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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive
USNS Vela (T-AK-89)
USPRS Joe C. Specker (1945 - 1952)
Enceladus Class Cargo Ship:
Originally designated MV Charles A. Ranlett, a Maritime Commission type (N3-M-A1) hull to be built under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 652) at Penn-Jersey Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.
Renamed Vela (AK-89), 30 October 1942
Acquired from the Maritime Commission by the US Navy, 1 January 1943
Laid down, 5 June 1944
Launched, 15 January 1945
Reassigned to the US Army
Delivered to the US Army 17 January 1945
Struck from the Naval Register, 8 February 1945
Completed as a Port Rehabilitation vessel and renamed Joe C. Specker
Declared surplus by the US Army, returned to the Maritime Commission, 27 August 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
Transferred to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) 11 June 1952
Placed in service as USNS Vela (T-AK-89), 12 June 1952
Placed out of service, date unknown
Transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River
Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 17 January 1971, to Hierros Ardes, S.A., Spain, c/o Boston Metals, (MARAD sale PD-X-888, dated 23 November 1970) in a four ship deal) for $267,070.00
Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 14,550 t.(fl)
Length 441' 6"
Beam 56' 11"
Draft 28' 4"
Speed 12.5 kts.
Cargo Capacity 7,750 DWT
non-refrigerated 400,000 Cu ft
Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
two single 40mm AA gun mounts
six single 20mm AA gun mounts
NSFO 7,285 Bbls
one Joshua-Hendy vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
two Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 220psi 450°
Ship's Service Generators
three recip-drive 20Kw 120V D.C.
one turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
single propeller, 2,500shp
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|US Army Joe C. Specker
||US Army Joe C. Specker at anchor, location unknown. Bow horns for lifting diving and salvage equipment, and plenty of machine shops ultimately made these ships useful to the Army.
US Navy photo from the U.S. Naval Institute.
Photo and text from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover.
|USNS Vela (T-AK-89)
||USNS Vela (T-AK-89) underway circa mid-1950s in MSTS service. She was similar in appearance to
USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87), except that her Army cathead had been removed.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # unknown, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
USNS Vela (T-AK-86)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
MARAD Vessel History Database
Last Updated 29 June 2012
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|