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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinksi

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Merrick (LKA-97)
USS Merrick (AKA-97) (1945 - 1969)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Kilo - Lima
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (28 February to 11 March 1967) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal - Antarctic Service Medal
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba, 2-Vietnam)- Vietnam Service Medal (6) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (10)
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, 19 October 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 219), at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearney, N.J.
  • Launched, 28 January 1945
  • Commissioned USS Merrick (AKA-97), 31 March 1945, LCDR. Walter E. Reed, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Merrick was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Merrick was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 to 27 September 1945
    20 to 23 October 1945

  • Decommissioned, 25 June 1946, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Recommissioned, 19 January 1952
  • During the Vietnam War USS Merrick (AKA-97) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Defense
    6 to 2 July1965
    25-July to 5 August 1965
    19 to 27 August 1965
    19 September to 1 October 1965
    21 to 27 October 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    16 to 25 June 1968
    28 to 30 June 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    22 February to 3 March 1966
    24 March to 11-April 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    29 July to 20 August 1968
    31 August to 5 October 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    4 to 13 December 1966
    4 to 9 January 1967
    28 February to 11 March 1967
    19 March to 26 April 1967
    25 to 31 May 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    6 to 9 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 11 June 1967

  • Redesignated Amphibious Cargo Ship (LKA-97), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned, 17 September 1969
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1976
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration, 15 December 1969, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, Benecia, CA.
  • Withdrawn from reserve, 19 December 1979, trade-in and exchange States Marine Lines (SS Santa Ana), delivered to Apolina Ltd., Hong Kong for disposal
  • Final Disposition, scrapped by Fubian Steel Enterprises Corp., Taiwan, 13 March 1980
  • USS Merrick earned seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 13,900 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 24
    Enlisted 223
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,900 DWT
    non-refrigerated 440,000 Cu. ft.,
    one 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    eight LCMs
    one LCP(L)
    fifteen LCVPs
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 11.190 Bbls
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler D-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merrick 31k USS Merrick (AKA-97) underway near Antarctica, circa 1947.
    US Navy photo
    Merrick 162k Sled dogs pulling supplies on the ice pack in 1947 with the USS Merrick (AKA-97) in the background.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1986.056.001.345
    Mike Green
    Merrick 187k USS Merrick (AKA-97) in the background, moored in the ice at Whale Bay, Antarctica while cargo is also being unloaded from an unidentified ship during the 1947 Operation the background.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1986.056.001.152.
    Mike Green
    Merrick 55k USS Merrick (AKA-97) underway, date and location unknown. Gary Fields USS Merrick 1958-66
    Merrick 80k USS Merrick (AKA-97) standing out of San Francisco Bay about to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge, date unknown. Adam Hamner for his uncle M.O. Hamner USS Merrick

    For more photos and information about USS Merrick, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Photo Collection of Gary Fields BT2, USS Merrick 1958-65
  • USS Merrick APA/LKA-97 Reunion Association
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
    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 23 October 2015