Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Alhena (AKA-9)
ex
USS Alhena (AK-26) (1941 - 1942)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Whiskey - Zulu
NAWZ
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - 29 September 1943, October-November 1943, 15-23 June 1944) - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (1)

Personnel Awards

Purple Hearts (29 September 1943 - 4-KIA, 20-WIA, 1-MIA)

Alhena Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 19 June 1940, as SS Robin Kettering, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 74), at Bethlehem Steel Co., Sparrows Point Yard, MD.
  • Launched, 18 January 1941
  • Purchased by the Navy, 31 May 1941, from the Robin Line of the Seas Shipping Co., New York City, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Alhena (AK-26), 15 June 1941, at Hoboken, N.J., CDR. Charles B. Hunt in command
  • During World War II USS Alhena was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater;
    TransRon Eleven, COMO. D.W. Loomis USN (18);
    TransDiv Thirty-One and participated in the following campaigns:
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7 to 9 August 1942 Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 23 June 1944
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 29 September 1942 Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Treasury-Bougainville operation
    Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, 1 and 13 November 1943
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 9 March 1945

  • Redesignated Attack Cargo Ship (AKA-9), 26 November 1942
  • 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)
    12 to 21 September 194525 January to 2 February 1946
    13 October to 19 November 1945 
    22 to 23 January 1946 

  • Decommissioned, 22 May 1946, at Bayonne, N.J.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 August 1946
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 12 September 1946 for lay up in th National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group, Jones Point, N,Y.
  • Commercial Service
    Purchased by Seas Shipping Co., 16 October 1947
    Sold in June 1957 by Seas Shipping Co., to Flying Hawk Inc., renamed SS Flying Hawk
    Sold in June 1962 to American Export Lines, later Isbrantsen Lines
    Final Disposition, retired from service and scrapped in 1971
  • USS Alhena earned six battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,101 t.(lt) 15,080 t.(fl)
    Length 479' 8"
    Beam 66'
    Draft 20' 9" (max)
    Speed 16.6kts.
    Complement
    Officers 75
    Enlisted 371
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,885 DWT
    refrigerated 7,930 Cu ft
    non-refrigerated 410,197 Cu ft
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 11,810 Bbls
    Diesel 1,175 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one Bethlehem Shipbuilding steam turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,300shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Robin Kettering
    Alhena 92k SS Robin Kettering, at Tietjen-Lang Dry Dock Co., Hoboken, NJ, undergoing conversion to Navy ship, Alhena (AK-26), 6 June 1941. The upperworks have been partially painted over with probable Measure One camouflage, and stages have been rigged for removing the civilian name and company markings on the hull.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24236, A US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Alhena (AK-26)
    Alhena 95k USS Alhena (AK-26) moored, 20 June 1941. Her conversion appears complete and the ship is in commission. Typical of most AK conversions of this period, she lacks any armament.
    US National Archives RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-24427
    a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Alhena
    80-G-18024
    67k USS Alhena (AK-26) barely making way. circa early 1942 before installation of her armament. Note he camouflage is now Measure 12(modified).
    US National Archives, RG-80-G, photo #'s 80-G-18024 & 80-G-18020
    US Navy photo
    Lou Sanders and Robert Hurst
    Alhena
    80-G-18020
    72k
    USS Alhena (AKA-9)
    Alhena
    80-G-80629
    87k USS Alhena (AKA-9) underway in San Francisco Bay, 5 October 1944. She has been refitted with two quadruped masts.U S National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo #'s 19-N-80629, 19-N-80627 & 19-N-80630 Robert Hurst
    Alhena
    80-G-80627
    52k
    Alhena
    80-G-80630
    85k
    Alhena 143k Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 10 November 1944. Small craft gathered around USS Mindanao (ARG-3) during salvage and rescue efforts shortly after USS Mount Hood (AE-11) blew up about 350 yards away from Mindanao's port side. Mindanao, and seven motor minesweepers (YMS) moored to her starboard side, were damaged by the blast, as were USS Alhena (AKA-9), in the photo's top left center, and USS Oberrender (DE-344), in top right. Note the extensive oil slick, with tracks through it made by small craft.
    US Navy photo # NH 95050 copied from the War Diary, Manus Naval Base, for November 1944.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Alhena 43k USS Alhena (AKA-9) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy from "All Hands" magazine, February 1950.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Alhena 129k USS Alhena (AKA-9) wardroom, date unknown. Jack Dyer for his father LCDR Charles J. Dyer USS Alhena

    USS Alhena (AKA-9)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Hunt, Charles Boardman15 June 1941 - August 1942
    02CDR. Bradbury, Howard William16 December 1942 - March 1944
    03CDR. Erickson, Raymond Calvert10 July 1944 - ?
    04CDR. Sylvester, Malcolm Duncan :RADM5 March 1945 - 22 March 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The Amphibious Cargo Ship (AKA) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 April 2013