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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Firedrake (AE-14)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Delta - Bravo
NKDB
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Killer (K)ilo - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons





Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korea Service Medal (4) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Taiwan Straits, Quemoy-Matsu, Vietnam
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (6) - Korean Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


Mount Hood Class Ammunition Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Winged Racer, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-AJ1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1379) at North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, N.C.
  • Launched, 12 May 1944
  • Loaned to the US Navy in June 1944
  • Commissioned USS Firedrake (AE-14), 27 December 1944. CDR. A. Elb, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Firedrake was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 24 March to 30 June 1945
    5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa Gunto operation, 11 April to 11 June 1945
    3d Fleet operations against Japan, 15 August 1945

  • Permanent title transfer from the Maritime Commission to the US Navy, 14 January 1946
  • Decommissioned, 21 February 1946, at Orange, TX.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, Orange
  • Recommissioned, 11 October 1951
  • During the Korean War USS Firedrake participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Second Korean Winter
    15 to 18 April 1952
    Third Korean Winter
    6 to 14 March 1953
    28 March to 4 April 1953
    21 to 27 April 1953
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    3 to 12 May 1952
    29 May to 8 June 1952
    24 to 26 June 1952
    3 to 15 July 1952
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    7 to12 May 1953
    1 to13 and 18 to 27 June 1953
    7 to 20 and 27 July 1953

  • USS Firedrake was assigned to China service from 30 January to 13 February 1955
  • During the Vietnam War USS Firedrake participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    5 to 10 July 1964
    26 to 28 July 1964
    Tet 69/Counteroffensive
    27 February to 11 March 1969
    19 to 25 March 1969
    8 to 22 April 1969
    4 to 8 June 1969
    Vietnam Defense
    24 November to 5 December 1965
    14 to 21 December 1965
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    9 to 21 June 1969
    29 June to 25 July 1969
    16 to 25 August 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    6 to 15 January 1966
    28 January to 7 February 1966
    27 February to 8 March 1966
    25 March to 7 April 1966
    27 April to 11 May 1966
    14 to 18 May 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    1 to 6 and 13 to 26 July 1970
    1 to 3 August 1970
    25 August to 6 September 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    5 to 24 December 1967
     

  • Decommissioned in October 1970 at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Firedrake earned one battle star for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean War service, the armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with six campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Administration, 21 July 1971, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Permanent title transfer from the US Navy to the Maritime Administration, 16 November 1977
  • Final Disposition, disposed of by Maritime Administration (MARAD) sale, 16 November 1977, to General Metals of Tacoma, Inc., for $121,666.81 (PD-X-1022 dated 11 August 1977)
  • Withdrawn from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet and delivered to General Metals of Tacoma at Suisun Bay, 28 December 1977
    Specifications:
    Displacement 13,910 t.(lt) 15,295 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 28' 3"
    Speed 16.4 kts.
    Cargo Capacity 7,725 DWT
    non-refrigerated 400,000 cu ft.
    Largest Boom Capacity 35 tons
    Complement
    Officers 23
    Enlisted 244
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 10,925 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header type boilers 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ships Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Firedrake 42k USS Firedrake (AE-14) at the Yorktown Naval Mine Depot, circa late January 1946. Photo by Richard Wagner USS Firedrake
    Firedrake 84k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way off San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Hunters Point, 21 November 1952 after a routine overhaul.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    Firedrake 50k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Firedrake 74k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way off the coast of Korea, June 1952. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Firedrake 161k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way in San Francisco Bay during Fleet Review, 13 June 1957. Photo ©Allied Photographers of San Francisco. Robert M. Cieri
    Firedrake 82k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine November 1963
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Firedrake 24k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, circa 1954, location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Firedrake 56k Broadside view of USS Firedrake (AE-14) departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 17 August 1956. Firedrake was at Mare Island undergoing repairs from 13 June to 17 August 1956. The tug forward appears to he one of the YTMs Mare Island built and the aft tug appears to be either Awatobi (YTB-264) or Dekaury (YTB-178).
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # 30736-8-56, 8/17/56.
    Darryl Baker
    Firedrake 133k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way in 1957, location unknown. Russell Cole ET2 USS Firedrake
    Firedrake 92k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, 29 January 1964, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # USN 100777 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    Firedrake 103k USS Firedrake (AE-14) holds her position while an unidentified aircraft carrier approaches on her port side to begin an underway replenishment, date and place unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine February 1964
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Firedrake 161k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way in 1967, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Firedrake 206k USS Firedrake (AE-14) coming alongside USS England (DLG-22) while underway in the Pacific Ocean during England's WESTPAC deployment in 1967. John Spivey USS England
    Firedrake 89k USS Firedrake (AE-14) replenishing USS Buchanan (DDG-14) off her starboard side and USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) off her port side, 14 May 1969.
    US Navy photo
    Jim Flanders EM3 USN USS Firedrake
    Firedrake 109k USS Firedrake (AE-14) replenishing USS Buchanan (DDG-14) off her starboard side and USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) off her port side, 14 May 1969.
    US Navy photo
    Chet Morris
    Firedrake 44k USS Firedrake (AE-14) replenishing USS Coontz (DLG-9) to starboard and USS Ranger (CVA-61) to port, during a WESTPAC in the early 1960s.
    US Navy photo
    EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
    Firedrake 71k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Firedrake 63k USS Firedrake (AE-14) alongside a CVS during an underway replenishment, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Firedrake 87k USS Firedrake (AE-14) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.


