USS Romulus (ARL-22)

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Career (USA)
Name: USS Romulus
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 17 October 1944
Launched: 15 November 1944
Commissioned: 9 December 1944
Decommissioned: 12 May 1947
Recommissioned: 2 April 1952
Decommissioned: 1 June 1956
Struck: 1 October 1960
Fate: Transferred to the Philippines, November 1961
Career (Philippines) Flag of the Philippines
Name: BRP Aklan (1961–75)
BRP Kamagong (1975–89)
Acquired: November 1961
Decommissioned: 1989
General characteristics
Class & type: Achelous class repair ship
Displacement: 2,125 long tons (2,159 t) light
4,100 long tons (4,166 t) full
Length: 328 ft (100 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h)
Complement: 255 officers and enlisted men
Armament: • 2 × quad 40 mm guns (Mark 51 director)
• 2 × twin 40 mm guns (Mark 51 director)
• 6 × twin 20 mm guns
Service record
Operations: Korean War
Awards: 1 battle star

USS Romulus (ARL-22) was one of 39 Achelous-class landing craft repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Romulus (along with Remus, one of the legendary twin sons of Mars and the Vestal Rhea Silvia), she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Romulus was laid down as LST-962 on 17 October 1944 by the Bethlehem Steel Company of Hingham, Massachusetts; launched 15 November 1944; and commissioned 9 December 1944 with Lieutenant George R. Hoell, USNR, in command. On 10 December LST-962 shifted to the Boston Navy Yard, and on the 11th departed for Jacksonville, Florida where she entered the Gibbs Gas Engine Works yard for conversion to a landing craft repair ship (ARL). Decommissioned on 8 January 1945, she was recommissioned on 10 May as USS Romulus (ARL-22).

Service history[edit]

1st commission[edit]

After shakedown, Romulus sailed for the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal in late June, she reached the Marianas in August and for a short time tended and repaired landing craft at Apra Harbor, Guam, and Tanapag Harbor, Saipan. In early September she continued west. From 25 September 1945 to 3 September 1946, she provided tender and repair services at the Yokosuka Naval Base, Honshū, Japan. Then ordered to Okinawa, she served in a similar capacity at Buckner Bay into December. Departing the Ryukyus early in the month, she visited Hong Kong, then continued on to the United States. Arriving at San Pedro, California on 3 February 1947 she was decommissioned on 12 May and berthed with the Reserve Fleet at San Diego.

2nd commission[edit]

Recommissioned at San Diego on 2 April 1952 Romulus remained on the west coast until January 1953. On the 31st, she sailed for the Far East, arriving at Yokosuka on 6 March. Operations servicing amphibious ships then took the ARL to the ports of Nagoya, Sasebo, Buckner Bay, and Nagasaki. At the end of May, she shifted to Inchon, Korea where she was assigned station ship and repair facility duty in support of UN forces in the area. Back in Japan from mid-June through July, she again served UN forces at Inchon from 2–26 August. She departed Yokosuka on 6 September and returned to San Diego on 5 October. Romulus remained in the 1st Fleet until 3 January 1955 when she sailed once more for Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and her last tender duty with the 7th Fleet. Returning to San Diego on 27 April, Romulus briefly operated there, then prepared for inactivation.

In January 1956 she steamed to Astoria, Oregon. Six months later, on 1 June 1956, she was decommissioned and berthed with the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 October 1960 she was transferred, under the terms of the Military Assistance Program, to the Republic of the Philippines in November 1961 and recommissioned as BRP Aklan (AR-67). Renamed Kamagong in 1975, the repair ship remained in the Philippine Navy until retired in 1989.

Romulus earned one battle star during the Korean War.

References[edit]