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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Suffolk (AKA-69)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Golf - Sierra
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Tolland Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 11 July 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-AJ3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1396), at North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. Wilmington, N.C.
  • Launched, 15 September 1944
  • Commissioned USS Suffolk (AKA-69), 23 October 1944, CDR. Elmer C. Almsman, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Suffolk was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater:
    TransRon Seventeen, COMO. T.B. Brittan USN (20);
    TransDiv Fifty-One, CAPT. J. L. Allen USNR and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 25 March to 30 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Suffolk performed Occupation service in the Far East from 7 to 10 November 1945 and China service from 30 October to 4 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 27 June 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission for lay up, 28 June 1946, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 July 1946
  • USS Suffolk earned one battle star for World War II
  • Merchant History
    Reconversion contract awarded to Todd Shipbuilding Corp. in January 1947, towed from James River Reserve Fleet by Moran Towing & Transport Co., arrived at Hoboken, N.J., 28 January 1947
    Sold, 25 August 1947, to South Atlantic Lines, 25 August 1947, renamed SS Southport
    Sold, 13 April 1961, to United States Lines, renamed SS American Retailer
    Returned, 3 July 1963, to MARAD Exchange Program
    Acquired, 3 July 1963, by Alcoa Steamship Co., renamed SS Alcoa Master
    Sold, 16 October 1969, to Columbian Steamship Co., renamed SS Columbia Star
    Resold, 10 October 1970, to the Netherlands, reflagged Netherlands, renamed SS Antillian Star
    Final Disposition, scrapped in 1971 at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    Displacement 8,635 t.(lt) 13,910 t.(fl), 14,160 (lim)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 62
    Enlisted 333
    Largest Boom Capacity 35 t.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    sixteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    fourteen LCVPs
    eight LCMs
    Cargo Capacity 5,275DWT
    non-refrigerated 380,000 Cu ft.
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 10,425 Bbls
    Diesel 805 Bbls
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gear
    three Ship's Service Generators 300Kw, 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Suffolk (AKA-69)
    Suffolk 110k USS Suffolk (AKA-69) at anchor, date and location unknown.  
    Suffolk 113k USS Suffolk (AKA-69) undergoing a shipyard availability at Bethlehem Steel Ship Yard, San Francisco, 6 January 1945.
    Cropped from US National Archives photo # 19-N-91523 US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine
    Admiral W. L. Capps
    262k The newly commissioned USS Admiral W. L. Capps (AP-121) undergoing a shipyard availability at Bethlehem Steel Ship Yard, San Francisco, 6 January 1945. Across the pier from Admiral W. L. Capps is USS Suffolk (AKA-69) and beyond Suffolk is an unidentified Attack Transport (APA).
    US National Archives photo #'s 19-N-91523 and 19-N-91524 US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine
    Admiral W. L. Capps
    Suffolk 60k USS Suffolk (AKA-69) getting underway at Astoria, OR. date unknown. Terry Sanders
    Merchant Service
    Suffolk 68k Ex-USS Suffolk (AKA-69) in commercial service as SS Southport moored pierside at Antwerp, Belgium, circa late-1950s, Note she is in United States Lines colors. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Suffolk 895k Newspaper photo of ex-USS Suffolk (AKA-69) in commercial service as the United States Lines SS American Retailer making her way down the Weser River in Bremen-Blumenthal, Germany in thick fog during winter 1962. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Suffolk 117k SS American Retailer underway on the Weser River, Germany, October 1962. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Suffolk 98k Ex-USS Suffolk (AKA-69) in commercial service as the Alcoa Steamship Co.'s SS Alcoa Master moored pierside, Bremerhaven, Germany, July 1967. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Suffolk (AKA-69)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    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 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 16 December 2016