Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Polaris (AF-11)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Charlie - Bravo
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 Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Fourth Row - Korean Service Medal (6) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Aldebaran Class Stores Ship:
  • Laid down, 23 July 1938, as MV Donald McKay, a Maritime Commission type (C-2 Cargo) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 18) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Sold to Moore-McCormack Lines, 27 June 1939
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 28 January 1941
  • Commissioned USS Polaris (AF-11), 4 April 1941, CDR. Edwin D. Graves Jr. in command
  • During World War II USS Polaris was assigned to both the Europe-Africa-Middle East and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters and participated in the following action:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Convoy UGS-36 1 April 1944

  • Decommissioned, 18 January 1946, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 7 February 1946
  • Transferred, 10 August 1948, to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Reacquired from the Maritime Commission and reinstated on the Naval Register, 6 October 1948
  • Recommissioned, 1 July 1949
  • During the Korean War USS Polaris participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    First UN Counter Offensive
    12 February to 22 March 1951
    Second Korean Winter
    3 to 6, 11 to 12, 20 to 21 and 29 to 31 December 1951
    3 to-6 and 13 to 14 January 1952
    24 to 30 March 1952
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    30 April to 6 May 1951
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    2 to 3 June 1962
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    9 to 10 and 24 to 25 July 1951
    8 to 12 September 1951
    20 to 23 September 1951
    10 to 15 and 24 to 27 October 1951
    Korea, Summer-Fall 1953
    24 to 26 May 1953
    3 to 6 June 1953

  • USS Polaris performed China Service for the following periods; 26 to 27 March 1954, and 17, 18 and 24 May 1954
  • Decommissioned, 12 January 1957
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 10 October 1957
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Permanent custody transferred, 25 April 1969, to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition sold for scrapping,13 June 1974, to Levin Metals Corp.
  • USS Polaris earned one battle star for World War II service and six battle stars for Korean War service
    Displacement 8,700 t.(lt) 13,875 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 1"
    Beam 63' 0"
    Draft 25' 10" (limiting)
    Speed 16.4 kts. (trial)
    Officers 21
    Enlisted 232
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Cargo Capacity 5,495 DWT
    non-refrigerated 110,000 Cu ft.
    refrigerated 149,600 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/51 cal gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    ten single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 8,400 Bbls
    one Sun Shipbuilding 2-stroke, 4 cylinder single-acting Doxford Diesel
    Ship's Service Generators
    one Diesel-drive 230Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    three Diesel-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service Moore McCormack Lines
    Polaris 133k Moore-McCormack Lines MV Donald McKay being assisted by tugs, date and location unknown.
    US Maritime Commission photo.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Polaris (AF-11)
    Polaris 59k USS Polaris (AF-11) off New York soon after conversion, circa May 1941. A recognition feature retained by this ship throughout her career is the pair of forward kingposts.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-23940, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Polaris 97k USS Polaris (AF-11) under way departing Halifax harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada, 11 May1942.
    Photo from the Nova Scotia Archives, HB Jefferson collection. For educational and non commercial use.
    John Chiquoine
    Polaris 121k USS Polaris (AF-11) photographed, 21 April 1943, in the Atlantic east of Norfolk, Va., by a blimp based at Weeksville, N.C.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # BuAer 64276, a US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Polaris 162k Sketch of USS Polaris (AF-11) artist unknown. Printed on the back of the image is "Compliments of Bacharach Industrial Instrument Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. 1943" Tommy Trampp
    Polaris 148k USS Polaris (AF-11) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Polaris 44k USS Polaris (AF-11) at anchor, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Polaris 285k USS Polaris (AF-11) Recommissioning Ceremony, 1 July 1949, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum File name: AF 11 3908-7-49, US Navy Photo, 7/1/49.
    Darryl Baker
    Polaris 109k USS Polaris (AF-11) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Polaris 57k USS Polaris (AF-11) probably soon after recommissioning in July 1949. Note the wide, flat bridge front, also a prominent feature of her original sisters of the Arcturus (AKA-1) class.
    US Navy photo # USN 1044035, from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    PC-802 148k USS Polaris (AF-11) in the background at Mare Island Naval Shipyard with ex-USS PCC-802 in the foreground, in South Korean service, as ROKS Sam Kak San (PC-703), Photo dated 16 June 1950. Actual date may be in July 1949. Note Polaris is flying a Union Jack at her bow.
    US Navy photo # NH 85485 now in the collections of the Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    CV-36 Antietam 85k USS Polaris (AF-11) with USS Antietam (CV-36) and USS Hopewell (DD-681) alongside.
    These photos were likely taken during Antietam's only combat tour to WestPac and Korea, 8 September 1951 to 2 May 1952.
    Robert M. Cieri
    CV-36 Antietam 139k
    Polaris 168k Aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA-41) and the destroyer USS Twining (DD-540) during an underway replenishment with USS Polaris (AF-11). Midway, with assigned Carrier Air Group 1 (CVG-1), circumnavigated the globe between 27 December 1954 and 14 July 1955.
    US Navy photo from the USS Midway (CVA-41) 1955 cruise book.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Polaris (AF-11)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Graves Jr., Edwin Darius4 April 1941 - ?
    02CDR. Miller, Carson Rial USN (USNA 1922)9 August 1942 - ?
    03CDR. Stroik, Edward Albert, USNR21 July 1944 - ?
    04CDR. Olsen, Harold John15 October 1944 - 8 January 1945
    05CDR. Stansbury, John Alexander USN (USNA 1916)8 January - 10 November 1945
    06LTjg. William, Milo Michel, USNR10 November 1945 - 1 December 1945
    07LTjg. Stipleman, Raymond, USNR1 December 1945 - 1 January 1946
    08LTjg. Sullivan, William A., USNR1 January 1946 - 18 January 1946
     Decommissioned18 January 1946 - 1 July 1949
    09CAPT. Meola, Vincent James1950 - 18 December 1951
    10CDR. Hayden, Eugene Benjamin, USN18 December 1951 - 28 December 1952
    11CDR. Mason, Guy Adams, USN28 December 1952 - 1954
    12CDR. Schwabe, Leo Robert, USN1954 - 1 January 1956
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Stores Ship (AF) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 February 2016