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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Bellatrix (AKA-3)
ex


AKA-3 - International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Hotel - Echo
NXHE

USS Bellatrix (AK-20) (1942 - 1943)

AK-20 - International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Oscar - Juliet
NAOJ
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (1) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal



USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) was transferred to Peru and renamed BAP Independencia (D-21)
Arcturus Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down as SS Raven, a Maritime Commission type (C2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 126) at Tampa Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Tampa FL.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 16 April 1941
  • Launched, 15 August 1941
  • Commissioned USS Bellatrix (AK-20), 17 February 1942, CDR. William F. Dietrich USN in command
  • Redesignated Attack Cargo Ship, (AKA-3), 1 February 1943
  • During World War II USS Bellatrix served in both the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater where she was assigned to:
    TransRon Ten
    TransDiv One (flagship), CAPT. B. Bartlett USN (22) and participated in the following campaigns
  • :

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Sicilian occupation, 9 to 15 July 1943 Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7 to 9 August 1942
      Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
    8 to 9, and 14 September and 15 and 25 October 1942
      Gilbert Islands operation
    Attack and occupation of Tarawa, 20 November to 7 December 1943
      Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 16 to 22 June 1944

  • Decommissioned, 1 April 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 May 1946
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 30 June 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Reacquired by the Navy, 27 August 1951
  • Recommissioned, 16 May 1952, CAPT. Stanley W. Carr, USNR, in command
  • During the Korean War USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) participated in the:

    Korean War Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    17 to 18 October 1952

  • Decommissioned, 3 June 1955, at San Francisco. CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Stuck from the Naval Register, 6 June 1960
  • Reinstated on the Naval Vessel Register on 15 March 1963
  • Transferred on loan to Peru in July 1963, renamed BAP Independencia (D-130)
  • Stuck from the Naval Register, 14 November 1963
  • USS Bellatrix earned five battle stars World War II service and one battle star for Korean War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in 1991
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,480 t. (lt) 14,225 t. (fl.)
    Length 459' 3"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 25' 6"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 43
    Enlisted 326
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,515DWT
    Non-refrigerated 262,095 Cu. Ft.
    Refrigerated 36,180 Cu. Ft.
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 8,950 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one Nordberg Diesel TSM engine
    single propeller, 6,000shp
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 300Kw, 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 150Kw 120V/240V D.C.

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Bellatrix (AK-20)
    Bellatrix 78k USS Bellatrix (AK-20), off Tampa, FL., circa March 1942. Her camouflage is Design 12(modified). Her armament is partly visible. Note the large centreline kingposts that were added to the primary kingpost pairs fore and aft to enable the ship to lift heavy boats.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-28450, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center.
    USS Bellatrix (AKA-3)
    Bellatrix 86k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) anchored at San Diego, 19 February 1943.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-41568, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 67k Bows on view of USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) while at anchor off San Francisco, CA., 10 March 1944.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 1669-44, 3/10/44
    Darryl Baker
    Bellatrix 86k Stern view of USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) while at anchor off San Francisco, CA., 10 March 1944.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 1670-44, 3/10/44
    Darryl Baker
    Bellatrix 61k Broadside view of USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) while at anchor off San Francisco, CA., 10 March 1944.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 1671-44, 3/10/44
    Darryl Baker
    Bellatrix 93k Amidship view, looking forward of USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) while moored pierside at San Francisco, CA., 13 March 1944.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 1637-44, 3/13/44
    Darryl Baker
    Bellatrix 101k Amidship view, looking aft of USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) while moored pierside at San Francisco, CA., 13 March 1944.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 1638-44, 3/13/44
    Darryl Baker
    Bellatrix 106k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) underway, circa the mid-1950s.
    US Navy photo # NH 91925, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Tom Kermen,
    courtesy of Pete Killie, for his father, Ronald Killie, USS Bellatrix 1943.
    Bellatrix 39k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) underway, circa 1953, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 138k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) underway, date and location unknown. Tom Kermen,
    courtesy of Bill Gurrola.
    Bellatrix 123k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) annotated antenna arrangement photograph, taken at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, CA. 1 February 1955. The lines of light radio antennas have been retouched to make them more visible.
    US Navy photo # NH 84532, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center.
    Bellatrix 58k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) underway circa 1957, location unknown. She shows the triple Welin davits for LCVPs alongside her deckhouse. Note also the extra kingposts needed to handle LCMs.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Ships and Craft", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 104k USS Bellatrix (AKA-3), underway, circa the mid-1950s.
    US Navy photo # NH 91926, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center.
    BAP Independencia (D-21 / D-31 / D-130)
    Bellatrix 106k Ex-USS Bellatrix (AKA-3) in Peruvian naval service as BAP Independencia (D-21) in harbor secured to a mooring buoy, circa 1964, location unknown.
    Official Peruvian Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 35k BAP Independencia (D-21) at anchor, circa 1966, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 119k BAP Independencia (D-31) moored pierside at Rodman Naval Station, Panama, June of 1976. Photo by CAPT. Peter M. Leenhouts USN (Ret)
    Bellatrix 61k BAP Independencia (D-31) under way, circa 1970, location unknown.
    Peruvian Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Bellatrix 67k BAP Independencia (D-130) moored pierside at Hamburg, Germany, October 1977. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Bellatrix 115k BAP Independencia (D-130) moored in the harbor at Callo, Peru, date unknown. The tanker in the ship in the foreground is the support tanker BAP Lobitos (159).
    Photo by Karsten Petersen
    Robert Hurst

    USS Bellatrix (AK-20 / AKA-3)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Dietrich, William Francis :RADM17 February 1942 - 13 February 1943AK-20/AKA-3
    02CAPT. Ritchie, Oliver Henderson, USN (USNA 1916) :RADM13 February 1943 - 20 October 1943AKA-3
    03CDR. Joans, Charles A.20 October 1943 - 8 February 1944AKA-3
    04CDR. Anderson, Edward Joseph8 February 1944 - 14 May 1945AKA-3
    05CDR. Hendirckson, Adolf F.14 May 1945 - ?AKA-3
    06CDR. Evans, Jack LavelleOctober 1945 - 1 April 1946AKA-3
     Decommissioned1 April 1946 - 16 May 1952 
    06CAPT. Carr, Stanley Webster16 May 1952 - ?AKA-3
    08CAPT. Houston, Robert CecilDecember 1954 - 3 June 1955AKA-3
    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 Data Base

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 13 October 2017