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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Left Patch - Designed and Contributed by Wanda Winne

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Castor (AKS-1)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Xray - Lima
NIXL
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons





Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Defense Campaign Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Korean Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2 Taiwan Straits, 32 Quemoy-Matsu, 11 Vietnam) Vietnam Service Medal (6)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


Castor Class General Stores Issue Ship:
  • Laid down, as SS Challenger, a Maritime Commission type (C2-Cargo) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC 14) at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.
  • Launched, 20 May 1939
  • Acquired by the Navy, 30 October 1940
  • Commissioned USS Castor (AKS-1), 12 March 1941, CDR. Felix L. Johnson in command
  • During World War II USS Castor (AKS-1) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 April to 30 June 1945
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa, 17 November to 8 December 1943
     

  • Following World War II and beyond USS Castor performed occupation duty in the Far East which included China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    15 February to 14 June 194615 February to 14 June 1946
    10 September to 8 November 194610 September to 8 November 1946
    1 January to 8 February 19471 January to 8 February 1947

  • Decommissioned, 30 June 1947, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Francisco Group
  • Recommissioned, 24 November 1950
  • During the Korean War USS Castor (AKS-1) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    27 May to 1 June 1951
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    12 August 1951

  • During the Vietnam War USS Castor (AKS-1) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    14 to 19 July 1965
    8 to 20 September 1965
    5 to 11 October 1965
    17 to 23 October 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    7 to 21 July 1967
    3 to 9 August 1967
    20 September to 7 October 1967
    14 to 22 October 1967
    4 to 18 December 1967
    27 December 1967 to 2 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    22 April to 5 May 1966
    15 to 25 May 1966
    Tet Counteroffensive
    2 to 16 February 1968
    23 February to 11 March 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    11 July to 10 August 1966
    25 September to 15 October 1966
    23 to 25 November 1966
    3 to 16 December 1966
    12 to 23 February 1967
    28 April to 29 May 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    7 to 22 May 1968

  • Decommissioned, 31 October 1968, at Sasebo, Japan
  • Custody transferred to Commander Fleet Activities, Sasebo, Japan
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1968
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 2 September 1969
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 25 July 1969 to Mitsui and Co., Japan
  • USS Castor received three battle stars for World War II service, two for Korean War service and six campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,350 t.(lt) 14,440 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 5"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 17
    Enlisted 190
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,660 DWT
    refrigerated 452,537 Cu ft.
    non-refrigerated none
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 9,040 Bbls
    Diesel Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster-Wheeler "D" type boilers, 465psi 765°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 250Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    two Diesel-drive 250Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Castor 72k USS Castor (AKS-1) at Oakland, CA., 1 June 1943. Circled items are alterations made during a just completed yard period.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 4078-43, 6/1/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Castor 176k USS Castor (AKS-1) (aft plan view) at Oakland, CA., 1 June 1943. Circled items are alterations made during a just completed yard period.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 4080-43, 6/1/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Castor 91k USS Castor (AKS-1) (plan view looking to port) at Oakland, CA., 1 June 1943. View of Radar mast and Signal yard.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 4079-43, 6/1/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Castor 81k USS Castor (AKS-1) moored pierside at NSC Oakland, CA. Note the tents over the open holds to keep the rain out as the ship loads supplies.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, June 1951 issue.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    CVA-12 Hornet 239k USS Castor (AKS-1) during an UNREP with Hornet (CVA-12) and an unidentified destroyer, circa 1957. David Buell
    Castor 94k USS Castor (AKS-1) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, August 1961 issue.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Castor 155k USS Castor (AKS-1) underway, 14 November 1963, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # KN-7216
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Castor 91k USS Castor (AKS-1) conducting an underway replenishment with USS Bausell (DD-845) and not in view USS Intrepid (CVS-11) , summer 1967. Photo by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Castor 94k USS Castor (AKS-1) conducting an underway replenishment off the coast of Vietnam with USS Hancock (CVA-19), circa 1967. Photo by Charles "Bud" Dehnert
    Castor 170k USS Castor (AKS-1) conducting an underway replenishment off the coast of Vietnam with USS Hancock (CVA-19), circa 1967. Photo by Charles "Bud" Dehnert
    Castor 81k USS Castor (AKS-1) moored pierside at Naval Base Sasebo, Japan, circa 15 - 18 April 1967.
    US Navy photo by Kelly Brown.
    Robert Hurst
    Castor 40k USS Castor (AKS-1) and USS Pollux (AKS-4) moored pierside, date unknown and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, September 1968 issue.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Castor 38k USS Castor (AKS-1) in port Sasebo, Japan, 1968 Ramon Jackson

    USS Castor Additional Ships Patches
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    Castor Castor

    USS Castor (AKS-1)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Johnson, Felix Leslie, USN :VADM12 March 1941 - 15 July 1941
    02CDR. Wright, Harold James15 July 1941 - 30 August 1942
    03CDR. Herty, Harold Burton30 August 1942 - 10 April 1944
    04CAPT. Huntoon, Franklin Campbell10 April 1944 - 20 November 1945
    05CDR. Newton, Roy Arthur20 November 1945 - 30 June 1947
     Decommissioned30 June 1947 - 24 November 1950
    06CAPT. Willis Ashford (Philly)24 November 1950 - November 1950
    07CDR. Card, Paul WillisNovember 1950 - 1952
    08CDR. Brown, Ralph1952 - May 1954
    09LCDR. Bowman, Clingmon Estes (acting)May 1954 - May 1954
    10CDR. Brown, RalphMay 1954 - August 1954
    11CDR. Rye, Edward FalkaAugust 1954 - ?
    14CAPT. Ogle, Elvin ClintonDecember 1959 - September 1960
    15CAPT. Dozier Jr., William Creagh1962 - July1963
    16CAPT. Hoppe, William EverettJuly 1963 - August 1964
    17CAPT. Carpenter, William MilnerAugust 1964 - August 1965
    18CAPT. Fretwell, Uncas LaniereAugust 1965 - 14 September 1966
    19CAPT. Lupia, Archy Louis14 September 1966 - June 1968
    20CAPT. Camp, Herbert ErnestJune 1968 - 31 October 1968
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves. Photos courtesy Bill Gonyo

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Pearl Harbor Action Report
    MARAD Vessel History Data Base

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    Last Updated 18 July 2014