USS Draco (AK-79)
USS Draco (AK-79), Puget Sound, August 1945
|Laid down:||as SS John M. Palmer,
|Launched:||19 January 1943|
|Acquired:||31 January 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1943|
|Decommissioned:||28 November 1945|
|Struck:||28 November 1945|
|Fate:||Returned to the Maritime Commission|
|Displacement:||4,023 t. (lt) 11,565 t.(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Propulsion:||reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp|
|Armament:||one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 40mm guns, six 20mm guns|
USS Draco (AK-79) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, named after the constellation Draco. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Draco (AK-79) was launched 19 January 1943 as SS John M. Palmer by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss G. M. San Facon; transferred to the Navy 31 January 1943; and commissioned 16 February 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. L. Evey, USNR, in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Draco towed YFD-21 from Seattle, Washington, by way of Pearl Harbor to Espiritu Santo, arriving 5 May 1943. She carried cargo from Auckland, New Zealand, to bases on Nouméa, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, and the Fiji Islands, and acted in support of the consolidation of the Solomons, the invasions of Cape Torokina, Bougainville, and Emirau. From 27 July to 10 August 1944 she unloaded cargo at Guam in the capture and occupation of that island, then returned to cargo runs between New Zealand and the Solomons until arriving at Ulithi 26 May 1945.
Draco sailed from Ulithi 20 June 1945 for Okinawa, where she discharged Army supplies from 26 June to 12 July. Sailing by way of Guadalcanal to load salvaged equipment and vehicles, Draco arrived at Tacoma, Washington, 27 August 1945.
Draco was decommissioned 28 November 1945 and returned to the Maritime Commission for disposal the same day.
Military awards and honors
Draco received two battle stars for World War II] service.
- Photo gallery of Draco at NavSource Naval History