USS Aristaeus (ARB-1)

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USS Aristaeus (ARB-1).jpg
An overhead of view USS Aristaeus while underway.
Career (United States of America)
Name: USS Aristaeus
Namesake: Aristaeus
Operator:  United States Navy
Laid down: 12 November 1942, as LST-329
Launched: 1 February 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Arthur Taylor
Commissioned: 18 May 1943
Decommissioned: 15 January 1947
Reclassified: USS Aristaeus ARB-1, 25 January 1943
Struck: 1 July 1961
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,781 long tons (1,810 t) (light)
3,700 long tons (3,800 t) (full)
Length: 382 ft (116 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines
2 × shafts
Complement: 260
Armament: 2 × 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, 8 × 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons
Notes: Twin rudders

USS Aristaeus (ARB-1) was one of 12 battle damage repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. The lead ship in her class, she was named for Aristaeus (in Greek mythology, the son of Apollo and the huntress Cyrene), the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as LST-329 on 12 November 1942 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; reclassified USS Aristaeus ARB-1 on 25 January 1943; launched on 1 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Taylor; converted at Fairfield, Maryland by the Maryland Drydock Company for service as a battle damage repair ship; and commissioned on 18 May 1943, with Lieutenant Ralph M. G. Swany, Jr., in command.

World War II[edit]

On 1 June, the ship got underway for Norfolk, Virginia. During the next six weeks, she conducted shakedown training out of Norfolk and in the Chesapeake Bay. On 23 July, she left the east coast and shaped a course for the Pacific. The vessel transited the Panama Canal and joined the Pacific Fleet on 1 August. She then continued on via Bora Bora, the Society Islands, and Tutuila, American Samoa to Noumea, New Caledonia.

Aristaeus reached Nouméa on 14 September and operated in its immediate vicinity through the remainder of 1943 and the first six months of 1944. Early in July 1944, she anchored at Sydney, Australia. After upkeep at that port, the repair ship journeyed to New Guinea in late September and provided battle damage repairs to vessels in this area into April 1945. On 1 May, she anchored at Kerama Retto in the Ryukyu Islands. The vessel remained at Kerama Retto during the next two months. As a member of Service Squadron 10 (ServRon 10), she performed battle damage and voyage repairs to various ships of the fleet. On 2 July, the ship moved her base of operations to Buckner Bay, Okinawa where she provided routine repair services. On 13 August, she was ordered to assist in repairing the torpedoed battleship Pennsylvania. Many of Pennsylvania‍ '​s compartments were flooded, and she had settled heavily by the stern. Aristaeus‍ '​ repair efforts, however, enabled the man-of-war to get underway for Pearl Harbor on 24 August, nine days after the Japanese capitulation ended hostilities.

Post-war service[edit]

Aristaeus remained at Buckner Bay until early December. She left Okinawa on the 3rd and shaped a course for the west coast of the United States. The ship reached San Francisco, California on the 27th and entered a period of upkeep and repairs. She remained at San Francisco until 22 May 1946, when she got underway for San Diego. Upon her arrival there, the vessel reported to the San Diego Group, 19th Fleet, for inactivation. Aristaeus was decommissioned on 15 January 1947 and was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1961. The vessel was sold to Brown Industries, Inc. of Oakland, California on 14 March 1962 and was subsequently scrapped.

Awards[edit]

Aristaeus earned one battle star for her World War II service.

References[edit]