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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive
USS Arcturus (AKA-1)
USS Arcturus (AK-18) (1940 - 1943)
International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Golf - Golf
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 Service Medal (with "A" device) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (4)
Third Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Purple Heart, 8-10 September 1943 -Salerno Landing (7 KIA, 4 WIA)
Arcturus Class Attack Cargo Ship
Laid down, 26 July 1938, as MV Mormachawk, a Maritime Commission type (C2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 19) at
Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA. for Moore-McCormack Lines
Launched, 18 May 1938
Acquired by the Navy, 20 September 1940
Converted for Naval Service at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
Commissioned USS Arcturus (AK-18), 26 October 1940, CDR. Russell C. Bartman USN in command
During World War II USS Arcturus was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater under the command of;
TransRon Eleven, COMO. D.W. Loomis USN (18);
TransDiv Thirty-Two, CAPT. C.W. Weitzel and participated in the following campaigns:
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
|North Africa occupation
Fedhala, Morocco, 8 to 11 November 1942
|Okinawa Gunto operation
Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, (Hagushi beachhead), 1 to 14 April 1945
Scoglitti, 9 to 15 July 1943
Paestum, 9 to 21 September 1943
|Invasion of Southern France
La Nartelle, 15 August to 25 September 1944
Reclassified Attack Cargo Ship (AKA-1), 1 February 1943
Following World War II USS Arcturus was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:
Navy Occupation Service Medal
China Service Medal (extended)
|2 to 28 September 1945||29 September to 11 October 1945
|8 to 11 November 1945||12 November to 6 December 1945
Decommissioned, 3 April 1946, at Portsmouth, VA.
Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 2 July 1946, for disposal
Sold, 17 March 1947, by the Maritime Commission for merchant service to Johnson Line (Sweden), registered in Panama with Compania Naviera Puerta del Sur,
renamed MV Star Arcturus and placed in service on Johnson Line's Far East route
Final Disposition, (Swedish sources) MV Star Arcturus arrived at Miyachi Salvage KK, Tadotsu, Japan, 15 August 1971, for scrapping
USS Arcturus was awarded five battle stars for her World War II service
Displacement 7,480 t. (lt) 14,225 t. (fl.)
Length 459' 1"
Draft 25' 5"
Speed 16.5 kts.
Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
Cargo Capacity 4,410 DWT
Non-refrigerated 336,254 Cu. Ft.
Refrigerated 18,395 Cu. Ft.
one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
Fuel Capacity Diesel 8,950 Bbls
one Sun Nordberg Diesel engine
five Diesel-drive Ships's Service Generator, 230Kw 120V/240V D.C.
single propeller, 6,000shp
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
| Merchant Service
||Miss Mollie Foulks Lee christening Moore-McCormack Line's SS Mormachawk as the ship is launched, 18 May 1938, at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
||Moore-McCormack Line's SS Mormachawk underway, date and location unknown.
|USS Arcturus (AK-18)
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation of Bo÷tes, the fourth-brightest in the night sky, and the brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere.
||USS Arcturus (AK-18) under way, date and location unknown. Her camouflage is Measure 12(modified).
|USS Arcturus (AKA-1)
||Boat plan stowage for USS Arcturus (AKA-1) dated December 1944.
US Navy Bureau of Ships photo from
"U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft" by Norman Friedman.
||USS Arcturus (AKA-1) moored at Norfolk Navy Yard, 9 May 1943, with landing craft embarked.
US Naval History and
Heritage Command photo # 19-N-47662, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy Shipscribe.com
| Post WWII Merchant Service
||Ex-USS Arcturus (AK-18) under way while in merchant service as the Johnson Line MV Star Arcturus (Swedish owned).
USS Arcturus (AK-18 / AKA-1)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||CDR. Bartman, Russell Clyde||26 October 1940 - 15 September 1942||AK-18|
|02||CDR. Hartley, Henry, USN||15 September 1942 - 15 September 1942||AK-18|
|03||CDR. McKinney, John Reid||28 September 1942 - 21 July 1943||AK-18|
|04||LCDR. Vischio, Attilo Anthony||21 July 1943 - 1944||AKA-1|
|05||CAPT. Wooldson, Charles Philip||1944 - 11 November 1944||AKA-1|
|06||CDR. Miller, Charles Horace Kendall||11 November 1944 - 1945||AKA-1|
|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
USS Arcturus (AK-18) War Diary, 29 April 1942 to 1 February 1943
USS Arcturus (AKA-1) War Diary, 2 February 1943 to 11 November 1945
Postal Covers related to the ship
Last Updated 16 October 2020
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|