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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Mathews (AKA-96)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Delta - Romeo - Lima
NDRL
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 - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3-Vietnam, 1-Cuba) - Vietnam Service Medal (4) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


Andromeda Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 15 September 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 218) at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co, Kearney, N.J.
  • Launched, 22 December 1944 Commissioned USS Mathews (AKA-96), 5 March 1945, CDR. Charles A. Thorwall, in command
  • During World War II USS Mathews was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Mathews was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    28 September to 8 October 1945
    13 to 20 November 1945

  • Decommissioned, 4 April 1947, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 9 April 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Withdrawn from Reserve and reinstated in the Naval Register, 31 May 1951
  • Recommissioned, 16 February 1952
  • USS Mathews was assigned to China service from 4 to 6 March 1954
  • During the Vietnam War USS Mathews (AKA-96) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    8 to 13 August 1965
    22 to 27 October 1965
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase III
    30 August to 1 September 1967
    30 September to 1 November 1967
    20 November to 18 December 1967
    11 to 21 January 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive
    27 May to 1 June 1966
    11 to 16 June 1966
    Tet Counteroffensive
    31 January to 4 February 1968

  • Decommissioned, 31 October 1968, at San Diego, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1968
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration, 15 September 1969, at San Diego, CA.
  • Final Disposition sold for scrapping, 15 September 1969, to Levin Metals Corp.
  • USS Mathews (AKA-96) earned four campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 14,200 t.(lim)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
    Complement
    Officers 24
    Enlisted 223
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,900 DWT
    non-refrigerated 440,000 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
    8 LCMs
    1 LCP(L)
    15 LCVPs
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 11,900 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler D-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gear
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Mathews 57k Bow on view of USS Mathews (AKA-96) with Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA. in the background, 5 March 1952, shortly after her re-commissioning.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # NY9-12194-3-52, 3/5/52
    Darryl Baker
    Mathews 74k Broadside view of USS Mathews (AKA-96) off Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, 5 March 1952, shortly after her re-commissioning.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # NY9-12196-3-52, 3/5/52
    Darryl Baker
    Mathews 86k Stern view of USS Mathews (AKA-96) off Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, 5 March 1952, shortly after her re-commissioning.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # NY9-12198-3-52, 3/5/52
    Darryl Baker
    Mathews 138k USS Mathews (AKA-96) displays the quadrupod mast developed by the New York Navy Yard for attack cargo ships. This photograph was taken while tied up pierside at Mare Island, 5 March 1952. The boats are LCVPs nested inside LCMs, with an LCPL (with canopy) visible forward of the paired kingposts.
    Photo and text from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman
    Robert Hurst
    Mathews 132k
    Mathews 240k USS Mathews (AKA-96) underway with USS Cabildo (LSD-16) , circa 1953, location unknown. Photo by Joe Gansemer QM2 USS Cabildo
    Mathews 79k USS Mathews (AKA-96) underway while departing San Diego, date unknown.
    US National Archives photo
    Jim Worth
    Mathews 70k USS Mathews (AKA-96) at anchor off the coast of South Vietnam, 1966. Photo by LT. Richard Dawson USS Renville
    Mathews 99k USS Mathews (AKA-96) moored pierside at San Diego, December 1968 © Richard Leonhardt
    Mathews 106k USS Mathews (AKA-96) underway, date and location unknown. Ray Reynolds
    Mathews 119k USS Mathews (AKA-96) plaque. Tommy Trampp

    USS Mathews (AKA-96)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Thorwall, Charles Arthur :RADM5 March 1945 - ?
    04CAPT. May, Leo George10 August 1952 - 15 August 1953
    05CAPT. Williams, George Kirtley15 August 1953 - 1954
    06CAPT. Meola, Vincent Joseph1954 - April 1956
    07CAPT. Florence, John WilliamsApril 1956 - August 1957
    09CAPT. Chenault, Frederic ArchibaldMarch 1958 - June 1959
    10CAPT. Sherman, Vining AldenJune 1959 - April 1960
    11CAPT. Crowley Jr., Roger JohnApril 1960 - 17 July 1961
    12CAPT. Vellis, Demetrius John17 July 1961 - August 1962
    13CAPT. Ricks, Robert ByronAugust 1962 - November 1963
    14CAPT. Maddex, John WilliamNovember 1963 - August 1964
    16CAPT. Ainsworth, Herbert Sylvan :RADM11 October 1965 - ?
    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 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 28 November 2014