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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Denebola (AF-56)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Romeo - Foxtrot
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Ellsworth (J)uliet - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba, 1-Lebanon)

Denebola Class Stores Ship:
  • Laid down as SS Hibbing Victory, a Maritime Commission type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCV 113), at Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 10 June 1944
  • Merchant Service
    Leased to Pacific Atlantic SS. Co., Inc., 30 June 1944, at Portland, OR.
    Chartered by Seas Shipping Co., Inc., 3 July 1946, at New York, N.Y.
    Chartered by Black Diamond SS Corp., 20 February 1948
    Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Wilmington, N.C., 4 August 1948
    Chartered by American Foreign SS Co., 23 August 1950, at Savannah, GA.
  • Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 3 May 1952
  • Converted for Naval service as a Provisions Store Ship at New York Naval Shipyard
  • Commissioned USS Denebola (AF-56), 20 January 1954, CDR. S. E. Ramey in command
  • Title transferred to the US Navy from the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 31 May 1958
  • Decommissioned in April 1976
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 April 1976
  • Title transferred to the MARAD from the US Navy, 17 November 1976
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 17 November 1976, to Luria Brothers & Co., Inc.
    Displacement 4,960 t.(lt) 10,850 t.(fl)
    Length 455' 3"
    Beam 62'
    Draft 28' 6"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Complement 250
    Armament four twin 3'/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    geared turbine engine
    single propeller, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Denebola 29k USS Denebola (AF-56) under way, circa 1956, location unknown.
    Photo circa 1956 courtesy B.L. Devenish-Meares, Esq, from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1956-57".
    Robert Hurst
    Denebola 82k USS Denebola (AF-56) under way, circa 1958, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1958-59".
    Robert Hurst
    Denebola 119k USS Denebola (AF-56) and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) moored in the harbor at Naples, Italy in 1959. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Denebola 112k USS Denebola (AF-56) comes alongside USS Forrestal (CV-59) to transfer stores, during operations in the Mediterranean Sea, circa 1962.
    US Navy photo # NH 98382 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Denebola 268k USS Denebola (AF-56) under way, date and location unknown early in her career. Note she carries 3/50" gun mounts aft, which were later removed to make room for a helicopter deck.
    US Navy photo.
    David Buell
    Denebola 108k USS Denebola (AF-56) highlines food and supplies to USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) during underway replenishment operations in February 1969. USS Manley (DD-940) is in the distance.

    US Navy photo # USN 1140684 by PH3 J. Giardina, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Denebola 94k USS Cascade (AD-16), USS Denebola (AF-56) and the Destroyer Escorts USS Lester (DE-1022), USS Hammerberg (DE-1015) and USS Courtney (DE-1021) moored at Naples, Italy, 13 March 1971
    US Navy photo # K 88830 by PHC B.M. Anderson, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Denebola 105k USS Denebola (AF-56) steaming in Hampton Roads, Virginia, March 1971.
    US Navy photo # K 88516 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Denebola 75k USS Denebola (AF-56) during an underway replenishment, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, August 1971.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Denebola 88k USS Denebola (AF-56) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Denebola 70k USS Denebola (AF-56) and USS Boulder (LST-1190) maintain formation station enroute to Norfolk. The Second Fleet ships participated in National and NATO exercises in northern Europe and returned home 10 December. The year of the photograph is not given, but was probably 1975.
    US Navy photo # NH 98412 by PH1 M.J. Browne, USN, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Denebola 128k USS Denebola (AF-56) moored at Naval Station Norfolk, VA., date unknown. Moored across from Denebola at the ajoining pier is an LST and the Rescue and Salvage Ship USS Preserver (ARS-8). Between the piers is an unidentified floating crane. Richard Miller, BMCS USNR Ret.

    For more photos and information about USS Denebola, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base
  • Commanding Officers
  • USS Denebola AF56

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

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 6 March 2015