USS Kenmore (AK-221)
|Builder:||California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, California|
|Laid down:||8 May 1943|
|Launched:||30 May 1943, as SS James H. McClintock|
|Commissioned:||14 November 1943, as USS Kenmore (AP-162)|
|Decommissioned:||1 February 1946|
|Reclassified:||AK-221, 20 August 1944|
|Struck:||1 February 1946|
|2 battle stars (WWII)|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 1973|
|Class & type:||Crater-class cargo ship|
|Displacement:||4,023 long tons (4,088 t) light
12,350 long tons (12,548 t) full
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draft:||24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)|
|Propulsion:||Reciprocating steam engine, single propeller, 2,500 shp (1,864 kW)|
|Speed:||12.8 knots (23.7 km/h; 14.7 mph)|
|Complement:||256 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||• 1 × single 5"/38 caliber gun
• 4 × single 3"/50 caliber guns
• 8 × 20 mm guns
USS Kenmore (AP-162) (later redisgnated AK-221) was a Crater-class cargo ship built during World War II for the U.S. Navy. She carried cargo and/or troops into battle areas in the Pacific Ocean, and continued this work until the end of the war, when she returned Stateside with two battle stars to her credit.
Kenmore was launched as SS James H. McClintock on 30 May 1943 by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. T. J. Bluechel; renamed Kenmore 27 October 1943; acquired by the Navy and commissioned 14 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. O. H. Pitts, in command.
Kenmore loaded cargo and departed Oakland, California, 22 November 1943, arriving Pearl Harbor on 1 December. After repairs at Pearl Harbor, she prepared for the Marshall Islands invasion and departed Hawaii 25 January 1944. Nine days later she arrived off the shores of Majuro Atoll with troops and equipment of the attacking force. The cargo ship returned to Pearl Harbor 21 February to embark garrison troops for the Gilbert Islands, debarking them at Tarawa in March.
After shuttling troops between the Gilberts and Hawaii for the next two months, Kenmore departed Honolulu 29 May for Kwajalein, the staging area for the invasion of the Marianas. There she loaded troops of the 106th Infantry and arrived with the massive amphibious force in the assault area off Saipan 20 June. After a beachhead was secured, Kenmore remained in the area until 8 July unloading cargo and equipment. Throughout the summer she transported troops among the Marshalls, Marianas, and Hawaii.
Reclassified AK-221 on 20 August, Kenmore stood out of Honolulu 25 September with cargo and reinforcements for the Palau Islands via Eniwetok, arriving Kossal Roads 29 October. She continued supplying the Pacific Islands with men and equipment for the next six months.
In the closing days of the war, Kenmore shuttled troops between California and the Pacific Islands, insuring the already inevitable victory. When hostilities ended 15 August, Kenmore was assigned to Operation "Magic Carpet" duty. She made two cruises between the Islands, China, and San Francisco arriving with her final group 15 December.
Kenmore remained in San Francisco, California, and decommissioned there 1 February 1946. She was delivered to the War Shipping Administration the same day for return to her owner. Her name reverted to SS James H. McClintock.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.