USS Pipestone (AK-203)

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United States
  • Coastal Explorer (1944–1945, 1945–)
  • Pipestone (1945)
Namesake: Pipestone County, Minnesota
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2157[1]
Builder: Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin
Yard number: 124[1]
Laid down: date unknown,
Launched: date unknown
Completed: 23 November 1945
Acquired: April 1945
Commissioned: returned to the US Maritime Commission (MARCOM) prior to commissioning
Struck: date unknown
Identification: Hull symbol: AK-203
Fate: returned to MARCOM, 23 November 1945
United States
Name: Coastal Explorer
Acquired: 23 November 1945
In service: 23 November 1945
Out of service: 13 March 1946
Fate: sold, 20 February 1947
Name: Putumayo
Namesake: Putumayo Province
Operator: Corperacion Peruana e Vapores, Callao, Peru
Acquired: 20 February 1947
Fate: sold, 1968
Name: Felipe
Operator: Naviera Panamar S.A., Callao, Peru
Acquired: 1968
Fate: sold
Name: Felipe
Operator: Gold Shipping S.A., Panama
Fate: scrapped, 1974
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Type: C1-M-AV1
Tonnage: 5,032 long tons deadweight (DWT)[1]
  • 2,382 long tons (2,420 t) (standard)
  • 7,450 long tons (7,570 t) (full load)
Length: 388 ft 8 in (118.47 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 1 × propeller
Speed: 11.5 kn (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
  • 3,945 t (3,883 long tons) DWT
  • 9,830 cu ft (278 m3) (refrigerated)
  • 227,730 cu ft (6,449 m3) (non-refrigerated)
  • 15 Officers
  • 70 Enlisted

USS Pipestone (AK-203) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that was constructed for the US Navy during the closing period of World War II. By the time she was scheduled for commissioning, the war’s end caused her to be declared “excess to needs” and she was returned to the US Government and struck by the Navy.


Pipestone was laid down under US Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 2157, by Globe Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin. She was transferred to the Navy in April 1945. Pipestone was scheduled for commissioning. However, because of the Allied victory in the Pacific Ocean theatre of operations, her commissioning was delayed.[2]

Merchant service[edit]

Pipestone was ordered returned to MARCOM for disposal. Her name subsequently reverted to Coastal Explorer.[3]

Coastal Explorer was used by a couple of shipping companies from 1945–1946, before being sold to the government of the Republic of Peru for $693,862.[3]

On 20 February 1947, she was sold to the Peru.[3] She was operated by Corperacion Peruana e Vapores, Callao, Peru, and renamed Putumayo. In 1968 she was sold to Naviera Panamar S.A., also of Callao, and renamed Felipe.[2]

She was eventually sold to Gold Shipping S.A., Panama, and finally sold for scrapping to Spanish shipbreakers in 1974.[2]




Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Pipestone (AK-203) at NavSource Naval History