USS Prentiss (AKA-102)

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A typical Tolland-class AKA
Career
Name: USS Prentiss
Namesake: Prentiss County, Mississippi
Builder: North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, Wilmington, North Carolina
Laid down: 10 October 1944
Launched: 6 December 1944
Acquired: 12 January 1945
Commissioned: 11 February 1945
Decommissioned: 31 May 1946
Renamed: SS Alcoa Ranger
SS Cortez
SS Jody Re
Struck: 19 June 1946
Honors and
awards:
1 battle star (World War II)
Fate: Sold into merchant service, 1947
Scrapped, March 1970
General characteristics
Class & type: Tolland-class attack cargo ship
Displacement: 8,635 long tons (8,774 t) light
13,910 long tons (14,133 t) full
Length: 459 ft 2 in (139.95 m)
Beam: 63 ft (19 m)
Draft: 26 ft 4 in (8.03 m)
Propulsion: GE geared turbine drive, single propeller, 6,000 shp (4.5 MW)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 425
Armament: • 1 × 5"/38 caliber gun
• 4 × twin 40 mm guns
• 18 × 20 mm guns

USS Prentiss (AKA-102) was a Tolland-class attack cargo ship of the United States Navy named after Prentiss County, Mississippi. Like all AKAs, Prentiss was designed to carry military cargo and landing craft, and to use the latter to land weapons, supplies, and Marines on enemy shores during amphibious operations. She served as a commissioned ship for 15 months.

Prentiss was laid down as a Type C2-S-AJ3 ship under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1699) by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, North Carolina, on 10 October 1944; launched on 6 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Roger Williams; acquired on loan charter basis from the Maritime Commission by the Navy on 12 January 1945; and commissioned on 11 February 1945, Lt. Comdr. George P. Walker, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II, 1945[edit]

After shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay area, Prentiss sailed from Norfolk for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 13 April. She departed Hawaii on 6 May with ammunition and general cargo for Okinawa. Within hours of her arrival on 21 June, she underwent one of that area's frequent attacks. During the action her gunners shot down a kamikaze. Following this spirited reception, unloading of her volatile cargo was speedy; she departed the area on 27 June. Returning to San Francisco on 28 July, she remained on the west coast until after the end of hostilities.

Post-war activities, 1945–1946[edit]

She then loaded general cargo and sailed for Pearl Harbor and the southwest Pacific. Between October 1945 and February 1946 she carried cargo between the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, and Australia.

Decommissioning and sale[edit]

Returning to the U.S., she was decommissioned on 31 May 1946, was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 1 June 1946, and was struck from the Navy List on 19 June 1946.

Sold by the Maratime Administration on 15 October 1947, she began commercial service as SS Alcoa Ranger. A little less than two decades later, she was resold to the Cortez Shipping Corporation and renamed SS Cortez. Cortez Shipping sold again on 13 May 1969 to Crest Overseas Shipping Company and renamed SS Jody Re shortly thereafter (26 November 1969). She served under Crest's flag for less than a year; on 18 December 1969 she ran aground off the coast of Nicaragua while en route from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Saigon (presently known as Ho Chi Minh City), South Vietnam. The severely damaged vessel was towed to Mobile, Alabama for possible repair however it was determined there that it would not be economically practical to repair her. She was sold for scrap on 18 March 1970, towed across the Atlantic Ocean, and scrapped at Bilbao, Spain.

Awards[edit]

Prentiss received one battle star for World War II service.

References[edit]

External links[edit]