Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(AGP-10: dp. 3,960; 1. 328-; b. 50-; dr. 11-2-; s. 11.6 k.; cpl. 341; a. 1 3-, 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. Varuna)

In Greek mythology the son of Agamemnon who avenged his father's death even though it meant slaying his mother, Clytemnestra.

Orestes (AGP-10) was laid down as LST-135 at Chicago, Bridge & Iron Co., Seneca, Ill., 8 July 1943; launched 16 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Bernard Sharp; converted at Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, Md.; and commissioned as Orestes (AGP-10) 25 April 1944, Lt. Kenneth N. Mueller in command.

Successfully concluding shakedown out of Hampton Roads, Va., 23 May 1944, the motor torpedo boat tender Orestes prepared for duty in the Pacific. Departing Chesapeake Bay 5 June she transited the Panama Canal and after a stop-over at Bora Bora sailed on to New Guinea. Operations began at Aitape 23 August, transferred to Woendi Island a month later, and on 12 November she caught up with General MacArthur's Philippine invasion forces at Leyte.

In this area control of the air was still disputed and enemy air attacks were numerous. On 24 November the tender's gunners got their first confirmed kills, 2 "Zekes." Late the next month, while in a Mindoro bound convoy with 30 PT Boats and 50 other vessels, enemy planes made life tenuous. On 30 December a "Val" bomber came in low on the starboard side and crashed the AGP-10 amidships causing heavy damage and the loss of 45 members of the crew. Accompanying LCIs finally brought the resultant fires under control and the craft was beached. LST-708 later towed Orestes back to Leyte, 27 January 1945, and after temporary repairs she departed 24 February on a slow voyage back to the States, arriving San Francisco 13 May. There shipyard personnel went to work and 202,500 manhours of labor later they had completely rejuvenated AGP-10.

A fresh start for the war zone commenced 8 August but the Japaness surrender had been formalized by the time she reached Guinan Harbor, Samar. Orestes served under the Commander Motor Torpedo Boats, Phillippine Sea Frontier until 17 December when she sailed eastward with naval passengers for Pearl Harbor and the States, arriving San Pedro, 3 February, 1946.

A month long round trip to the Panama Canal Zone preceded deactivation. She decommissioned 29 April at Oakland, Calif. and was struck from the Navy List 23 April 1947. Transferred to the Maritime Commission 15 March 1948 the ex-tender was sold to the Walter W. Johnson Co., of San Francisco for scrap.

Orestes received 2 battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Mon Aug 17 13:52:28 EDT 2015