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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

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 (Cuba, Vietnam)- Vietnam Service Medal (7) - 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:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    17 to 24 May 1965
    1 to 27 June 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 11 June 1967
    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

  • Redesignated Amphibious Cargo Ship (LKA-97), 1 January 1969
  • Decommissioned, 17 September 1969
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1976
  • USS Merrick earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • 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
    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
    229k Yokosuka Naval Base, 7 October 1953.
    USS Whetstone (LSD 27), USS Quincy (CA-71), USS Merrick (AKA 97), USS LST-737 behind Quincy in the far background.
    US National Archives photo #80-G-628700, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Chin Yu Chu
    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
    Yancey 72k An iceberg crosses the path of the U.S. Antarctic Expedition, circa 13 February 1947, as USS Yancey (AKA-93), left center, and USS Merrick (AKA-97), right center, follow the US Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Northwind (WAGB-282) through icefloes and past huge tabular icebergs in the Antarctic Ocean.
    US National Archives Identifier: 196474, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
    Michael Mohl
    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 (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Merrick (AKA-97) War Diaries March 1945 to November 1945, History and Action Report
  • Photo Collection of Gary Fields BT2, USS Merrick 1958-65
  • USS Merrick AKA/LKA-97 Reunion Association

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Reed, Walter Edward USNR31 March 1945 - 15 March 1946
    02CDR. Howard, James Hampden, USN (USNA 1930) :RADM15 March 1946 - 22 July 1946
    03LCDR. Doan, Elmer Mile, USN22 July 1946 - 22 August 1946
    04CDR. Howard, James Hampden, USN (USNA 1930) :RADM (2nd tour)22 August 1946 - 1947
    05CAPT. Hourihan, John Joseph USN (USNA 1925) :RADM1947 - 25 June 1947
     Decommissioned25 June 1946 - 19 January 1952
    06CAPT. Howard, James Hampden, USN (USNA 1930) :RADM (3nd tour)19 January 1952 - 1953
    07CAPT. Grant, James Dorr USN (USNA 1931) :RADM1953 - July 1954
    08CAPT. Hull, Harry USN (USNA 1932) :RADMJuly 1954 - October 1955
    19CAPT. McIver Jr., DeWitt Clinton USN (USNA 1932)October 1955 - November 1956
    10CAPT. Steinbeck, John MacAuley USN (USNA 1933)November 1956 - October 1957
    11CAPT. Hoffman, Edward Earl USN (USNA 1936)October 1957 - 19 January 1959
    12CAPT. Albin Jr., George Waugh USN19 January 1959 - January 1960
    13CAPT. Trice, William Wilder USN (USNA 1940)January 1960 - 1961
    14CAPT. Zoeller, Raphael Andrew (Ray) USN (USNA 1939)1961 - 26 June 1962
    15CAPT. Adkins, Aubyn Lester USN (USNA 1943)26 June 1962 - July 1963
    16CAPT. Fitzgerald, Robert Emmett USNJuly 1963 - 12 September 1964
    17CAPT. Stephens Jr., James Herbert, USN (USNA 1944)12 September 1964 - 30 July 1965
    18CAPT. Rowell, Kenneth Frank USN30 July 1965 - 16 July 1966
    19CAPT. Flint Jr., Lawrence Earl USN16 July 1966 - 13 November 1967
    20CDR. Self, William Henry Cowles USN1967 - 13 November 1967
    21CAPT. Nicholson, John Harris USN (USNA 1947) :VADM13 November 1967 - 13 June 1969
    22LCDR. Shine Jr., Thomas, USN (USNA 1955)13 June 1969 - 17 September 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 15 January 2021