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

USS Capella (AK-13)

Flag Hoist/International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Zulu - Kilo
NAZK
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet Clasp)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


Hog Island Standard Fabricated Type A freighter Emergency Fleet Corporation Design 1022:
  • Laid down, 1 July 1919, as SS Comerant, for the United States Shipping Board under USSB contract # 1508 at American International Shipbuilding Corp., Hog Island, PA.
  • Launched, 3 March 1920
  • Delivered, 17 April 1920, the 77th in the series, and was given the ID number 4215-W
  • Acquired by the Navy, 20 November 1921
  • Commissioned USS Capella (AK-13), 8 December 1921, LCDR. Samuel W. Hickey, USNRF, in command
  • Decommissioned, 1 September 1924, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in reserve at Norfolk, VA.
  • Recommissioned, 10 November 1938, CDR. Donald R. Osborn Jr. USN in command
  • Decommissioned, 30 November 1945, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 December 1945
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration, 17 July 1946 for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 2 October 1947, to H.H. Buncher for scrapping by Boston Metals, Baltimore, MD., Removed 2 October 1947
    Specifications:
    Displacement 4,037 t.(lt) 11,500 t.(fl)
    Length 401'
    Beam 54' 1"
    Draft 24' 5"
    Speed 11.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 18
    Enlisted 253
    Largest Boom Capacity 5t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,960 DWT
    non-refrigerated, 271, 330 Cu ft
    Armament
    two single 5"/51 single purpose gun mounts (replaced by one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount)
    four single3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts (added at the end of 1940)
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts (add in 1942)
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 7,285 bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric-Curtis steam turbine
    three Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 215psi 475°
    three turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Capella 135k USS Capella (AK-13) at the New York Navy Yard, 26 September 1922, loading an Army 16" gun on deck aft for shipment to Pearl Harbor. The Merritt and Chapman derrick Monarch has lifted the gun clear of the Moran Towing and Transportation Co. barge No. 30. USS Maryland (BB-46) is across the pier. The crane between the two ships is probably moving along rails on the pier.
    US Navy photo # 42062 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Capella 103k USS Capella (AK-13) at the New York Navy Yard, 26 September 1922, showing the Army 16" Model 1919 gun stowed on the port side forward for shipment to Pearl Harbor. Ships in the background include a Kanawha class oiler and two destroyers, one of which appears to be USS Billingsley (DD-293).
    US Navy photo # 42057 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    Robert Hurst
    Capella 57k USS Capella (AK-13) pierside, probably between 1922 and 1924.
    US Navy photo # NH 55049 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Capella 48k USS Capella (AK-13) transiting the Panama Canal, probably between 1938 and 1940. The ship was unarmed until she received two 5"/51 and four 3"/50 guns at the end of 1940. Photo courtesy of FADM C. W. Nimitz, USN.
    US Navy photo # NH 58160 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Capella 69k USS Capella (AK-13) underway, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Capella 79k USS Capella (AK-13) underway in 1942 or 1943, after she received eight 20mm guns and before her two 5"/51 guns were replaced by one 5"/38 gun. She also carried four 3"/50 guns amidships. She is painted in camouflage Measure 12(modified).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #: NH 98063, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Capella 52k Torpedo damage to starboard shell of USS Capella (AK-13), looking aft, showing wash boarding just forward of the rupture. The ship is dry docked at the New York Navy Yard, after being struck by a nearly-spent 21-inch torpedo accidentally discharged by a U.S. Navy PT boat in upper Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. The ship was at anchor in a light load condition in fifteen fathoms of water, sea calm and weather partly cloudy. At 1824, 9 April 1942 the torpedo struck the starboard side aft at about frame 158, fifteen feet below the waterline just aft of the shaft alley.
    Bureau of Ships Navy Department, War Damage Report No. 27
    Mike Green
    Capella 165k Torpedo damage to port shell of USS Capella (AK-13) looking aft. Photo shows wrinkle in the shell above the hull rupture.
    Bureau of Ships Navy Department, War Damage Report No. 27
    Mike Green
    Capella 179k Torpedo damage to port shell of USS Capella (AK-13) looking aft. Photo shows wrinkle in the shell above the hull rupture.
    Bureau of Ships Navy Department, War Damage Report No. 27
    Mike Green
    Capella 180k Torpedo damage to ports shell, looking forward, of USS Capella (AK-13). Photo shows the tear in the keel plate at Frame 157 and in the shell plating at the first platform.
    Bureau of Ships Navy Department, War Damage Report No. 27
    Mike Green
    Capella 208k Damage diagram of USS Capella (AK-13) from torpedo explosion, 9 April 1942, Capella was hit by a friendly torpedo fired from PT-59, causing eight injuries, but no deaths.
    Bureau of Ships Navy Department, War Damage Report No. 27.
    Mike Green
    Capella 142k USS Capella (AK-13) near the Norfolk Navy Yard. 12 August 1943, after change of armament. She now has two 3"/50 on the forecastle and two 3"/50 and one 5"/38 on the poop. The area between the bridge and the smokestack is again empty except for a lattice radar mast.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-52044, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green

    USS Capella (AK-13)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Hickey, Samuel Walter 8 December 1921 - 15 June 1922
    02LCDR. Lind, Wallace Ludwig15 June 1922 - 18 April 1923
    03LCDR. Chew, Francis Thornton, USN (09)18 April 1923 - 15 January 1924
    04LTjg. Healy, William Harold, USN15 January 1924 - 1 September 1924
     Decommissioned1 September 1924 - 10 November 1938
    05CDR. Osborn Jr., Donald Roderick USN (20)10 November 1938 - 1 August 1940
    06CDR. Macklin Jr., Charles Fearns USN (21-B)1 August 1940 - ?
    07CDR. Jenkins, John Hayes USN (17) Ret.19 October 1943 - 21 October 1944
    08LT. Dunning, Roy J. USNR21 October 1944 - 1 August 1945
    09LCDR. Crouch, James M. USNR1 August 1945 - 30 November 1945
    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 Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back to the Identification Numbered (ID) Photo Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) 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 30 January 2015