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 Vega (AK-17)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Xray - Mike
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 7 December 1941) - American Defense Service Medal
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal

Sirius Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 8 July 1918, as SS Lebanon under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract at American International Shipbuilding Corp., Hog Island, PA.
  • Launched, 18 July 1919
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 2 December 1921
  • Commissioned USS Vega (AK-17), 21 December 1921 at Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA., LT. William G. Newman, USNRF, in command
  • During World War II USS Vega was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Pearl Harbor - Midway
    Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 25 to 31 July 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 1 to 15 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 13 to 14 June 1945

  • Decommissioned, 15 January 1946, at Oakland, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 12 March 1946
  • USS Vega earned four battle stars for her World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission National Defense Reserve Fleet Suisun Bay Group, Benecia, CA., for disposal, 30 June 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold by the Maritime Commission, 6 August 1946, for scrapping to National Metals and Steel Corp., removed 2 July 1946
    Displacement 4,037 t. 11,360 t.(fl)
    Length 401'
    Beam 54' 2"
    Draft 24' 5"
    Speed 11.1 kts (trial)
    Officers 36
    Enlisted 413
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 5,100 DWT
    non-refrigerated 272,420 Cu ft
    Refrigerated 7,000 Cu ft
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose guns
    eight 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 8,215 Bbls
    one General Electric-Curtis geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 215 psi, Sat.
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 25Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Vega is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra. This star is relatively close at only 25 light-years from the Sun, and, together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the most luminous stars in the Sun's neighborhood. It is the fifth-brightest star in the night sky, and the second-brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus.
    To find the star Vega in the constellation Lyra, look directly overhead. North lies at the top of the sky map. (Image credit: Starry Night Software)
    Tommy Trampp
    Vega 41k USS Vega (AK-17) mooring at New York Navy Yard during the 1920s with the help of a commercial tug.
    US Navy photo
    US Naval Historical Center
    Vega 72k USS Vega (AK-17) moored pierside, date and location unknown. Jon Burdett
    Vega 155k USS Vega (AK-17) moored pierside at Brooklyn Navy Yard, 11 April 1929. Note that her bridge structure is topped by a partially enclosed conning position with a probable deckhouse behind it.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 753, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Vega 43k USS Vega (AK-17) moored pierside, circa 1937, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Vega 142k USS Vega (AK-17) probably in the late 1930s. The Navy has expanded the bridge structure but the rest of the ship is little altered from its original Hog Island Type A design.
    Photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    Vega 128k USS Vega (AK-17) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    Vega 107k USS Vega (AK-17) near Mare Island Navy Yard, 2 February 1942, after installation of armament. Her four 3" guns have been grouped on a raised deck after the bridge and the hatch there and the kingposts that served it have been removed. The gun positions carry 3"/23 guns pending availability of 3"/50 guns, which were back-fitted later in 1942.
    US National Archives, RG-19 textual files, item S-22 (inclining experiments), Photo # Unknown, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Vega 41k USS Vega (AK-17) underway, 8 September 1942.
    US Navy photo
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Vega 130k USS Vega (AK-17) at the Ames Terminal, Seattle, Washington, 5 January 1944, after change of armament. Her armament has been modified along the same lines as that of USS Capella (AK-13), including a 5"/38 gun on the stern.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-57176 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    313k Supplies for the US Army Air Corps, 41st Bomb Group, are transferred from the hold of USS Vega (AK-17), to a LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) which will take the supplies ashore at Okinawa, Ryukyu Retto, 7 June 1945.
    US National Archives Identifier 193706914, a Department of the Air Force photo.
    David Upton

    USS Vega (AK-17)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Newman, William Garnet, USNRF 21 December 1921 - 17 September 1923
    02CDR Stewart, Lehigh Morrison17 September 1923 - 12 November 1925
    03CDR Bowdey, George Hall12 November 1925 - 1926
    04CDR Kidd Sr., Isaac Campbell, USN :RADM5 May 1925 - 29 June 1926
    05CDR. Bogart, Isaac Crabell29 June 1926 - 1928
    06CDR. Robinson, Francis Martin1928 - 4 May 1929
    07CDR. Landon, John Jackson4 May 1929 - 20 May 1931
    08CDR. Krakow, Carl Christian20 May 1931 - 7 June 1933
    09CDR. Smith Jr., William Robinson7 June 1933 - 2 June 1934
    10CDR. Flynn, Cornelius William2 June 1934 - 15 June 1938
    12CDR. Eason, Curry Ester15 June 1938 - 22 April 1940
    13CDR. Vetter, John Peter22 April 1940 - 23 March 1941
    14LCDR. Smith, Arthur Chester, USN (USNA 1934)23 March 1941 - 21 June 1941
    15CDR. Vetter, John Peter21 June 1941 - 1 December 1941
    16CDR. Forster, K. L.1 December 1941 - ?
    17LCDR. Dell, William B.2 January 1944 - 22 December 1943
    19LCDR. Rice, Frederic C.7 October 1944 - 28 March 1945
    20LCDR. Branan, Virgil C., USNR28 March 1945 - 18 April 1945
    21LCDR. Burling, Donald Oscar18 April 1945 - 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
    Pearl Harbor Action Report

    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type 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 26 February 2021