USS Menelaus (ARL-13)

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Menelaus ARL-13.jpg
USS Menelaus (ARL-13) departing Norfolk, Virginia, in September 1951, for an 18-month Mediterranean deployment.
United States
  • LST-971
  • Menelaus
Namesake: Menelaus
Builder: Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Massachusetts
Yard number: 3441[1]
Laid down: 17 November 1944
Launched: 20 December 1944
  • 15 January 1945, reduced commission
  • 29 May 1945, full commission
  • 29 January 1945
  • 5 June 1947
Status: Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Orange Group
Recommissioned: 14 December 1950
Decommissioned: 5 September 1955
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Green Cove Springs Group
Status: Sold for commercial service, 28 October 1960
United StatesUnited States
Name: Maryland Clipper
Owner: Norfolk, Baltimore and Caroline Line
Acquired: 28 October 1960
Status: Sold, 1978
Owner: Thor Corporation
Acquired: 1978
Status: Fate unknown
General characteristics [2]
Class and type:
  • 3,900 long tons (4,000 t) light
  • 4,100 long tons (4,200 t) full load
Length: 328 ft (100 m) oa
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)
Installed power:
Speed: 11.6 kn (21.5 km/h; 13.3 mph)
Complement: 22 officers, 233 enlisted men

USS Menelaus (ARL-13) was laid down as a United States Navy LST-542-class tank landing ship but converted to one of 39 Achelous-class repair ships that were used for repairing landing craft during World War II. Named for Menelaus (in Greek mythology, a son of Atreus, king of Ancient Sparta, husband of Helen and younger brother to Agamemnon), she was the only US Naval vessel to bear the name.


LST-971 was laid down on 17 November 1944, at Hingham, Massachusetts, by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard; launched 20 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William Cosgrove; and placed in reduced commission 15 January 1945, with Lieutenant Peter F. Tripp, USNR, in command. Proceeding to Baltimore, Maryland, she decommissioned on 29 January; was converted to an ARL at the Bethlehem Key Highway Plant; and commissioned in full as Menelaus (ARL 13) 29 May 1945, with Lieutenant Peter F. Tripp, USNR, again in command.[3][2]

Service history[edit]

World War II[edit]

Having completed shakedown and fitting out by 2 July, the landing craft repair ship headed north to Davisville, Rhode Island, to take on pontoons for transport to forward areas. On 7 July, she departed the east coast, transited the Panama Canal on 15 July, and was two days out of Pearl Harbor when she received word of the Japanese surrender. Mooring in Pearl Harbor 16 August, she got underway again on 20 August, for Saipan, where she ably carried out her repair duties for the next six months.[3]

Departing Saipan 18 February 1946, Menelaus proceeded, via Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and New Orleans, to Galveston, Texas, arriving 17 June, to begin inactivation. Completing the process at Orange, Texas, she decommissioned 5 June 1947, and was berthed there as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.[3]

Korean War[edit]

Recommissioned 14 December 1950, she sailed for Charleston, South Carolina, for outfitting and on 24 March 1951, arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, to report for duty to ComAirLant. On 5 September, having added aviation supply duties to her role as a repair ship, she departed Norfolk for an extended tour with the United States 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. For the next four and a half years, with only one interruption for availability at Norfolk , 9 March to 15 August 1953, Menelaus operated throughout the Mediterranean. On 19 March 1955, she returned to Norfolk for her second pre-inactivation overhaul. In June, she steamed to Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she decommissioned 5 September. The ARL remained berthed in Florida, as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until struck from the Naval Vessel Register 1 June 1960. On 28 October 1960 she was sold to the Norfolk, Baltimore & Caroline Line, which subsequently placed her in service as MV Maryland Clipper.[3]

She was sold in 1978, to the Thor Corporation of Venezuela, her final fate is unknown.[2]




Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Romulus (ARL-22) at NavSource Naval History