|USS Eridanus (AK-92)|
USS Eridanus (AK-92), broadside view, in San Francisco Bay, 8 May 1943.
as SS Luther Burbank |
EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 1099
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||9 April 1943|
|Acquired:||22 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||8 May 1943|
|Decommissioned:||8 May 1946|
|Displacement:||4,023 t.(lt) 11,565 t.(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||27 ft 7 in (8.41 m)|
|Propulsion:||reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp|
|Armament:||one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, eight 20mm guns|
USS Eridanus (AK-92) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, named after the constellation Eridanus. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone. Eridanus (AK-92) was launched 9 April 1943 by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California, as SS Luther Burbank; sponsored by Mrs. Luther Burbank; acquired by the Navy 22 April 1943; and commissioned 8 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander F. W. Johnson, USCGR, in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Eridanus carried cargo and passengers between U.S. West Coast ports and bases in the southwest Pacific, the Hawaiians, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the Palaus from 26 June 1943 to 3 February 1946, often making lengthy tows in addition to her cargo operations. Almost constantly at sea, she played her part in the Navy's gigantic task of carrying supplies for its ships and shore bases, as well as for the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army, half way round the world at the same time as it carried on combat operations. In February 1944 she made a direct contribution to the troops seizing islands in the northern Solomons, bringing cargo and passengers to Bougainville.
Her last service was a long and difficult towing job, in which she took section of a floating drydock from Eniwetok, sailing 4 February 1946, to Hampton Roads, Virginia, arriving 16 April.
Decommissioning and follow-up
She was decommissioned at Baltimore, Maryland, 8 May 1946, and returned to the returned to War Shipping Administration, 15 May 1946, name reverted to SS Luther Burbank. She was then laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet and sold for commercial service in February 1947 to John P. G. Livanos, Athens, and re-flagged Greece and renamed SS Panagiotis. She ran aground at Kunsan, Korea while bound from Baltimore, Maryland, to Inchon with coal, 15 November 1955, and broke in two, 21 November 1955. She was declared a total loss and sold to Far Eastern Marine Transport Co Ltd, Inchon, 18 September 1956. Both parts were refloated, towed to Pusan then to Shimonoseki, Japan]. The aft section arrived 18 September 1956, with the name SS Silla. The forepart arrived 21 September 1956. Both parts were then towed to Tokyo where they were rejoined by I.H.I. and lengthened to 449 ft, (grt7321) (dwt11000) and she resumed service as SS Silla, flagged South Korean. She was laid up 31 January 1972 at Masan, South Korea. Final Dispensation: sold to local breakers and resumed trading for short period before being scrapped at Masan, September 1972.
Military awards and honors
Eridanus received one battle star for World War II service. Her crew was eligible for the following medals:
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
- World War II Victory Medal (with Asia clasp)
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- Photo gallery of Eridanus at NavSource Naval History
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