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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11)
ex
USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) (1941 - 1943)


Flag Hoist/International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Alpha - Oscar
NBAO
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (2)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)


Arcturus Class Cargo Ship:
  • Launched, 18 July 1939, as MV Mormaclark, a Maritime Commission type (C2), hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 31) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Purchased by the Navy, 29 May 1941
  • Converted for naval service at Brewer Dry Dock Co., Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Betelgeuse (AK-28), 14 June 1941, CDR. Harry D. Power in command
  • Redesignated Attack Cargo Ship , (AKA-11), 1 February 1943
  • During World War II USS Betelgeuse served in both the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
    Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7 to 9 August 1942 Sicilian occupation, 9 to 1 July 1943
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 11 and 12 December 1942 Invasion of southern France, 15 August to 25 September 1944
    Guadalcanal (Third Savo), 12 to 15 November 1942  
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 9 April 1945
     

  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Betelgeuse came under the command of:
    TransRon Eighteen COMO. J.G. Moyer USN (14);
    TransDiv Fifty-Four, CAPT. J.R. Lannom USN (19)
  • Following World War II USS Betelgeuse was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    4 to 12 October 1945
    20 October to 2 November 1945

  • Decommissioned, 15 March 1946, at New York Naval Shipyard.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 March 1946
  • Sold for commercial service to Compania Naviera Republica, Panama, resold , 24 July 1947 to Johnson Lines (Sweden) and registered in Panama with Compania Naviera Puerta del Sur, renamed SS Star Betelgeuse, placed in service on Johnson Line's Far East route
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in 1972, arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 7 April 1972 for dismantling
  • USS Betelgeuse earned six battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 14,225 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 1"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 5"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 34
    Enlisted 524
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,785DWT
    non-refrigerated 266,488 Cu ft.
    refrigerated 28,300 Cu ft.
    Armament
    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
    Propulsion
    one 2-stroke, 4 cylinder single-acting Sun Doxford Diesel engine
    five 230Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Betelgeuse (AK-28)
    Betelgeuse 90k MV Mormaclark at Brewer Ship Yard, Staten Island, NY, 6 June 1941, undergoing conversion to Betelgeuse (AK-28).
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24240, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    Fred Weiss
    Betelgeuse 81k MV Mormaclark at Brewer Ship Yard, Staten Island, NY, 6 June 1941, undergoing conversion to Betelgeuse (AK-28).
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-24239, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the US National Archives.
    Fred Weiss
    Betelgeuse 111k USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) alongside the pier at Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 8 June 1942. Note the complex pattern camouflage, Measure 12(modified), applied to this ship. The original photo was in a report on Tongatabu held by the US Marine Corps Historical Center Library, 1980.
    US Navy photo # NH 91173, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Fred Weiss
    Betelgeuse 93k USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) photographed circa 1942 displaying her original hull number.
    US National Archives RG-80-G, photo # 80-G-31906, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Betelgeuse 111k USS Betelgeuse (AK-28), and the other ships of the invasion force steaming out of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area during the afternoon of 9 August 1942. Photographed from USS Chicago (CA-29), the view looks eastward, with USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) at right and Guadalcanal island in the distance.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-231868, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Betelgeuse 111k USS Betelgeuse (AK-28), and the other ships of the invasion force steaming out of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area during the afternoon of 9 August 1942. Photographed from USS Chicago (CA-29), the view looks eastward, with USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) at right and Guadalcanal island in the distance.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-231869, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Betelgeuse 111k During the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-15 November 1942 smoke rises from two enemy planes shot down during a Japanese air attack on US ships off Guadalcanal, 12 November 1942. Photographed from USS President Adams (AP-38). At right is USS Betelgeuse (AK-28), at left, barely visible beyond USS President Adams (AP-38) is USS Libra (AK-53). Smoke in the center distance appears to be a smoke screen.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-32376, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11)
    Betelgeuse 27k USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11) in dry dock, date and location unknown. Johnson Line, web site
    Betelgeuse 37k Starboard broadside view of USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11) underway on the Cooper River off Charleston, S.C., 10 April 1943.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo #600-43.
    Robert Hall
    Betelgeuse 32k USS Betelgeuse (AKA-11) underway, 4 October 1943, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Lou Sander

    USS Betelgeuse (AK-28 / AKA-11)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Power, Harry Douglas14 June 1941 - ?
    02LCDR. Youngjohns, Edward Joseph16 March 1943 - 12 April 1943
    03CDR. Grube, John Franklin12 April 1943 - ?
    05CDR. Webb, Warren E.3 December 1944 - ?
    06LCDR. Ames, Kirk D.4 November 1945 - 15 March 1946
    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 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
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 18 July 2014