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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Lesuth (AK-125)

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

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

Crater Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 24 March 1943, as SS William M. Gwin, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1638) at California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched, 17 April 1943
  • Delivered to American President Lines under a General Agency Agreement from the War Shipping Administration
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 9 October 1943
  • Converted for Naval service at United Engineering, Alameda, CA.
  • Commissioned, USS Lesuth (AK-125), 1 November 1943, LCDR. Bertrand H. Bassett, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Lesuth was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944

  • Following World War II USS Lesuth was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 September to 16 October1945
    24 December 1945 to 10 April 1946

  • Decommissioned, 16 August 1946, at Pearl Harbor, T.H.
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 29 May 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 July 1947
  • USS Lesuth earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 31 July 1964, by Union Minerals and Alloys Corp. Physically delivered for dismantling at Oakland CA., 20 August 1964
    Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 14,550 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 12.5 kts. (trial)
    Officers 15
    Enlisted 222
    Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
    Cargo Capacity 7,800 DWT
    non-refrigerated 414,996 Cu ft.
    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
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 7,285 Bbls
    one Joshua-Hendy vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    two Combustion Engineering 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

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Lesuth 50k Bows on view of USS Lesuth (AK-125) off San Francisco, 11 November 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 8266-43.
    Darryl Baker
    Lesuth 120k Broadside view of USS Lesuth (AK-125) at anchor in San Francisco Bay, 11 November 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 7587-43.
    Tommy Trampp
    Lesuth 38k Broadside view of USS Lesuth (AK-125) at anchor off Okinawa, date unknown. Kevin Kennedy for his father John C. Kennedy USS Lesuth

    USS Lesuth (AK-125)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Bassett, Bertrand Hale, USNR1 November 1943 - 1 July 1945
    02LT. Gilkerson, Ray C., USNR1 July 1945 - 15 August 1945
    03LCDR. Giles, Albert Baker, USNR15 August 1945 - 17 July 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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 21 September 2018