    For more photos and information about USS Firedrake, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Firedrake (AE-14)
  • AE/AOE Sailors Association

  • Commanding Officers
     LT. Guyon, Elmer Edward, USNR (Ferry Command Crew # 1)16 June 1944 - 26 June 1944
     Decommissioned26 June 1944 - 27 December 1944
    01CDR. Elb, Aloysius27 December 1944 - 15 February 1945
    02CDR. Brown, Robert Copeland15 February 1945 - 27 February 1946
      Decommissioned27 February 1946 - 11 October 1951
    03CAPT. Rodiman, Warner Scott11 October 1951 - 15 August 1952
    04CAPT. Hull, Harry :RADM15 August 1952 - 21 May 1953
    05CAPT. Brown, Carl Wallace21 May 1953 - July 1954
    06CAPT. Close, Robert HamiltonJuly 1954 - 25 July 1955
    07CAPT. Bowman, Merle Francis25 July 1955 - 30 July 1956
    08CAPT. Bull, Edward Carl :RADM30 July 1956 - July 1957
    09CAPT. Doss Jr., Clarence ThomasJuly 1957 - 1 August 1958
    10CAPT. Mann, Hoyt Dobbs1 August 1958 - 21 September 1959
    11CAPT. Vejtasa, Stanley Winfield (Swede) (Golden Eagle NOTAM)21 September 1959 - 8 August 1960
    12CDR. Bundy, Clifford William8 August 1960 - 22 August 1961
    13CDR. Parks, John Edward22 August 1961 - 11 July 1962
    14CAPT. Costagliola, Francesco (Francis)11 July 1962 - July 1963
    15CAPT. McClendon, William Roger :RADMJuly 1963 - July 1964
    16CAPT. Netting, Robert WesleyJuly 1964 - 31 July 1965
    17CAPT. O'Connor, Harry New,am31 July 1965 - August 1966
    18CAPT. Mahoney, George RaymondAugust 1966 - August 1967
    19CAPT. Lee, Clyde JamesonAugust 1967 - October 1968
    20CAPT. Bennett Jr., Arthur King USN (46)October 1968 - January 1970
    21CAPT. Henderson, Jerome EdwardJanuary 1970 - 9 December 1970
    22CDR. Herbert, Leo Ernest9 December 1970 - 19 March 1971
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 29 July 2016