USS Alcor (AK-259)
|Namesake:||Mizar and Alcor|
|Ordered:||as type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, MCV hull 101|
|Builder:||Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland, Oregon|
|Laid down:||28 February 1944, as SS Rockland Victory|
|Launched:||29 April 1944|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Thomas M. Jones|
|Completed:||19 May 1944|
|Acquired:||16 July 1951|
|Commissioned:||1 March 1952, as USS Alcor (AK-259)|
|Decommissioned:||30 December 1968|
|Struck:||31 December 1968|
|Fate:||sold for scrapping, 7 January 1970, (PD-X-853), at Charleston, S.C. to Lotti S.p.A., La Speza, Italy, for $95,323|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Greenville Victory-class cargo ship|
|Length:||455 ft (139 m)|
|Beam:||62 ft (19 m)|
|Draft:||29 ft 2 in (8.89 m)|
|Installed power:||6,000 shp (4,500 kW)|
|Speed:||15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph)|
|Armament:||8 × 40 mm (1.6 in) Bofors guns anti-aircraft gun mounts(4x2)|
The second USS Alcor, AK-259, was a Greenville Victory-class cargo ship for the US Navy. She was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 101) on 28 February 1944 at Portland, Oregon, by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp. She was launched on 29 April as SS Rockland Victory, sponsored by Mrs. Thomas M. Jones, a citizen of Portland. She was operated for the Maritime Commission by a succession of contractors between 1944 and 1950, acquired by the Navy on 10 July 1951, converted for naval service by Ira S. Bushy and Sons, Inc., of Brooklyn, New York, and commissioned on 1 March 1952, Comdr. Harry A. Long in command.
The cargo ship was assigned to the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, and homeported in Norfolk. Between 1952 and August 1960, she made 19 deployments to the Mediterranean Sea to replenish the ships of the Sixth Fleet. In addition to these voyages, the vessel made eight short cruises to the Caribbean for replenishment of bases and units there as well as for training and liberty.
Between August and November 1960, Alcor underwent two restricted availabilities at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard which altered the cargo ship to enable her to transport, monitor, and handle Polaris missiles and their parts. Alcor was designated resupply ship for fleet ballistic missile submarines and tenders deployed overseas. Tests of her new capability were successfully conducted with training missiles alongside USS Proteus (AS-19) anchored five miles off Charleston, South Carolina in November 1960 and with the actual weapons alongside Proteus and USS George Washington (SSBN-598) at New London, Connecticut, in February 1961.
In March, Alcor got underway for her first of 15 resupply voyages to Holy Loch, Scotland, during the next four years in support of fleet ballistic missile operations. In 1962, her home port was changed to Charleston, S.C., to facilitate the loading of provisions and Polaris missiles for the tender deployed at Holy Loch. In April 1964, when the second overseas FBM resupply site was activated in Rota, Spain, she began operations replenishing the newly commissioned tender USS Holland (AS-32) based there and made six round trips during the first year.
From 1965 until 1968, Alcor continued to deploy to Rota and Holy Loch in support of the Polaris missile program. The cargo ship also delivered supplies where needed to units of the 2d and 6th Fleets and provided exercise and training services during Fleet operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
On 30 December 1968, Alcor was decommissioned at Charleston; and her name was struck from the Navy list on the following day. The cargo ship was sold to Lotti S.P.A., Italy, in January 1970 and 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 Alcor (AK-259)