yokosuka 18 September 1950. From there she continued to Inchon, Korea, arriving at the scene of a brilliant amphibious operation, 25 September. For the remainder of the Korean War Hector alternated repair service along the Korean coast and in Japan with normal duty out of Long Beach.
Thereafter, as before the Korean conflict, Hector alternated 4 to 6 months of service and exercises along the California coast with 6- and 8-month WestPac cruises. During these cruises the repair ship, operating in support and service of the nation's far-flung Pacific and Asian defenses, visited such ports as Yokosuka, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guam, and Eniwetok. Serving intermittently as flagship for both Service Squadrons 1 and 3, Hector also was a major participant in the Navy's "People-to-People" program in Asia. Her deployments to the Western Pacific continued into the 1960's.
Hector operated in the Far East from Japan to the Philippines between June 1963 and January 1964. After providing repair services for ships at Long Beach during the remainder of 1964 and the first 6 months of 1965, she underwent a modernization overhaul at Long Beach between July 1965 and February 1966 to increase her repair capabilities. Thence, she resumed fleet services out of Long Beach until departing for the Far East 5 August. She arrived Subic Bay later that month, and during the next 6 months repaired and serviced ships in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. She returned to the West Coast in March 1967; and into mid-1967 Hector continued to maintain a high state of readiness and provide repair services at Long Beach.