Luzon II (ARG-2)
The chief island in the northern Philippines.
The second Luzon (ARG‑2) was laid down as SS Samuel Bowles by Bethlehem‑Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, Md., 8 April 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract; launched 14 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. H. E. Sigman; acquired by the Navy and renamed Luzon 24 May 1943; and commissioned 12 October 1943, Comdr. Elmer R. Runquist in command.
After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, she departed Norfolk, Va., 28 November for duty in the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal 6 December and arrived the Ellice Islands 3 January 1944. Assigned to Service Squadron 4, she operated at Funafuti and provided repair facilities for amphibious, patrol, and landing craft. Following the invasion of the Marshall Islands 31 January, she steamed for Kwajalein 23 February and arrived there 4 March. During the next 5 months she served there as repair ship and tender for harbor craft.
As American seapower spearheaded the Allied advance across the Pacific, Luzon steamed to Guam after the conquest of the Marianas. Departing Kwajalein 2 September, she sailed via Eniwetok and reached Apra, Guam, the 11th. As a unit of Service Squadron 10, she maintained a busy repair schedule there until 1 March 1945 when she steamed to Saipan for 6 months of duty at that important harbor.
Following the surrender of Japan to the Allied Powers, Luzon departed the Marianas 1 October for Japanese waters. After touching at Iwo Jima, she reached Wakanoura Wan, Honshu, 8 October. She proceeded to Nagoya, Honshu, the 19th until 22 December, she provided fleet and repair services to ships supporting occupation operations in Japan. She then departed for the United States; and, after touching at Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal, she arrived Orange, Tex., 9 February 1946. Assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, she decommissioned 24 June 1947.
In response to massive Communist aggression against the Republic of South Korea and American determination to thwart this threat to world peace, Luzon recommissioned 20 September 1950, Comdr. Alan B. Sutherland in command. After steaming to Norfolk early in October, she departed for the west coast 15 November. She reached San Diego 6 December, proceeded to San Francisco the 11th, and sailed for the Far East 26 December. She arrived Sasebo, Kyushu, 23 January 1961, and during the remainder of the year, she provided valuable repair services for ships of the 7th Fleet. She departed Japan for the west coast 19 January 1952; after reaching San Francisco 9 February, she operated out of San Francisco, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Long Beach during the next 15 months.
Departing Long Reach 2 May 1953, Luzon deployed to the western Pacific and arrived Sasebo 2 June. Except for run to Pusan, South Korea, and back in mid‑July, she provided repair facilities at Sasebo until sailing to Yokosuka 15 January 1954. She departed the Far East for home 2 February and arrived Long Beach the 28th. She was placed in commission, in reserve 15 March 1965 while undergoing repair at Mare Island. After returning to San Diego 29 April, she was placed in service, in reserve.
Luzon recommissioned at San Diego 3 November, Comdr. W. F. Christie in command. After completing training off southern California, she sailed for the Far East 9 March 1956. She arrived Sasebo 9 April and began duty as station repair ship for Service Squadron 3. During the next 4 years she remained in the western Pacific, supporting peacekeeping operations of the mighty 7th Fleet. Although based at Sasebo, she steamed to Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and to various Japanese ports while carrying out her assigned tasks. Luzon returned to San Diego 31 May 1960, then steamed to Mare Island 3 June for deactivation. She decommissioned there 1 July 1960, and her name was struck from the Naval Register 1 September 1961.
Luzon received one battle star for Korean service.