A star of the first magnitude in the constellation Taurus.
(AF-10: dp. 13,910 (tl.), 1. 459'3"; b. 63'0"; dr. 25'10" (lim.); s. 16.4 k. (tl.); cpl. 287, a. 15", i 3"; cl. Aldebaran; T. C2)
SS Stag Hound was laid down on 28 November 1938 at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Uo. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 27); launched on 21 June 1939; sponsored by Mrs. Martha Macy Hill, and delivered to the Grace Lines on 4 December 1939. The cargo ship served that shipping firm for a year before the Navy purchased her on 22 December 1940. Renamed Aldebaran, classffied a stores ship, and designated AF-10, she was placed in commission, in ordinary, on 26 December 1940. Comdr. Royal Abbott assumed command on 10 January 1941, and Aldebaran was placed in full commission at San Francisco on 14 January 1941.
The stores ship embarked upon her first Navy mission on 26 January, departing from San Francisco on a round-trip voyage via Pearl Harbor to Pago Pago, Samoa. Following her maiden mission for the Navy, Aldebaran remained at San Francisco until 29 March when she put to sea with a cargo bound for Hawaii. The ship made a seven-day layover at Pearl Harbor between 5 and 12 April and returned to San Francisco on the 18th. Upon her arrival back on the west coast, she entered a civilian drydock at Oakland, Calif. to begin conversion to a fleet provisioning ship. Major mod)fications were completed by 21 October, and finishing touches were added over the next three weeks. On 14 November, Aldebaran departed San Francisco on her way to San Diego. Following a three-day stay at that port between 16 and 19 November, she got underway for Hawaii. The ship discharged cargo at Pearl Harbor during the last six days of November and after an overnight stop at Maui headed back to the west coast on 1 December. Aldebaran arrived at San Francisco on the 6th. On the following morning the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II.
The ship embarked upon her first wartime voyage on 17 December. Over the next six months, Aldebaran completed four round-trip runs carrying provisions and passengers between San Francisco and Hawaii. She concluded the fourth of those Pearl Harbor shuttle assignments at San Francisco on 6 June 1942.
Her next assignment took the ship beyond Hawaii to the South Pacific. She stood out of San Francisco on 23 June, stopped at Pearl Harbor early in July and then spent the remainder of the summer of 1942 making calil at ports on the South Pacifc circuit. Aldebaran visited Samoa, Tongatabu, New Caledonia, and Espiritu Santo before returning to San Francisco on 23 September.
That first wartime series of port calls in the South Pacific established a pattern of operations for her that endured through the next 20 months. Aldebaran loaded cargo at San Francisco and then embarked upon long circuitous voyages that took her back to New Caledoma, Samoa, and Espiritu Santo. New places also cropped up on her itinerary—Havannah Harbor at Efate and Purvis Bay, Tulagi, and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. She then returned to San Francisco at the conclusion of all but the last of those long resupply missions.
In May 1944, during the run back to the west coast from Espiritu Santo, Aldebaran was diverted to Hawaii to load cargo bound for the Central Pacific. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on 24 May, took on her cargo, and returned to sea on the 29th. The ship entered Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 5 June and spent six days issuing fresh and frozen provisions to ships about to assault the Mariana Islands. She headed back to Pearl Harbor on 12 June and stood into that port on the 18th. Aldebaran spent the next nine months carrying provisions to ships at forward bases in the Marshalls and Carolines. Her most frequent ports of call were Eniwetok in the Marshalls and Ulithi in the Carolines, however, she made one visit each to Kwajalein in the Marshalls, Manus in the Admiralty Islands, and Guam in the Marianas. At the conclusion of each supply mission, she returned to either Pearl Harbor or San Francisco to load additional cargo.
On 29 March 1945, Aldebaran arrived in San Francisco to complete the last of her resupply missions to ships in the anchor- in the Central Pacific atolls. On 10 April, she departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor where she spent the period 16 to 21 April fitting out for a new mission, replenishing the fast carriers and their screens at sea. Aldebaran stood out of Pearl Harbor on the 21st and arrived in Ulithi on 2 May. There, she reported for duty with Task Unit (TU) 50.8.5, part of the underway replenishment group. She departed Ulithi in company with TU 50.8.5 on May and joined the rest of Task Group (TG) 50.8 at sea. The stores ship spent about five weeks at sea replenishing the warships engaged in the Okinawa campaign before putting in at Guam on 13 June to reload For the remaining two months of hostilities, Aldebaran provided logistics support for the carrier task groups making air strikes on the Japanese home islands returning periodically to either Guam or UIithi to restock her larder.
