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


Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS USN Ret.

USS Libra (LKA-12)
ex
USS Libra (AKA-12) (1943 - 1969)
USS Libra (AK-53) (1942 - 1943)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Quebec - Whiskey
NAQW
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (9) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)


Arcturus Class Cargo Ship
  • Laid down as MV Jean Lykes a Maritime Commissions type (C2-F) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 130) at Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. Kearny, N.J. for Lykes Bros. Steamship Co.
  • Launched, 12 November 1941
  • Acquired by the Navy, 30 December 1941
  • Commissioned USS Libra (AK-53), 13 May 1942, CDR. W. B. Fletcher in command
  • During WWII USS Libra was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Eleven, COMO. D.W. Loomis USN (18);
    TransDiv Thirty-Two, CAPT. C.W. Weitzel and participated in the following campaigns:
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7 to 9 August 1942 New Georgia Group operation
    New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation, 30 June 1944
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 11 to 12 November 1942 Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 25 July 1944
    Guadalcanal (Third Savo), 12 to 15 November 1942 Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 11 January 1945
    Consolidation of Solomon Islands
    Consolidation of souther Solomon Islands, 7 April 1943
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 6 March 1945
    Treasury-Bougainville operation
    Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, 1 and 8 to 9 November 1943
     

  • Reclassified Attack Cargo Ship (AKA-12), 1 February 1943
  • Decommissioned, 12 April 1948, at Boston, MA.
  • Following World War II USS Libra was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 September to 17 October 1945
    5 to 22 November 1945

  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Recommissioned, 28 August 1950
  • Decommissioned, 6 October 1955, at Charleston S.C.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Charleston Group
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration and reassigned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Redesignated Amphibious Transport (LKA-12), 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 January 1977
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall , VA.
  • Withdrawn from reserve by the Navy, 20 January 1984, for stripping
  • Returned to the Reserve Fleet, 31 July 1984, after stripping was completed
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 17 April 1975
  • USS Libra received nine battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 5,185 t.(lt) 14,225 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 5" (lim)
    Speed 15.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 49
    Enlisted 445
    Largest Boom Capacity 40 t.
    Cargo Capacity
    Non-refrigerated 364,038 Cu ft
    Refrigerated 7,280 Cu ft
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Boats
    one LCP(L)
    eight LCM(3)
    sixteen LCVP
    Fuel Capacity
    NFSO 10,670 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gear
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 250Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    two Diesel 60Kw 120V/240V. D. C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Libra (AK-53)
    Libra 134k USS Libra (AK-53) 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
    Libra 101k USS Libra (AK-53) 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
    Libra 125k USS Libra (AK-53) 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
    USS Libra (AKA-12)
    Libra 135k Forward plan view of USS Libra (AKA-12) at Mare Island, 12 December 1946. Libra was under repairs at the yard from 11 October to 13 December 1946. The stern of either USS Buck (DD-761) or USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752) is visible forward of Libra.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3976-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Libra 67k Bow on view of USS Libra (AKA-12) at Mare Island, 12 December 1946. The tug Awatobi (YTB 264) is alongside.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3997-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Libra 55k Stern view of USS Libra (AKA-12) off Mare Island, 12 December 1946.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3998-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Libra 35k Broadside view of USS Libra (AKA-12) off Mare Island, 12 December 1946.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 4001-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Libra 87k USS Libra (AKA-12), underway in Hampton Roads, VA. 11 August 1952. Photo by PH3 W.T. Sanders, of Fleet Camera Party 11.
    US Navy photo # NH 97856 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Adirondack 53k The bow of USS Libra (AKA-12) is visible to the starboard of USS Galilea (AKN-6) which is moored to the starboard side of USS Adirondack (AGC-15) in the James River Reserve Fleet, 27 May 1962. The stern of Galilea shows the condition of the ship when her conversion from LSV to AKN was canceled incomplete in December 1946. Libra and a few other early AKAs can be recognized by the heavy central kingposts added to the goalpost masts forward and aft of the bridge.
    US Navy photo # NH 66856 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Ted Stone Collection
    Robert Hurst

    USS Libra (AKA-12)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Fletcher Jr., William Bartlett :RADM13 May 1942 - 2 July 1943
    02CDR. Ferris, Floyd F.2 July 1943 - 31 July 1944
    03CDR. McCormick, George William31 July 1944 - 20 August 1945
    04LCDR. Smith Jr., Philip M.20 August 1945 - 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