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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Hercules (AK-41)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Hotel - Echo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

Hercules Class Cargo Ship
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Exporter a Maritime Commission type (C3-E) hull under Maritime Commission contract at Fore River Ship Building Co., Quincy, MA. for American Export Lines
  • Launched, 18 July 1939
  • Acquired by the Navy, 15 July 1941
  • Commissioned USS Hercules (AK-41), 30 November 1942, CDR. William H. Turnquist, USNR, in command
  • During WWII USS Hercules was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation, 17 November to 8 December 1943 Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, San Pedro Bay, 13 October to 29 November1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 26 June 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 14 March 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands-Peleliu, 6 September to 14 October 1944

  • Decommissioned, 28 June 1946 at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 31 July 1946
  • USS Hercules earned five battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 17 July 1946, at the James River Reserve Fleet, for disposal, Removed 26 January 1947
  • Custody transferred to Sun Shipbuilding, Chester, PA. for conversion, 12 December 1946, Renamed Exermont
  • Sold in 1947 to Shepard Steamship Co., Boston, MA., renamed Bostonian
  • Sold, in 1950 to American Export Lines, Inc., New York, renamed Exermont
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1958
  • Final Disposition, scrapped in 1971
    Displacement 5,150 t.(lt) 16,620 t.(fl)
    Length 473' 1"
    Beam 66'
    Draft 27' 2"
    Speed 17.7 kts.
    Officers 23
    Enlisted 175
    Largest Boom Capacity 25 t.
    Cargo Capacity 6,170 DWT
    non-refrigerated 551,116 Cu Ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eight single 40MM AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 13,660 Bbls
    one Bethlehem Shipbuilding steam turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 742°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 150Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Hercules 87k Aft starboard quarter view of USS Hercules (AK-41) off San Francisco, 10 December 1942.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 7674-12-42, 12/10/42.
    Darryl Baker
    Hercules 99k Broadside view of USS Hercules (AK-41) off San Francisco, 10 December 1942.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo #19-N-39848 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Darryl Baker / Mike Green
    Hercules 94k USS Hercules (AK-41) off San Francisco, 10 December 1942.
    US Navy photo # 19-N-39847 from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Frederick Funston 170k USS Hercules (AK-41) (left) and USS Funston (APA-89) (center distant) are staged in the transport area off Saipan, 15 June 1944. The assault is in progress.
    Photo by Peter Stackpole, Life Magazine, used for educational and non-commercial purpose
    John Chiquoine
    77k USS Hercules (AK-41) anchored off Charan Kanoa, Saipan, 25 June 1944, attached to the transport elements of CTF52. She is loading landing barges ferrying Army supplies to shore on the ninth day after initial landings.
    A Time_Life photo by J.R. Eyerman, Life Magazine. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    Hercules 56k Bows on view of USS Hercules (AK-41) in the Mare Island channel, 27 September 1945. Hercules under repairs at the yard from 22 June to 22 September 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6689-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Hercules 107k Broadside view of USS Hercules (AK-41) off Mare Island, 27 September 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6691-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Hercules 59k Stern view of USS Hercules (AK-41) off Mare Island, 27 September 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 6693-45.
    Darryl Baker

    USS Hercules (AK-41)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Turnquist, William Howard, USNR30 November 1942 - 22 December 1945
    02LCDR. Outlaw, Hampton LeRoy, USN22 December 1945 - 7 April 1946
    03LT. Wayland, Sydney, USNR7 April 1946 - 28 June 1946
    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
    USS Hercules (AK-41) War Diary / History and Action Reports, 1942-1945
    MARAD Vessel History Data Base
    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 22 December 2023