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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive
USS Comet (AP-166)
/International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Whiskey - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 15 June 1944, Saipan) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)
La Salle Class Transport:
Laid down in 1942 as SS Comet, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 293) at Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, CA.
Launched, 21 December 1942
Converted for the WSA by Matson Navigation, San Francisco, CA., 11 November 1943 to 16 February 1944
Transferred to the Mississippi Shipping Co., under General Agency Agreement, 14 August 1943
Commissioned USS Comet (AP-166), 15 February 1944, CDR. Vard F. Stieglitz, USNR, in command
During World War II USS Comet was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:
|Campaign and Dates
||Campaign and Dates
Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 22 June 1944
Capture and occupation of Guam, 23 to 29 July 1944
Leyte landings, 30 October and 18 November 1944
Following World War II USS Comet was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:
Decommissioned, 14 August 1946, at Seattle, WA.
Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
USS Comet earned two battle stars for World War II service
Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 8 November 1946 for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
Sold, 26 August1948 by the Maritime Administration to United States Lines subsidiary American Pioneer Lines, renamed SS Pioneer Reef
Sold, 29 June 1965, to Farrell Lines Inc., renamed SS Australian Reef
Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Keun Hwa Iron Steel Works & Enterprises, Kaohsiung, Taiwan in May 1970
Navy Occupation Service Medal
China Service Medal (extended)
|10 to 17 March 1946||8 to 11 February 1946
| ||18 to 23 March 1946
| ||27 March to 15 April 1946
| ||5 to 15 May 1946
Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 13,910 t.(fl)
Length 459' 2"
Draft 23' (lim)
Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
Cargo Capacity 2,100 DWT
refrigerated 10,321 Cu ft
non-refrigerated 135,935 Cu ft
Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts
NSFO 10,300 Bbls
Diesel 880 bbls
one General Electric steam turbine
two Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, 450psi 750°
double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
three 250Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
single propeller, 6,000hp
|Click On Image |
For Full Size Image
|USS Comet (AP-166)
||USS Comet (AP-166) under way, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo.
|Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
||USS Comet (AP-166) under way, date and location unknown
||Donated by the family of Frank Malinoski S1/c USS Comet
||USS Comet (AP-166) preparing to conduct a mid-Pacific underway replenishment evolution with an unidentified ship, date and location unknown.
US National Archives Identifier 205584445 Local Identifier 26-G-2149, US Coast Guard photo 2149
| Merchant Service
American Pioneer Line
||Ex-Comet (AP-166) in merchant service as the American Pioneer Lines SS Pioneer Reef, berthed at the Wooloomooloo Docks, Sydney, Australia, late-1950s. Note she is in U.S Lines colors.
||SS Pioneer Reef approaching Adelaide, South Australia in the early Sixties. This photograph was originally copyrighted by British ship photo dealer Alex Duncan, from whom I had bought this copy.
USS Comet (AP-166)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||CDR. Stieglitz, Vard F. USNR||15 February 1944 - 9 July 1944|
|02||LCDR. Fonda, Theodore C.||9 July 1944 - 23 December 1944|
|03||LT. Blee, James B.||23 December 1944 - 6 February 1945|
|04||LCDR. Fonda, Theodore C.||6 February 1945 - 1946|
|05||CDR. Flanagan, William Patrick||1946 - 14 August 1946|
|Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
MARAD Vessel History Database
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
Last Updated 9 July 2021
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|