Hostilities ceased on 15 August 1945, but Aldebaran continued replenishment-at-sea operations during the initial stages of the occupation of Japan. She was present to Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 when Japanese officials signed the surrender document on board Missouri (BB - 3). For the remainder of 1945 Aldebaran provided logistics support for forces occupying Japan and her former conquests. On 17 January 1946, the stores ship departed Taku, China, on her way back to the United States. She arrived in Seattle Wash. on 31 January and entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard a week later for a two-month repair period.
Aldebaran returned to Seattle on 6 April and began preparations for her last voyage to the Far East. On 22 April, she put to sea bound for Japan. The ship reached Yokosuka on 8 May and, from there continued on to Tsingtao, China, and Okinawa. On 15 June, Aidebaran departed Ohnawa to return to the United States. Her ultimate destination was the east coast. After a stop at San Pedro, Calif., she resumed her voyage, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Bayonne, N.J., on 18 July.
After a voyage to North Africa and western Europe in August and September, Aldebaran settled into a routine of operations along the east coast punctuated by voyages to the West Indies to pronde logistics support to bases and ships in that region and to participate in exercises. Such pursuits occupied her time for almost 19 months, until the beginning of June 1948. On the 4th, she stood out of Chesapeake Bay to embark upon the first of many missions to the Mediterranean Sea.
For the next two decades, Aldebaran alternated between assignments to the Mediterranean Sea and operations in the western Atlantic. Unlike most other shins attached to the 6th Fleet she did not normallv syrve extended periods of time in the Mediterranean. Instead, her cruises tended to be about six to ten weeks in duration, and she generally made two or three of them a year. She would remain in the Mediterranean as long as she retained a aufficient stock of provisions for issue. When those stocks began to run low, Aldebaran returned to the United States. Turnaround time at home varied. Scheduled overhauls meant extended periods in the United States. In addition, other resupply missions, such as to forces operating in the West Indies, replaced voyages to the Mediterranean on her schedule. Occasional interludes in northern European waters also varied Aldebaran's itinerary.
Twice during her postwar career, Aldebaran participated in operations for which she received the Armed F orces Expeditionary Medal. During the summer of 1958, the United States landed marines in Lebanon to help restore domestic order in that country. The stores ship got underway from Norfolk just four days after the landings to provide logistics services to the ships supporting those troops. Four years later, in the fall of 1962 President John F. Kennedy surrounded the island of Cuba with a cordon of warships to stop the flow of Soviet missiles to that island and to force the removal of those already in place. Aldebaran's at-sea replenishment capabilities helped those ships maintain a constant vigil thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of the matter.
Aldebaran continued her active service to Unites States naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea and in the West Indies until mid-1968. On 28 June 1968, she was placed out of commission at Norfolk. Four months later on 29 October, Aldebaran was transferred to the Maritime Administration to be berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at James River, Va. That transfer was made permanent on 30 June 1969. Aldebaran's name was struck from the Navv list on 1 June 1973, and she was sold on 14 November 1974 to Andy International, Brownsville, Tex., for scrapping.
Aldebaran was awarded two battle stars during World War II.
Alcyone got underway on 5 July; arrived off Scoglitti, Sicily, five days later; and began discharging her cargo despite rough seas and frequent enemy air harassment. She landed her equipment and troops with the loss of only a few small boats, left the area on the 13th, and arrived back at Oran on 16 July. From there, the vessel moved on to Norfolk, where she arrived on 3 August.
A er a brief period in port, the attack cargo ship proceeded onee again to the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on the last day of August and stopped at San Franeiseo before eontinuing on to Hawaii. Alcyone touched at Pearl Harbor on 30 September and participated in training exercises off Maui during October. She got underway on 10 November with Task Group (TG) 52.11 to participate in the invasion of Makin Island, Gilbert Islands. On the 20th, the vessel reached the transport area off that island and began unloading her cargo. Members of her crew also assisted other vessels in discharging their passengers and supplies. Despite heavy enemy resistance, Aleyone suecessfully completed her operations and left the area on the 24th.
After a brief layover at Pearl Harbor, Alcyone continued on to San Diego, where she arrived on 19 December. She remained there through the Christmas holidays and sailed for Hawaii on 13 January 1944. Upon reaching Pearl Harbor, the ship made final preparations for the assault on Kwajalein. She sortied from Oahu on 22 January and reached the transport area off Kwajalein on the 31st. Alcyone unloaded her cargo and assisted in the landing of troops from other ships as well. Enemy shore fire and dangerous coral reefs somewhat delayed her operations, and Alcyone remained in the area until mid-February.
