USS Tuluran (AG-46)
|Namesake:||A small island located just off the northwestern shore of Palawan Island in the Philippine Archipelago|
|Builder:||Toledo Shipbuilding, Co., Toledo, Ohio|
|Laid down:||25 October 1917|
|Completed:||in 1917 as SS War Bayonet|
|Acquired:||by the Navy, 30 January 1918; again on 16 October 1942|
|Commissioned:||30 January 1918 as Lake Superior (ID 2995)|
|Decommissioned:||31 July 1919|
|In service:||11 December 1942 as USS Tuluran (AG-46)|
|Out of service:||20 December 1945, at San Francisco, California|
|Struck:||8 January 1946|
|Fate:||sold on 26 December 1946; scrapped in 1947|
|Type:||commercial cargo ship|
|Propulsion:||triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,150shp|
|Complement:||52 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||World War I: one 5" and one 6-pounder
World War II: one single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount; one single 40mm AA gun mount
USS Tuluran (AG-46) – also known as USS Lake Superior (ID-2995) – was a commercial cargo ship acquired by the U.S. Navy for service during both World War I, when she was known as USS Lake Superior, and also during World War II, when she was known as USS Tuluran.
Constructed in Ohio in 1917
Anna Shafer—a cargo ship built in 1917 at Toledo, Ohio, by the Toledo Shipbuilding Co. and renamed Tuluran on 6 May 1942—was acquired by the Navy through the War Shipping Administration and designated AG-46 on 16 October 1942; completed conversion at the General Engineering & Drydock Co., Alameda, California, on 8 December 1942; and commissioned at San Francisco, California, on 11 December 1942, Lt. F. G. Isbell, USNR, in command.
World War II service
Three days later, Tuluran joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet Service Force. On Christmas Eve, the ship stood out of San Francisco, bound for the South Pacific Ocean. After stopping at Pearl Harbor from 6 January to 22 February 1943, Tuluran continued on to Samoa, arriving in Tutuila on the 28th. She operated at Samoa for the next nine months before departing Tutuila on 26 November bound for the United States. After a one-day stop at Pearl Harbor on 11 December, she continued on to San Diego, California, where she arrived on 23 December. For the next four months, Tuluran underwent an extensive overhaul.
On 19 April 1944, Tuluran departed the U.S. West Coast to return to the South Pacific Ocean and duty shuttling cargo between bases in the rear areas of the war zone. She stopped at Pearl Harbor from 29 April to 2 May and returned to Tutuila on 13 May.
This time, however, she only remained overnight and, the following day, resumed her voyage. The cargo ship reached the New Hebrides Islands on the 21st. Eight days later, Tuluran departed Espiritu Santo to deliver cargo to the southern Solomon Islands. She reached Guadalcanal on 5 June and remained there until the 20th when she headed back to the New Hebrides, arriving at Espiritu Santo on 3 July. She remained until early August when she moved to the New Guinea area where she operated from 17 August until the beginning of October, when she steamed via Espiritu Santo to the Solomons. After serving at Guadalcanal until mid-November, the ship made her first voyage to the Central Pacific.
Following visits to Saipan in the Mariana Islands and to Peleliu in the Palau Islands, she returned to the southwestern Pacific in mid-December. She visited the Russell Islands subgroup in the Solomons from 17 to 19 December and spent a month at Nouméa, New Caledonia, from 24 December 1944 to 24 January 1945, before returning to Espiritu Santo on the 27th. She departed the New Hebrides once more on 19 February and headed back to the Solomon Islands, where she operated for the next two months. During that tour of duty, she returned to Guadalcanal first and then visited the Treasury Islands subgroup, Bougainville, the Green Islands, and the Russell Islands again as well as making a side trip to Emirau Island.
On 3 April, the cargo ship departed the Russell subgroup and headed back to the Central Pacific. For the remainder of the war, Tuluran carried cargo between the American bases and anchorages established at various atolls in the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands, and the Mariana Islands. Her itinerary over the last five months of the war included Eniwetok, Ulithi, Peleliu, Guam, and Saipan. On 8 August, a week before the cessation of hostilities, Tuluran stood out of Eniwetok bound for Hawaii. Japan capitulated a week before the ship arrived in Pearl Harbor. Tuluran spent three days at Oahu and then continued her voyage east on 24 August.
On 3 September, she entered San Francisco; and, on 20 December 1945, Tuluran was decommissioned. She was stripped of usable materiel at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Her name was struck from the Navy List on 8 January 1946, and the Commandant, 12th Naval District, turned her over to the U.S. Maritime Commission for final disposition on 1 July 1946. On 26 December, she was sold to the American Iron & Metal Company and subsequently scrapped.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - USS Tuluran (AG-46) – ex - USS Lake Superior (ID #2995) (1918-1919)
- photo gallery at Naval Historical Center