(AF-13: dp. 6,963; 1. 447'10"; b. 60'; dr. 26'; s. 18 k.; cpl. 238;- a. 1 5", 3 3")
A star in the constellation Aquila.
Tarazed (AF-13) was built in 1932 as Chiriqui at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; was acquired by the Navy on 4 June 1941 from the United Fruit Co. through the Maritime Commission on a bare-boat basis; was converted for Navy use by Brewer's Drydock Co., Staten Island, N.Y.; and was commissioned on 14 June 1941, Comdr. J. M. Connally in command.
Tarazed loaded supplies and headed for the coast of North Carolina to provision ships of the Neutrality Patrol. After returning to New York, she got underway late in August for a voyage to Iceland to resupply American and British naval units. When Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, the store ship was at Halifax preparing to join another convoy bound for Iceland. Upon completion of the voyage, she proceeded to Baltimore for an extensive overhaul before making resupply runs to Newfoundland, Iceland, and Bermuda.
In July 1942, Tarazed arrived at Boston from Nova Scotia and took on a cargo for ports in Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Panama. On 21 September, she returned to Baltimore laden with sugar which was urgently needed in the United States. The ship continued supply runs from Baltimore or Norfolk to the Caribbean until mid-1943. On 8 June 1943, Tarazed joined Task Force 65 at Norfolk; headed for North Africa; and arrived at Mers el Kebir, Algeria, on the 22d. She partially unloaded there; and, on the 30th, she steamed to Oran to help provision that port.
On 4 July, Tarazed headed for the United States in convoy GUS-9. She arrived at Norfolk on 23 July, was replenished, and set course for Bermuda. After supplying ports there and at Cuba, she returned to the United States, arriving at Bayonne, N.J., on 13 August.
Eight days later, Tarazed weighed anchor for North Africa, arriving at Mers el Kebir on 2 September. After calling at Bizerte and Algiers, she returned to the United States in convoy GUS-15 and arrived at Norfolk on 4 October. Late that month, she joined convoy UGS-22 to take war materiel to Oran, Bizerte, and Palermo. Then, with the exception of a voyage to the Mediterranean in April, she transported provisions to the Caribbean during the first five months of 1944.
In June, Tarazed delivered provisions to ships in the ports of Plymouth, Swansea, and Portland, England, and at Belfast, Ireland. She steamed from Norfolk on 24 August and arrived at Oran on 4 September to supply ships supporting the invasion of southern France. She continued making logistics runs to the Mediterranean into April 1945 and turned to supplying bases and ports in the Caribbean until 15 December 1945 when she was ordered to report to the 8th Naval District for subsequent disposal.
Tarazed was decommissioned on 4 January 1946, was returned to her owner through the War Shipping Administration at New Orleans the same day, and was struck from the Navy list on 21 January 1946. She served the United Fruit Co. as Chiriqui until 1958. She was then sold to Union-Partenreederei T/S of Bremen, Germany, and was renamed Blexen.
Tarazed received one battle star for World War II