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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Cepheus (AKA-18)



International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Papa - Golf
NXPG
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)



USS Cepheus (AKA-18) was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Andromeda Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 207) at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.
  • Allocated to the US Navy as AK-67
  • Launched, 23 October 1943
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 15 December 1943
  • Commissioned USS Cepheus (AKA-18), 16 December 1943, CAPT. Robert B. Hall, USCG, in command
  • During WWII USS Cepheus was assigned first to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and then to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater under the command of; TransRon Eighteen, COMO J. G. Moyer USN (14);
    TransDiv Fifty-Two and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Invasion of southern France
    Saint Raphael, 15 to 25 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 15 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Cepheus was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    22 to 30 September 194526 December 1945 to 22 January 1946
    19 to 29 October 1945 

  • Decommissioned, 22 May 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 12 September 1946, at the Maritime Commission National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group, Jones Point, N.Y.
  • Sold for commercial service to US Lines, 8 October 1947, renamed SS Pioneer Sea
  • Renamed SS American Hunter in September 1956
  • Sold to Sperling Steamship and Training Corp., 1 March 1966, renamed SS Brookville
  • Served in the US east-coast to Pacific trade, delivering commercial and military cargo to the Far East via the Panama Canal
  • Final Disposition, 3 April 1968, being on a ballast voyage home from Sattahip (Thailand) to Tampa, FL, she ran aground at full speed on a reef off Honduras and was heavily damaged. Refloating not being possible, she was finally abandoned as a total loss
  • USS Cepheus received two battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt), 14,200 t.(lt)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 44
    Enlisted 360
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,895 DWT
    non-refrigerated 420,000 Cu. ft.
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3'?50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Boats
    eight LCMs
    one LCP(L)
    fifteen LCVPs
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 11,010
    Propulsion
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single shaft, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Cepheus (AKA-18)
    Cepheus 76k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) conducting amphibious operations off Honolulu, T.H. in 1945. From the photo diary of Edward R. Mueller, SC/2c USS Cepheus
    Commercial Service
    Cepheus 341k Ex-USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway while in commercial as the US Lines SS American Hunter, date and location unknown.
    Original copyright belonged to the late British ship photo dealer Alex Duncan.
    Gerhard Muller-Debus

    USS Cepheus (AKA-18)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Hall, Robert B. USCG :RADM16 December 1943 - 1944
    02CDR. Sarratt Jr., Robert Clifton USCG16 June 1944 - 6 June 1945
    03CAPT. McKay, Donald E. USCG :RADM11 June 1945 - January 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
    U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office - USS Cepheus AKA-18
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To the Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Cargo Ship (AKA) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 April 2013