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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Laertes (AR-20)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (2) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Xanthus Class Repair Ship:
  • Laid down, 7 August 1944, as Dutiful, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 2674) at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Inc., Baltimore, MD.
  • Intended for Great Britain as HMS Dutiful (F-176)
  • Launched, 14 September 1944
  • Acquired by the Navy, 28 September 1944
  • Retained by the US Navy
  • Commissioned USS Laertes (AR-20), 24 March 1945, CDR. Leslie H. Hawkinson USN in command
  • Decommissioned, 15 January 1947, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Recommissioned, 19 December 1951, at San Diego, CA., CAPT, Seth A. Shepard USN in command
  • During the Korean War USS Laertes participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    25 August 1952
    25 to 27 September 1952
    Third Korean Winter
    12 to 13 December 1952

  • Decommissioned, 26 February 1954, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Laertes earned two battle stars for Korean War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 10 July 1972, to Zidell Explorations, Portland, OR. under MARAD contract PD-X-940 of 12 June 1972, for $121,349.99. Delivered, 8 September 1972
    Displacement 5,801 t.(lt) 14,350 t.(trial)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 22'
    Speed 12.5 kts.
    Officers 27
    Enlisted 1,497
    Largest Boom Capacity 12 t,
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    three single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 8,000 Bbls
    Diesel 2,200 Bbls
    one Hoover, Owens, Rentschler Co. triple expansion steam engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 2230psi 450°
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 500Kw 450V A.C.
    two turbo-drive 60Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,500shp

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    Laertes - In Greek mythology, Laertes was the father of Odysseus, an Argonaut, and a participant in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. His title was King of the Cephallenians, an ethnic group who lived both on the Ionian islands and on the mainland, which he presumably inherited from his father Arcesius and grandfather Cephalus. His realm included Ithaca and surrounding islands, and perhaps even the neighboring part of the mainland of other Greek city-states.
    Odysseus meets his father Laertes on his return to Ithaca (Theodoor van Thulden, 1600)
    Tommy Trampp
    Laertes 103k USS Laertes (AR-20) in Chesapeake Bay off the Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, MD., 24 March 1945, the day she completed conversion.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. photo # 19-N-80869, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Laertes 111k USS Laertes (AR-20) underway off Norfolk, VA, 1 April 1945
    US Navy photo # NH 96913 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Laertes 54k USS Laertes (AR-20) enroute to Sasebo, Japan in 1952 Jerry O Johnson BM3 USN, USS Laertes1949-1958
    Laertes 88k USS Laertes (AR-20) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Laertes 58k USS Laertes (AR-20) at Sasebo, Japan, with nine minesweepers and a harbor tug alongside, 8 October 1952.
    Ships nested on her port side are (from left):
    USS Impeccable (AM-320);
    USS Gladiator (AM-319);
    USS Shoveler (AM-382);
    USS Defense (AM-317) and
    USS Devastator (AM-318)
    Ships nested to starboard are (from left):
    USS Condor (AMS-5);
    USS Kite (AMS-22);
    USS Curlew (AMS-8);
    USS Chatterer (AMS-40)
    Wallacut (YTB-420)
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-63229 a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Laertes 70k Ex-USS Laertes (AR-20) at the breakers yard, Tacoma, WA., circa 1972 David Nixon
    Laertes 63k Ex-USS Laertes (AR-20) at the breakers yard, Tacoma, WA., circa 1972 David Nixon

    USS Laertes (AR-20)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Hawkinson, Leslie Herman, USN (USNA 1924)24 March 1945 - 16 June 1946
    02LCDR. Lee, Carl Fred, USN16 June 1946 - 4 January 1947
    03LT. Coben, Charles Edward, USN4 January 1947 - 15 January 1947
      Decommissioned15 January 1947 - 19 December 1951
    02CAPT. Shepard, Seth Armstrong, USN (USNA 1926)19 December 1951 - 1952
    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 Ship Photo Index Back To The Repair Ship (AR) 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 August 2020