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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Viburnum (AN-57)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Kilo - Lima
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (28 October 1944)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Personnel Awards

Purple Heart (3 KIA, 28 October 1944, Ulithi Atoll)

Ailanthus Class Net Laying Ship:
  • Laid down, 9 December 1943, as (YN-76) at Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, CA.
  • Redesignated a Net Laying Ship (AN-57), 1 January 1944
  • Launch, 26 April 1944
  • Commissioned USS Viburnum (AN-57), 27 June 1944, at Stockton, CA., LT. Benjamin A. Smith USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Viburnum was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater at Ulithi, Caroline Islands
  • Viburnum struck a mine. 28 October 1944, at Ulithi Atoll killing three men in the forward hold and blowing twelve men that were on deck over the side, all twelve were rescued
  • Returned to San Francisco, 5 June 1945
  • Decommissioning, 12 July 1945, placed in service that same date assigned to tow barges from San Francisco to Stockton CA. on the San Joaquin River.
  • Placed out of service, 3 January 1946 at Tiburon for dismantling of net tending gear
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 21 January 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 12 August 1947, for disposal
  • Sold to Walter K. Wilms and Co., at Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition, scrapped
    Displacement 1,400 t.
    Length 194' 6"
    Beam 37'
    Draft 13' 6"
    Speed 12.1 kts.
    Officers 4
    Enlisted 52
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    three twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Busch-Sulzer 539 Diesel electric engines
    two Diesel-drive 60Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 1,200shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Viburnum 256k USS Viburnum (AN-57) commissioning ceremony, 27 June 1944, at Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, CA. Chris Culpepper
    Viburnum 287k
    Viburnum 231k
    Photo No. 82
    94k USS Viburnum (AN-57) being temporarily patched in USS ARDL-32 in preparation for the voyage back to San Francisco for permanent repairs. Structural support for main the deck are shown in this photo. USS Viburnum (AN-57), a wooden hull ship, struck a contact mine at frame 12 starboard on 28 October 1944. The explosion tore a hole in the shell between frames 6 and 17 starboard and from the keel to the second deck side longitudinal, tore a hole In the second deck and in the port side of the main deck The keelson and planking about 3 feet to port were shattered between frames 7 and 18. The bolts pulled loose in connections between the shell and all bulkheads forward of frame 30. All spaces forward of bulkhead 30 flooded to the waterline as the ship took on a draft of 21 feet forward and 10 feet aft. After the ship was drydocked, debris and damaged planking were cleared away and temporary repairs were began. Since neither proper materials nor trained personnel were available to do the required wood repairs, it was necessary to use steel.
    Source: Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II, Bureau of Ships Navy Department, December, 1949,
    Photo No. 82 - Looking aft at hole in starboard shell plating where the mine struck the ship
    Photo No. 83 - Showing hole in main deck, port side from overhead from superstructure. Below deck level is being cleaned out before rebuilding the inside hull and then main deck structures
    Photo No. 89 - Temporary mine damage repair showing connection between transverse frames and undamaged wooden hull structure
    Photo No. 93 - Structural supports for main the deck are shown in this photo
    Mike Green
    Photo No. 83
    Photo No. 89
    Photo No. 93

    USS Viburnum (AN-57)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Smith, Benjamin Adams, USNR27 June 1944 - 15 December 1944
    02LT. Church, A. B., USNR15 December 1944 - 12 July 1945
    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
    Net Tender Stories

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 18 August 2017