USS Carina (AK-74)

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USS Carina (AK-74) anchored after a Japanese suicide boat attack at Okinawa, 4 May 1945.
USS Carina (AK-74) anchored after a Japanese suicide boat attack at Okinawa, 4 May 1945.
Career (USA)
Name: David Davis
Namesake: David Davis (Supreme Court justice)
Carina (constellation)
Ordered: as a type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MCE hull 502, SS David Davis
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Laid down: 30 September 1942
Launched: 6 November 1942
Sponsored by: Mrs. A. R. Olds
Acquired: 20 November 1942
Commissioned: 1 December 1942
Decommissioned: 16 October 1945
Struck: 1 November 1945
Identification: Hull symbol:AK-74
Honours and
Three battle stars
Fate: sold for scrapping, 1 February 1952, to National Metal and Steel Corp., removed 7 April 1952
Status: scrapping completed, 20 March 1953
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Displacement: 4,023 long tons (4,088 t) (standard)
14,550 long tons (14,780 t) (full load)
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draft: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Installed power: 2,500 shp (1,900 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 220psi 450°
1 × Hooven-Owens-Rentschler vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
1 × shaft
Speed: 12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)
Complement: 195
Armament: 1 × 5 in (130 mm)/38 caliber dual purpose gun
1 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber dual purpose gun
2 × 40 mm (1.6 in) 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun mounts
6 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons anti-aircraft gun mounts

The USS Carina (AK-74) was a Crater-class cargo ship, and the only ship of the United States Navy to have this name. She was named for the southern constellation Carina, with most of her sister ships being named for the constellations or stars.

The USS Carina was launched on 6 November 1942 by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 1, Richmond, California, as the Liberty ship S.S. David Davis (MCE hull 502). She was sponsored by Mrs. A. R. Olds, transferred to the U.S. Navy on 20 November 1942, and commissioned on 1 December 1942, with Lt. Commander J. I. MacPherson, USNR, in command.

The Carina departed from San Francisco Bay on 14 December 1942 laden with military cargo for Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal in the South Pacific Ocean. At Guadalcanal, she unloaded her cargo between 23 January and 4 February 1943, bringing invaluable support to the last phases of the bitter campaign for that island. Operating to aid in the consolidation of the southern Solomon Islands, she steamed between the main port of Espiritu Santo and Purvis Bay, Tulagi, Tongatapu, and Tagoma Point. On 3 March, while she was unloading at Tulagi, she endured two air attacks. Several near misses with bombs occurred, spraying her with shrapnel and wounding six of her crewmen.

After repairs at Espiritu Santo, the Carina resumed her cargo runs until May 1943, when she steamed to Australia, arriving on 30 May for engine repairs and to replenish at the ports of Townsville, Sydney, and Melbourne. She next carried cargo for U.S. Marine Corps units that were training in New Zealand, arriving at the port of Auckland in August. Next, she returned to her supply runs closer to the combat zone in the South Pacific. She added the Fiji Islands, the Russell Islands, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands and Norfolk Island to her list of Pacific Island delivery ports. The Carina continued her cargo missions until 12 July 1943, when she departed from Espiritu Santo and steamed home for an overhaul and crewmen's leave at San Francisco, California.

This shipyard overhaul prepared the Carina for service with distant voyages in support of the Liberation of the Philippines. Among other tasks, she carried pontoons from Pearl Harbor to Ulithi Atoll between 2 October 1944 and 31 December 1944. Returning to San Francisco for further repairs and upgrades, she went asea towards the combat areas again on 9 March 1945. She arrived in the dangerous combat waters off Okinawa on 26 April, and on 4 May, she became the target of a determined Japanese suicide boat, which successfully rammed the Carina. This ramming produced a violent explosion on her port side, knocked out one of her boilers, and flooded one of her holds. Six crewmen of the Carina’s were injured by the explosion. Skillful damage control saved both the USS Carina and her cargo, and she was able to complete unloading her cargo at Okinawa before departing for temporary repairs at the U.S. Navy base at Ulithi Atoll. The Carina returned to the West Coast of the United States for an overhaul in July, and the war ended in August before her services were needed again. On 16 October 1945, she was decommissioned at Suisun Bay, California, and she was delivered to the War Shipping Administration for long-term storage.

The USS Carina received three battle stars for her World War II service.


  1. ^ "USS Carina (AK-74)". Retrieved May 14, 2015. 

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