Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Boats-Ships--Support Ships
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  • Ship History
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Vela
(AK-89: dp. 5,202 (est.); 1. 269'10"; b. 42'6"; dr. 20'9"; (est. mean); s. 10.25 k.; cpl. 83; a. 1 3"; cl. Enceladus; N3-M-A1)

One of four subdivisions of Argo, a large constellation of the Southern Hemisphere, named for the sails of Argo, the ship used by Jason on his voyage in quest of the golden fleece.

Vela (AK-89) was originally scheduled for construction under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 652) and was assigned the name Charles A. Ranlett. However, her construction was transferred to the supervision of the Navy on 1 January 1943. She was laid down as Vela (AK-89) on 5 June 1944 at Camden, N.J., by the Penn-Jersey Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 15 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Elbert Bradford Ferguson; and transferred to the Army on 17 January 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 February 1945.

On 11 June 1952, Vela was returned to the Navy and transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service. She was placed in service at Baltimore the following day and was reinstated on the Navy list on 22 August. She operated out of New York through 1958, ranging from Canadian coastal waters to the Caribbean on supply missions. Later transferred to the Maritime Administration and placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, she was berthed in the Hudson River until she was sold on 23 November 1970 to Hierros Ardes, S.A., Spain, and scrapped.