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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USNS Thor (T-ARC-4)
USS Thor (ARC-4) (1956 - 1973)
USS Vanadis (AKA-49) (1945 - 1956)

Thor International Radio Call Sign:
November - Lima - Kilo - Tango
Vanadis International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Oscar - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2)

Artemis Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 18 April 1945, as a Maritime Commission type (S4-SE2-BE1), hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1910) at Welsh-Kaiser Co. Providence, R.I.
  • Launched, 8 June 1945
  • Commissioned USS Vanadis (AKA-49), 9 July 1945, LCDR. E. B. Williams in command
  • Decommissioned, 27 March 1946, at Boston MA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 5 June 1946
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Reacquired, 14 April 1955, by the US Navy for conversion to a Cable Repair Ship
  • Recommissioned USS Thor (ARC-4), 3 January 1956, CDR. Robert H. Thomas in command
  • Decommissioned, 2 July 1973, at Portsmouth, VA. and simultaneously placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as USNS Thor (T-ARC-4)
  • Placed out of service and returned to the Maritime Administration in April 1974, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 22 September 1977
    AKA Specifications:
    Displacement 4,087 t.(lt) 7,080 t(fl)
    Length 426'
    Beam 58'
    Draft 16' (lim)
    Speed 16.9 kts.
    Officers 27
    Enlisted 276
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    ten single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo capacity 980 DWT
    non-refrigerated 110,000 Cu. ft.
    one LCP(L)
    twelve LCVPs
    two LCMs
    Troop Capacity 264
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 9,540 Bbls
    Diesel 365 Bbls
    two Westinghouse turbo-electric engines
    two Wickes boilers, 450psi 750°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 150Kw 450V A.C.
    two turbo-drive 250Kw 450V A.C.
    twin propellers, 6,000shp.

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Thor (ARC-4)
    Thor - In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with lightning, thunder, storms, sacred groves and trees, strength, the protection of mankind and also hallowing and fertility. Thor also occurs in Old English as Şunor, in Old Frisian as Thuner, in Old Saxon as Thunar, and in Old High German as Donar, all ultimately stemming from the Proto-Germanic theonym *Şun(a)raz, meaning 'Thunder'. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - Thor's Fight with the Giants (1872) by Mårten Eskil Winge (1825–1896), Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden. (Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Thor 79k USS Thor (ARC-4), date and location unknown. Ramon Jackson
    Thor 133k USS Thor (ARC-4), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Thor 68k USS Thor (ARC-4) and USS Opportune (ARS-41) working together, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine February 1954.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    109k USS Thor (ARC-4) underway, circa 1957, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1958-59 Edition.
    Robert Hurst
    74k USS Thor (ARC-4) underway off Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, after regular overhaul, 23 January 1958.
    US Naval Shipyard San Francisco photo # MSR-18897-L-1-58
    Tommy Trampp
    Thor 35k USS Thor (ARC-4) anchored off the northern tip of Grand Turk Island in November 1959 Photo by William Maki ETR2
    Thor 67k USS Thor (ARC-4) anchored off the northern tip of Grand Turk Island in November 1959 Photo by William Maki ETR2
    Thor 31k USS Thor (ARC-4) port side boat deck looking forward. Portsmouth, N.H., fall 1959 Photo by William Maki ETR2
    Thor 264k Aerial view of Boston Navy Yard, looking Southwest, 1 April 1960. Photo taken by a helicopter from Naval Air Station South Weymouth. Ships and Craft present:
    LocationShip (Hull No.)Ship Type
    Pier 11USS Wasp (CVS-18)Aircraft Carrier
    Dry Dock 5ARD-16Floating Dry Dock
    In ARD-16YFND-23Dry Dock Companion Craft
    Pier 10Empty 
    Pier 9EUSS Macon (CA-132)
    Heavy Cruiser
    Floating Crane
    Pier 9WUSS Hugh Purvis (DD-709)Destroyer
    Pier 8EUSS Thor (ARC-4)
    Cable Layer
    Floating Pile Driver
    Pier 7EUSS Springfield (CLG-7)Guided Missile Light Cruiser
    Pier 7WEmpty 
    Pier 6EUSS Perry (DD-844)Destroyer
    Pier 6WUSS Mitscher (DL-2)Destroyer Leader
    Pier 5EUSS Albany (CG-10)Guided Missile Heavy Cruiser
    Pier 5WUSS Yosemite (AD-19)Destroyer Tender
    Pier 4EEmpty 
    Pier 4WUSS Skywatcher (AGR-3)Radar Picket Ship
    U.S. Navy photo, Boston NHP Collection, NPS Cat. No. BOSTS-10111)
    Stephen P. Carlson, Preservation Specialist, Boston NHP, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129
    Thor 69k USS Thor (ARC-4) underway in May 1962 after removal of her AKA quadrupod mast, location unknown. Her sister, USS Aeolus (ARC-3) had lost her quadrupod mast by May 1961.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 82142
    Mike Green
    125k Overhead view of USS Thor (ARC-4) underway with a tug alongside, circa 1963, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Thor 101k Starboard bow view of USS Thor (ARC-4) underway in Hampton Roads, VA., 31 May 1964.
    US Navy photo # USN-1107777 by G.J. Clark PH2 USN from the archives of the from the US Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station, Washington, D.C.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Thor 80k USS Thor (ARC-4) underway, circa 1964, location unknown. US Navy photo. Robert Hurst
    Thor 47k USS Thor (ARC-4) underway, circa 1966, location unknown. US Navy photo. Robert Hurst
    Thor 84k USS Thor (ARC-4) moored pierside at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba, circa April 1971. Photo by Steve Bolgar USS Thor 1971-73.

    USS Vanadis (AKA-49) / USS Thor (ARC-4) / USNS Thor (T-ARC-4)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Williams Jr., Everett B. USNR9 July 1945 - 12 December 1945AKA-49
    02CDR. Yancey, Evan White, USN (USNA 1931)12 December 1945 - 27 March 1946AKA-49
     Decommissioned27 March 1946 - 3 January 1956  
    03CDR. Thomas, Robert Hampson, USN3 January 1956 - July 1956ARC-4
    04CDR. McClain, John Henry, USNR1956 - 13 December 1957ARC-4
    05CDR. Branchi, Titus, USN13 December 1957 - May ARC-4
    06CDR. Danz, Lawrence Frederick, USNMay 1959 - September 1960ARC-4
    07CDR. Now, John George, USNSeptember 1960 - 21 September 1962ARC-4
    08CDR. Pendleton, Johnathan Robert, USN21 September 1962 - March 1964ARC-4
    09CDR. Vissering Jr., Victor Manley, USN (USNA 194)March 1964 - August 1965ARC-4
    10CDR. Mooney, Rodney Thomas, USNAugust 1965 - 1967ARC-4
    11CDR. Alley, Lester Lee, USN1967 - 28 November 1968ARC-4
    12CDR. Thorp, John Holden, USN28 November 1968 - May 1969ARC-4
    13CDR. Batten, Charles Gunther, USNMay 1969 - June 1971ARC-4
    14CDR. Winters, Charles Albert, USNJune 1971 - November 1972ARC-4
    15CDR. Northam Jr., Thomas Alfred, USN (USNA 1956)November 1972 - June 1973ARC-4
    16LCDR. Luellen, Lawrence Horst, LCDR USNJune 1973 - 2 July 1973ARC-4
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    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 Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Cargo Ship (AKA) Photo Index Back To The Cable Repair Ship (ARC) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 9 July 2021