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


Patch at left submitted by Elmer Brown and patch at right Mike Smolinski

USS Betelgeuse (AK-260)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - India - Alpha
NXIA
SS Columbia Victory Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal
USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

National Defense Service Medal (2)

Greenville Victory Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 11 February 1944, as SS Columbia Victory, a Maritime Commission type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCV 10), at California Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched, 10 April 1944
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 31 May 1944
  • Operated by Grace Lines, the Waterman Steamship Corporation and the Isthmian Steamship Company
  • During World War II SS Columbia Victory participated in the following campaigns while operating in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 25 February to 6 March 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 27 May to 4 June 1945

  • Returned to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1948
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 3 August 1951
  • Commissioned USS Betelgeuse (AK-260), 15 April 1952, at Savannah, GA., CDR. Lannis A. Parker, USN, Ret, in command
  • Decommissioned, 15 January 1971, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 February 1974
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 2 December 1975, (PDX-1001) to Luria Brothers, ran aground, 17 January 1976, off Cape Hatteras, 25 miles north of Rodanthe, N.C. while being towed to Brownsville, TX.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 15,580 t.(fl)
    Length 455'
    Beam 62'
    Draft 29' 2"
    Speed 15.5 kts
    Complement 145
    Armament eight 40MM AA guns
    Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
    Cargo Capacity, 7,800 DWT
    non-refrigerated 453,210 Cu ft.
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 18,575 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one Westinghouse steam turbine
    two Foster Wheeler header-type boilers, 525psi 750°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Betelgeuse 55k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) entering Hampton Roads, VA., date unknown. Courtesy Elmer Brown
    USS Betelgeuse AK (FBM) 260 Reunion Association
    Betelgeuse 56k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) and USS Forrestal (CV-59) during and underway replenishment, 21 June 1957, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain. Courtesy Elmer Brown
    USS Betelgeuse AK (FBM) 260 Reunion Association (John Ackerman)
    Proteus 73k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260), moored alongside USS Proteus (AS-19) at Holy Loch, Scotland while Proteus tends two of her brood. Betelgeuse shuttled between Charleston and Holy Loch bringing everything needed to operate the tender, maintain the subs and provide for the well being of crew and dependents.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine October 1962
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Betelgeuse 38k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) underway, date and location unknown. Photo source, "Jane's Fighting Ships 1968-69." Robert Hurst
    Betelgeuse 406k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) crew manning the rail while underway, date and location unknown. Ron Reeves
    Betelgeuse 271k USS Betelgeuse (AK-260), the subject of an article in Naval Reservist Newsletter and Navy Times describing an experimental method for preservation of ships in reserve. Ron Reeves

    USS Betelgeuse (AK-260)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Parker, Lannis A., USN Ret.15 April 1952 - 1953
    02CAPT. Dabney, Thomas Bullard1953 - June 1954
    03CAPT. Smith, Russell Henry1954 - February 1955
    05CDR.Thatcher, William GordonMay 1956 - 1957
    06CDR. Bitting, Frederick Edmund1957 - 1958
    07CDR. Collins, Wilbur Plumer1958
    08CDR. Hall, Perry1960 - 1961
    09CDR. Godek, Mieczyslaw1961 - 1963
    10CDR. Miller, Orville Hillard1963 - 1964
    11CAPT. Martin, William Carlton1964 - 1965
    12CAPT. Barnes, Alan Franklin1965 - 1967
    13CDR. Prezioso, Ronald1967 - 1969
    14CDR. Mazzolini, John Andrew1969 - 1970
    15LCDR. Jerns, Robert Lee1970 - 15 January 1971
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Betelgeuse AK (FBM) 260 Reunion Association
    USS Betelgeuse AK-260
    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
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 18 July 2014