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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
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  • Withdrawn from Reserve and reinstated in the Naval Register, 30 July 1951, removed to Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
  • 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
  • USS Mathews (AKA-96) earned four campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration, 15 September 1969, at San Diego, CA.
  • Final Disposition sold for scrapping, 15 September 1969, to Levin Metals Corp.
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 14,200 t.(lim)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
    Officers 24
    Enlisted 223
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,900 DWT
    non-refrigerated 440,000 Cu. ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    8 LCMs
    1 LCP(L)
    15 LCVPs
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 11,900 Bbls
    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
    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)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Thorwall, Charles Arthur :RADM5 March 1945 - 18 January 1946
    02CAPT. Gaden, Allan Gaston USN (USNA 1928)18 January 1946 - 9 April 1947
     Decommissioned9 April 1947 - 16 February 1952
    03CAPT. May, Leo George, USN (USNA 1930)10 August 1952 - 15 August 1953
    04CAPT. Williams, George Kirtley15 August 1953 - 1955
    05CAPT. Meola, Vincent Joseph, USN (USNA 1931)1955 - April 1956
    06CAPT. Florence, John WilliamsApril 1956 - August 1957
    08CAPT. Chenault, Frederic Archibald, USN (USNA 1936)March 1958 - June 1959
    09CAPT. Sherman, Vining AldenJune 1959 - April 1960
    10CAPT. Crowley, Roger John USNApril 1960 - 17 July 1961
    11CAPT. Vellis, Demetrius John, USN (USNA 1940)17 July 1961 - August 1962
    12CAPT. Ricks, Robert ByronAugust 1962 - November 1963
    13CAPT. Maddex, John William USN (USNA 1942)November 1963 - August 1964
    14CAPT. Ainsworth, Herbert Sylvan, USN (USNA 1944) :RADM11 October 1965 - September 1967
    15CAPT. Bachert II, John Oliver, USNSeptember 1967 - 31 October 1968
    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
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    Last Updated 28 September 2018