USS Naos (AK-105)
Broadside view of USS Naos (AK-105) off San Francisco, 10 December 1943.
|Ordered:||as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 1684|
|Builder:||California Shipbuilding Corporation, Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California|
|Laid down:||8 June 1943|
|Launched:||30 June 1943|
|Commissioned:||17 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||6 December 1945|
|Struck:||3 January 1946|
|Fate:||returned to MARCOM, 6 December 1945, laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, Benicia, California|
|Status:||sold for scrapping, 30 June 1969, withdrawn, 18 February 1970|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Crater-class cargo ship|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draft:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Speed:||12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)|
|Complement:||29 officers 190 enlisted|
USS Naos (AK-105) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. Naos was named after the star Naos, in the constellation Puppis. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.
Naos was laid down 8 June 1943, under Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull No. 1684, as the Liberty ship SS William R. Nelson, by California Shipbuilding Corporation, Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California; launched 30 June 1943; and sponsored by Miss Barbara Quarg. The ship was delivered to the Navy under bareboat charter 15 July 1943, converted for Navy use by Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, San Pedro, California, and commissioned at San Pedro 17 August 1943, with Lieutenant Commander Norman E. Wilcox in command.
Departing San Pedro on 25 August, Naos loaded cargo at San Francisco and made a round trip run to Pearl Harbor and back between 28 August and 25 October. During the next month she was converted for use as a combination troop transport and cargo ship by General Engineering and Drydock Co., San Francisco. She cleared the Golden Gate 10 December, embarked 1,080 troops at Port Hueneme, and sailed for the South Pacific in convoy 12 December.
Naos reached Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 3 January 1944, and discharged her troops and supplies. A week later she sailed for Fiji and thus began shuttle duty throughout much of the South Pacific. Troop and cargo runs during the next eight months sent her to numerous American bases scattered from Samoa and the Ellice Islands to New Caledonia and the Solomons. While carrying more than 1,000 troops from Tulagi to New Zealand in mid-March, she was pounded by a severe tropical storm which left her relatively undamaged but damaged her escort, PC–588. Naos provided emergency aid before sending the battered escort to New Caledonia.
Maintaining her busy pace of operations, Naos departed Guadalcanal for the Admiralties. She operated out of Manus between 30 September and 25 October, thence sailed the next day to carry troop reinforcements and supplies to the Palaus. She reached Kossol Passage 31 October, and for more than a month she operated in coastal waters off the northern Palaus. During yet another tropical storm 8 November, Naos sent a volunteer crew to rescue 26 men from SC–633 which was thrown upon a reef by heavy seas. Early in December she embarked 1,114 troops and loaded US Army tanks at Anguar and Peleliu before departing in convoy 8 December. Steaming via the Russell Islands, she returned to Nouméa 22 December. Four days later she resumed shuttle runs which continued throughout the South Pacific for the next five months.
After embarking Seabee units at Nouméa, Naos sailed for Okinawa 15 May 1945. She touched at bases in the Solomons, the Marshalls, and the Western Carolines and finally arrived off Hagushi Beach, Okinawa, 11 July. She completed discharge and reload operations later that month, and on 29 July, she joined a 65-ship convoy bound for the Marianas. Sailing via Saipan, she reached Pearl Harbor 22 August.
Following the Japanese surrender, Naos returned to the western Pacific carrying repatriated prisoners-of-war and military cargo. She arrived Okinawa 2 October; and, after steaming to avoid Typhoon Louise a week later, she embarked 1,040 troops for return to the United States. She sailed 14 October, and arrived San Francisco 5 November. Naos decommissioned there 6 December 1945, and was returned to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) the same day. Her name was struck from the Navy List 3 January 1946.
Resuming her original name, William R. Nelson, the ship remained in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, until purchased by Union Minerals & Alloys Corp., on 30 June 1969, for $41,680.54. She was physically removed from the Reserve Fleet on 18 February 1970.
- "Naos". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "California Shipbuilding, Los Angeles CA". www.ShipbuildingHistory.com. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "USS Naos (AK-105)". Navsource.org. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "WILLIAM R. NELSON". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- Photo gallery of USS Naos (AK-105) at NavSource Naval History