The cargo ship made a port call at Pearl Harbor before continuing on to the California coast. She reached San Pedro on 26 February and proceeded to a shipyard at Terminal Island for overhaul. A series of amphibious landing exercises followed the completion of the yard work, and Alcyone left the west coast on 18 April, bound for Hawaii. She reached Pearl Harbor and joined forces preparing to attack Guam in the Marianas.
The cargo ship anchored off that island on 22 July and commenced unloading operations. Upon completing this assignment, she got underway to return to Hawaii. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 10 August and, shortly thereafter, entered drydock for minor repairs. The ship got underway again on 15 September and sailed to Manus, Admiralty Islands. After approximately a month of preparations and training, she sailed on 14 October as a member of TG 79.2, which was scfieduled to begin the liberation of the Philippine Islands.
The attacking force reached waters off the beaches of Leyte on the 20th and began the landing operations that same day. Alcyone discharged her cargo while undergoing enemy air attack and mortar fire from shore batteries. She completed her unloading operations on the 22d and proceeded to kollandia, New Guinea, to reprovision. On 14 November, the ship sailed for Leyte to resupply the beachhead which had been established there.
After unloading her cargo at Leyte, she retired to the Admiralties and reached Manus on the 24th. From that island, she moved to Cape Gloucester, New Britain, to take on units of the 40th Infantry Division. The ship carried these troops back to Manus where she joined TG 79.4. On 16 December the group sailed to Huon Gulf, New Guinea, for a series of amphibious landing exercises. Upon their completion, the ships returned to Manus for final loadout prior to the invasion of Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines.
On the last day of 1944, Alcyone sortied with TG 79.4, for the assault on the Lingayen beaches which began on 9 January 1945. The task of unloading her cargo was made more difficult by rough seas, Japanese suicide boat attacks, and enemy air raids. Alcyone remained in the area for five days before she finished emptying her holds. On the 13th, she set a course for Leyte where she replenished her stores before returning to Luzon on the 29th with a small attacking force for a landing at Zambales. The assault was unopposed, and operations were completed on 31 January.
Alcyone left Philippine waters on 11 February bound for the United States. She made port calls at Manus and at Pearl Harbor before reaching San Francisco on 12 March. The ship then entered the Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, Calif, for overhaul. During this yard period, her kingposts were replaced by quadruped masts, her troop berths were removed, and temporary cargo storage cages were installed.
Upon completion of the yard work on 2 June, the ship was assigned to Service Forces, Pacific Fleet. On the 8th, Alcyone was routed to Seattle, Wash., for loading. She departed Seattle on 21 June and shaped a course for Ulithi. After pausing there briefly on 9 July, she got underway to rendezvous with logistic support ships provisioning the warships of the Fast Carrier Task Force in waters off the Japanese home islands.
Alcyone completed unloading at sea on 2 August and set sail for Guam to replenish. While the ship was in the Marianas Japan capitulated. Alcyone rejoined the logistics group on 23 August; and, three days later, she and her consorts entered Tokyo Bay. After unloading, Alcyone left Japan and returned to Guam to take on more cargo and supplies. She arrived back in Tokyo Bay on 1 October and began replenishing ships of the occupation forces.
Alcyone remained in Japanese waters through early March 1946. She shuttled supplies and equipment among the ports of Yokosuka, Ominato, Aomori, Otaru, Wakayama, Sasebo, and Kure. The ship departed Yokosuka on 11 March and headed back to the United States. She arrived at San Francisco on 29 March and began a period of upkeep. On 15 May, the vessel proceeded to San Diego where she remained for two weeks. Alcyone continued sailing southward and transited the Panama Canal on 9 June. Five days later, she made port at Norfolk, Va.
Preparations to deactivate the ship soon began. Alcyone was decommissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., on 23 July 1946 and was transferred to the War Shipping Administration on 24 July 1946 for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 15 August 1946. She was sold later that same year and was refitted for service as a merchant vessel.
Alcyone earned eight battle stars for her World War II service.
FS-195 was acquired from the Army on 8 December 1951. She was named Alcyone, designated AKL-37, and was transferred to the Republic of Korea on 12 December 1951. The ship served Korea until early in 1960 when—while still in the Orient—she was returned to the custody of the American Navy. Her name was struck from the Navy 11st on 1 February 1960, and she was sold to Hong Kong Rolling Mills, Ltd., in June 1960 for scrapping.