|USS Xanthus (AR-19)|
USS Xanthus at anchor.
as Hecla (EC2-S-C1 hull) |
MCE hull 2664
|Laid down:||6 June 1944|
|Launched:||31 July 1944|
|Acquired:||16 August 1944|
|Commissioned:||9 May 1945|
|Struck:||1 September 1962|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 1974|
|Displacement:||5,801 tons(lt), 10,920 tons(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)|
|Propulsion:||Skinner-uniflow triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 2,500shp. (All pumps were also reciprocating.)|
|Complement:||524 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||one 5” gun mount, three 3” gun mounts, four 40mm machine guns, twelve 20 mm machine guns|
Intended for the Royal Navy as HMS Hecla (F 175), she was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 2664) as Hecla on 6 June 1944 at Baltimore, Maryland, by the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc.. She was launched on 31 July 1944, sponsored by Mrs. J.W.A. Waller, and delivered to the Navy on a loan basis on 16 August 1944.
On 6 December 1944, she was renamed Xanthus and designated AR-19. She was commissioned on 9 May 1945 with Commander Stanley G. Nichols in command.
World War II operations
Following training operations and a transit of the Panama Canal, Xanthus arrived at Pearl Harbor on 20 July to serve there as a repair ship. On 11 August, she sailed for Adak, Alaska, to join forces massing there for the projected assaults on the Kurils and northern Japan. The Japanese capitulation, however, obviated such operations. Instead of an invasion there was now an occupation.
As part of Task Group (TG) 40.2, Xanthus proceeded to Japan and arrived at Ominato on 9 September—the same date that Japanese forces there surrendered to Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher. The ship remained at Ominato through 21 November, serving as flagship for the commander of TG 56.2, the repair and logistics group. Subsequently reporting for duty with Service Squadron 104, the ship operated out of Okinawa through late January 1946.
On 10 February 1946, Xanthus sailed for Tsingtao, China, and helped to stabilize troubled conditions there in the wake of the Japanese withdrawal. As Communist and Nationalist Chinese jockeyed for position in the volatile situation in their country, Xanthus supported American naval activities in that port until sailing for home on 8 April 1946.
Return to Stateside
Subsequently arriving at Norfolk, Virginia, in the spring of that year, the repair ship was laid up at the Maritime Commission facility in the James River, Virginia, in an "on hand" status, through 1961.
On 1 September 1962, the ship was struck from the Navy List. In 1974, she was sold for scrapping in Cleveland, Ohio.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
- NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AR-19 Xanthus
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