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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN Ret.

USS Rescue (AH-18)
ex
USS Antaeus (AG-67) (1943 - 1945)
USS Antaeus (AS-21) (1941 - 1943)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Quebec - Quebec - Whiskey
NQQW
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - Okinawa) - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)


  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Saint John, a passenger liner for the Eastern Steamship Lines at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 9 January 1932
  • Delivered to Eastern Steamship Lines, 22 April 1932
  • Acquired by the Navy, 24 April 1941
  • Converted to a Submarine Tender
  • Commissioned USS Antaeus (AS-21), 17 May 1941, CDR. Richard S. Morse in command
  • Redesignated to Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG-67), 15 September 1943
  • Converted to a Hospital Ship at New York Navy Yard
  • Renamed and Reclassified USS Rescue (AH-18), 18 January 1945
  • During World War II USS Rescue was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 13 to 19 June 1945
    3d Fleet operations against Japan, 10 July to 13 August 1945

  • Following World War II USS Rescue was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 to 22 September 1945
  • Decommissioned, 29 April 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 August 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Olympia, WA., 29 June 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 31 October 1958, to Dulien Steel Products Inc., for $127,890.00, Delivered,, 31 October 1958
  • USS Rescue earned two battle stars for her World War II service
    AS Specifications:
    Displacement 8,350 t.
    Length 403'
    Beam 61'
    Draft 20'
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement
    (AS) 440
    (AH) Officers 60 Enlisted 464
    AS Armament
    Original configuration
    one 4"/50 gun mount aft
    two 3"/23 gun mounts forward
    Upgraded
    one 4"/50 gun mount aft
    four 3"/50 gun mounts, two forward, two aft
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 6,760 Bbls
    Diesel 50 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Newport News geared turbines
    four Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers 375psi 660°
    single Newport News Main Reduction Gears
    three 250Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    twin propellers, 13,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    St John 156k SS Saint John underway in the harbor at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, circa 1935. Tommy Trampp
    St John 282k SS Saint John underway in the harbor at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, circa 1940. Tommy Trampp
    St John 25k SS Saint John underway in the harbor at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, date unknown. Tommy Trampp
    St John 72k The Eastern Steamship Lines passenger liner SS Saint John underway before her conversion to USS Antaeus (AS-21). On this retouched copy of the original image, printed as a souvenir of the Navy ship, the owner's house flag painted on the stack was deleted. This flag was a swallowtail design featuring the letter "E" for the Eastern Steamship Co.
    US Navy photo # NH 98784 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Antaeus (AS-21)
    Antaeus 74k Broadside view of USS Antaeus (AS-21) underway, 30 June 1941, upon completion of her conversion to a submarine tender. Her original armament was one 4"/50 aft and two 3"/23 forward. Note the three-tone graded camouflage in use at that time.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24325 from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the collections of the US National Archives, Photo by Hughes Co., Baltimore, MD.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Antaeus 68k Starboard bow view of USS Antaeus (AS-21) underway, 30 June 1941, upon completion of her conversion to a submarine tender. Her original armament was one 4"/50 aft and two 3"/23 forward. Note the three-tone graded camouflage in use at that time.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24324 from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the collections of the US National Archives, Photo by Hughes Co., Baltimore, MD.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Antaeus 61k Stern view of USS Antaeus (AS-21) underway, 30 June 1941, upon completion of her conversion to a submarine tender. Her original armament was one 4"/50 aft and two 3"/23 forward. Note the three-tone graded camouflage in use at that time.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24326 from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the collections of the US National Archives, Photo by Hughes Co., Baltimore, MD.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Antaeus 59k USS Antaeus (AS-21) underway off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 25 June 1943, after overhaul. During this overhaul her armament was upgraded to one 4"/50 gun and two 3"/50 guns aft and two 3"/50 guns forward, visible here.
    US Navy photo # NH 96628, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Antaeus 84k Stern view of USS Antaeus (AS-21) at Philadelphia Navy Yard, 25 June 1943. During this overhaul her armament was upgraded to one 4"/50 gun and two 3"/50 guns aft, visible here, and two more 3"/50 guns forward. USS Phoenix (CL-46) is in drydock in the distance at left, with a 6"/47 gun turret on the pier nearby.
    US Navy photo # NH 92284, Courtesy of Frank Jankowski, 1981, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Antaeus 21k USS Antaeus (AS-21) underway, date and location unknown.
    Note Antaeus is painted Camouflage Measure 12(mod).
    Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    USS Antaeus (AG-67)
    Antaeus 163k USS Antaeus (AG-67) underway in the vicinity of Norfolk, VA., 27 November 1944, while serving as a coastal transport..
    US National Archives photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Antaeus 101k USS Antaeus (AG-67) underway, 27 November 1944. Sometime in January 1944 her armament was reduced to one 4"/50 gun aft and two 3"/50 guns, probably forward. The numerous life rafts reflect her primary function as an East Coast troop transport.
    US Navy photo # NH 84624, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1976.
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Rescue (AH-18)
    Rescue 109k USS Rescue (AH-18) underway, 2 March 1945. She carries the standard wartime hospital ship markings of a small red cross amidships with a long stripe.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-439636 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Rescue 54k USS Rescue (AH-18) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Naval Hospital Corps School
    Taluga 232k USS Rescue (AH-18) coming alongside USS Taluga (AO-62) to refuel in August 1945.
    Photo from LTjg Lloyd LaVack USS Taluga Photo Collection
    Tommy Trampp USS Taluga
    Rescue 99k USS Rescue (AH-18) underway on its way to the Pacific circa 1945. Coming on line late in the war, the ship was involved in the repatriation of POWs in the Far East.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-305360, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives. Photo and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Rescue 508k CDR Leo Keating USNR (Left) relieves CAPT. Robert Twining USN (Right) as Commanding Officer of USS Rescue (AH-18) on VJ Day, 15 August 1945. CAPT. Twining reverted to retired status. Photo courtesy of Roger Mansell. Bill Gonyo
    Rescue 72k USS Rescue (AH-18) in San Francisco Bay, CA., in late 1945 or early 1946.
    US Navy photo # Photo #: NH 98756 donated by BM1 Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2003.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Rescue 100k USS Rescue (AH-18) off San Francisco, CA., 2 March 1946. She carries the postwar hospital ship markings of three large red crosses connected by a stripe.
    US Navy photo # Photo #: NH 77384, Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973.
    US Naval Historical Center

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Morse, Richard Swift17 May 1941 - 2 April 1942
    02CDR. Speight, Edmond Pryor USN1 July 1943 - 2 October 1944
    03CAPT. Twining, Robert Barber USN (Ret)December 1944 - 2 September 1945
    04CDR. Keating, Leo C. USNR2 September 1945 - 30 October 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves


    For more photos and information about USS Antaeus/Rescue, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base
  • Submarine Tenders of the United States Navy
  • Arthur Boyers' USS Rescue AH-18 Photo Album
  • History Documented - WW2 US Navy Edward Wulf
  • "To The Rescue" - Victory Edition - 15 August 1945

  • 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 7 March 2014