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USS Alchiba (AKA-6)
ex
USS Alchiba (AK-23) (1941 - 1943)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Echo - Juliet
NBEJ
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (28 Nov 43, 7 Dec 43) - Presidential Unit Citation - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal

Individual Awards

Purple Heart (3-KIA, 6-WIA, 7 December 1943)
Arcturus Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 15 August 1938, as MS Mormacdove, a Maritime Commission type (C2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 21), at Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Acquired by the US Navy 2 June 1941 from the Moore-McCormack Lines
  • Converted for Naval service at Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA.
  • Commissioned USS Alchiba (AK-23), 15 June 1941, at Boston, CDR. Allen P. Mullinix in command
  • During World War II USS Alchiba was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Thirteen, COMO. M.O. Carson USN (16);
    TransDiv Thirty-Seven and participated in the following campaigns:
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings
    7 to 9 August 1942
    Treasury-Bougainville operation
    November 1943
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal
    Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, 1 and 13 November 1943
     

  • Redesignated Attack Cargo Ship, (AKA-6), 1 February 1943
  • Decommissioned, 14 January 1946, at Portsmouth VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 25 February 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 19 July 1946, for disposal
  • Sold by the Maritime Commission in 1948, refitted for merchant service
  • Commercial Service
    Entered service in 1948 as the Dutch flagged MS Tjipanas
    Sold in 1967, renamed MS Tong Jit, Singapore flagged
    Final Disposition, sold in 1973 to a mainland-China shipbreaker at Whampoa,/style>
  • USS Alchiba earned three battle stars for the World War II service, and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for her service at Guadalcanal
    Specifications:
    Displacement 14,225 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 1"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 5"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 31
    Enlisted 325
    Largest Boom Capacity30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,705 DWT
    non-refrigerated 274,000 Cu ft
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40MM AA gun mounts
    four single .50 cal. machine guns
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 8,950 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one 2-stroke, 4 cylinder single-acting Sun Doxford Diesel engine
    five Diesel-drive 230Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

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    USS Alchiba (AK-23)
    Alchiba 83k USS Alchiba (AK-23) off Boston Navy Yard, MA., 18 June 1941.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24206, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 84k USS Alchiba (AK-23) off Boston Navy Yard, MA., 18 June 1941.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24207, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 93k USS Alchiba (AK-23) off Boston Navy Yard, MA., 18 June 1941.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24205, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 91k USS Alchiba (AK-23), circa early 1942. Note her camouflage scheme.
    US Navy photo # NH 97835, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 133k Guadalcanal-Tulagi Landings, 7-9 August 1942 - A US Marine Corps M2A4 "Stuart" light tank is hoisted from USS Alchiba (AK-23) into a LCM(2) landing craft, off the Guadalcanal invasion beaches on the first day of landings there, 7 August 1942.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-10973, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 100k USS Alchiba (AK-23) working cargo at the Aotea Quay in the port of Wellington, N.Z, in July 1942 while preparing for the upcoming Guadalcanal campaign, in September 1942.
    US National Archives photo
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Alchiba 79k USS Alchiba (AK-23) working cargo in the port of Wellington, N.Z, in July 1942 while preparing for the upcoming Guadalcanal campaign, in September 1942.
    US National Archives photo
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Alchiba
    USMC 52795
    84k Fighting fires in USS Alchiba (AK-23)'s forward holds, with the assistance of a tug (probably USS Bobolink (AT-131), while she was aground off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, circa late November 1942. Torpedoed on 28 November by the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-16 and torpedoed again on 7 December, she was salvaged and repaired. Note smoke venting from the top of her kingposts.
    US Marine Corps Photo # USMC 52795 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command and AP Wirephoto dated 14 July 1943
    US Naval Historical Center and Tommy Trampp
    Alchiba
    AP Wire photo 14 July 1943
    45k
    Alchiba 83k USS Alchiba (AK-23), afire off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, circa late November 1942, after she had been torpedoed in the forward holds. Alchiba was torpedoed on 28 November by the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-16. Her crew ran her aground and delivered her cargo while fighting fires, which burned until 2 December. She was torpedoed again on 7 December, but was salvaged and reentered service. Photo by Sgt. Robert Brenner.
    US Marine Corps photo # USMC 66457.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alchiba 90k USS Alchiba (AK-23), aground and afire off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, circa late November 1942. She had been torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-16 on 28 November. Men are handling cargo on the beach, possibly assisting in unloading Alchiba while she was fighting her fires. Note barbed wire fencing in the foreground.
    US Marine Corps photo # USMC 52796.
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Alchiba (AKA-6)
    Alchiba 139k Amidships looking aft plan view of USS Alchiba (AKA-6) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 31 July 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5542-43..
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 140k Aft plan view of USS Alchiba (AKA-6) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 31 July 1943. USS Suamico (AO-49) is pictured at left.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5541-43..
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 60k USS Alchiba (AKA-6) departing Mare Island Navy Yard, 4 August 1943. Note the imposing bridge front in this class and the semi-enclosed bridge wings.
    U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM. Photo # 19-N-49818.
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 83k USS Alchiba (AKA-6) underway off Mare Island Navy Yard, 4 August 1943.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-49818., a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Alchiba 72k Broadside view of USS Alchiba (AKA-6) underway off Mare Island Navy Yard, 4 August 1943. Alchiba was in overhaul at the shipyard from 3 June until 7 August 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5645-43..
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 82k Several ship's officers on the bridge of USS Alchiba (AKA-6) including LCDR. Clifford F. Esmiol USNR on the left, while at Mare Island Navy Yard, 7 August 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5725-43..
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 88k USS Alchiba (AKA-6)'s mascot "Bosun' McGee" at the gangway at Mare Island Navy Yard, 7 Aug 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5728-43..
    Darryl Baker
    Alchiba 77k USS Alchiba (AKA-6) at anchor, circa early 1945.
    US Navy photo # NH 78540 courtesy of James Russell.
    from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Commercial Service
    Alchiba 64k Ex-USS Alchiba (AKA-6) in commercial service as the Dutch flagged Royal Interocean Lines MS Tjipanas, circa 1950, location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Alchiba 70k MS Tjipanas underway, circa 1950s-1960s, location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Alchiba 77k Ex-USS Alchiba (AKA-6) in commercial service as the Singapore flagged MS Tong Jit underway in the Malacca Straits, date unknown.
    ©Airfoto, Malacca.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Alchiba (AK-23 / AKA-6)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Mullinix, Allen Prather15 June 1941 - 1941
    02CDR. Freeman Sr., James Shepherd :RADM1941 - 1943
    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
    Torpedo Damage, Solomon Islands, 28 November and 7 December 1942
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 1 March 2013