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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive
Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS, USN (Ret.)
USS Aquarius (AKA-16)
International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Lima - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)
USS Aquarius (AKA-16 was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Andromeda Class Attack Cargo Ship
Laid down, 28 April 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 205) at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Kearny, N.J.
Reclassified Attack Cargo Ship, (AKA-16), 1 February 1943
Launched, 23 July 1943
Acquired by the Navy, 20 August 1943
Commissioned USS Aquarius (AKA-16), 21 August 1943, CAPT. Raymond V. Marron USCG, in command
During World War II USS Aquarius was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater;
TransRon Twelve, COMO. H.B. Knowles USN (17);
TransDiv Thirty-Six, CAPT. G.W. Johnson USN (18) and participated in the following campaigns:
|Campaign and Dates
||Campaign and Dates
|Marshall Islands operation
Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, Roi and Namur Islands, 31 January to 8 February 1944
Leyte landings, San Pedro Bay, 13 to 27 October and 5 to 20 November 1944
|Bismarck Archipelago operation
Admiralty Island landings, 11 to 12 April 1944
Lingayen Gulf landings, 4 to 10 January 1945
Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 to 25 June 1944
Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 26 July 1944
|Manila Bay-Bicol operation
Zambales-Subic Bay, 29 to 31 January 1945
|Western Caroline Islands operation
Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 6 September to 14 October 1944
|Okinawa Gunto operation
Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 19 April 1945
Following World War II USS Aquarius was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:
Navy Occupation Service Medal
China Service Medal (extended)
|10 to 25 September 1945||21 to 23 November 1945
|25 to 27 November 1945||
Decommissioned, 23 May 1946, at Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Returned to the War Shipping Administration, 12 September 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Jones Point, Hudson River, N.Y.
Struck from the Naval Register, 13 November 1946
USS Aquarius earned eight battle stars for her World War II service
Laid up, 12 September 1946, in the Maritime Commission Hudson River Reserve Fleet
Custody transferred, 24 February 1947 to United States Line under a General Agency Agreement
Entered US Shipbuilding Corp. Shipyard, Yonkers, N.Y., 24 Mary 1947 for reconversion to merchant service
Sold, 23 December 1947 to United States Lines, renamed SS Pioneer Lake
United States Lines renamed the ship SS American Trapper in October 1956
Returned, title transfer, to the Maritime Administration, 11 January 1961
Bare Bottom Charter, 11 January 1961, to United States Lines
Laid up, 24 July 1965, in the Maritime Administration James River Reserve Fleet, Lee Hall, VA.
Leased, 28 August 1965, under a General Agency Agreement to United States Lines for MSTS operation
Laid up, 16 March 1967, in the Maritime Administration Hudson River Reserve Fleet
Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 8 May 1967, to Union Minerals & Alloys, Kearny N.J.
Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 13,900 t.(lt)
Length 459' 3"
Draft 26' 4" (lim)
Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
Cargo Capacity 4,895 DWT
Non-refrigerated - 394,108 Cu ft.
Refrigerated - 24.935 Cu ft.
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 NSFO - 11,010 Bbls
one De Laval steam turbine
two Combustion Engineering D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
double De Laval Main Reduction Gears
three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
single propeller, 6,000shp
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
|USS Aquarius (AKA-16)
||USS Aquarius (AKA-16) and USS Titania (AKA-13) at Pavuvu, Russell Islands, 28 April 1944, after bringing veterans of the Cape Gloucester Campaign to a rest camp. LCPs in the foreground, are from USS Wayne (APA-54), and being used as water taxis.
Note SC-2 radar antenna mounted atop Aquarius' forward kingposts. Photographed by Fitzgerald
USMC photo # 86265
|US Naval Historical Center
||USS Aquarius (AKA-16) and USS Titania (AKA-13) unload Marine veterans of the Cape Gloucester campaign at a rest camp at Pavuvu, Russell Islands, 28 April 1944.
US Coast Guard photo # 2271, from the collections of the US Coast Guard Historian's Office.
||USS Aquarius (AKA-16) and USS Titania (AKA-13) at Pavuvu, Russell Islands, 28 April 1944, after bringing veterans of the Cape Gloucester Campaign to a rest camp there. LCVPs in the left foreground are from USS Wayne (APA-54).
Photographed by Fitzgerald.
USMC photo # 86251
|US Naval Historical Center
||USS Aquarius (AKA-16) at anchor, date and location unknown.
| Merchant Service
United States Lines.
||Ex-USS Aquarius (AKA-16) as the US Lines SS American Trapper, moored to a buoy, date and location unknown.
Photo ©Alex Duncan.
USS Aquarius (AKA-16)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||CAPT. Marron, Raymond Victor USCG||21 August 1943 - 15 November 1944|
|02||CDR. Eskridge, Ira Edwin USCG :RADM||25 November 1944 - 11 April 1945|
|03||CDR. Whitfield, Edwin Clarence USCG||11 April 1945|
|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
Action Report - Landing of Occupation Forces, Nagasaki Japan, September 1945
MARAD Vessel History Database
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office - USS Aquarius AKA-16
Last Updated 26 January 2018
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|