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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive
USS Belet (APD-109)
International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Zulu - November
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
USS Belet (APD-109) was transferred to Mexico and renamed ARM California (B-3)
Rudderow Class Destroyer Escort - Crosley Class High-speed Transport:
Laid down, 26 January 1944, as Belet (DE-599), a Rudderow Class Destroyer Escort, at Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard Co, Hingham MA.
Launched, 3 March 1944
Redesignated a Crosley Class High-speed Transport, 17 July 1944
Commissioned USS Belet (APD-109), 15 June 1945, LCDR. Albert P. Merrill, USNR, in command
Following World War II USS Belet was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 11 October to 25 December 1945
Decommissioned, 22 May 1946, at Green Cove Springs, FL.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Green Cove Springs
Struck from the Naval Register, 12 December 1963
Transferred to Mexico, 12 December 1963, renamed ARM California (B-3)
Final Disposition, run aground off Baja California, destroyed 16 January 1972
Displacement 1,630 t.(lt) 2,130 t.(fl)
Length 306' ovl.
Draft 12' 7" (limiting)
Speed 23.6 kts. (trial)
Range 6,000 nautical miles at 12 kts.
Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
Boats four LCVP landing craft
six 1/4 ton trucks
two 1 ton trucks
four ammunition carts
four pack howitzers
Ammunition 6,000 cu. ft.
General Cargo 3,500 cu. ft.
Gasoline 1,000 cu. ft.
one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
three twin 40 mm gun mounts
six single 20 mm gun mounts
two depth charge tracks
two Babcox and Wilcox "D" Express type boilers, 435 PSI 750°
two General Electric turbines, (turbo-electric drive)
Ship's Service Generators
two turbo-drive 300Kw 450V A.C.
two turbo-drive 40Kw 120V D.C.
two shafts, shaft horsepower 12,000
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USS Belet (APD-109)
||NamesakeRobert Alfred Belet was born in Blairstown, N.J., 6 August 1914. Enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1937. Master Technical Sergeant Belet was killed on
Guadalcanal, 12 Sept 1942. Posthumously awarded the silver star USS Belet (APD-109) was named in his honor
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65806
|US Naval History and Heritage Command
||USS Belet (APD-109) at anchor, date and location unknown.
US Navy Photo
ARM California (B-3)
||Ex-USS Belet (APD-109) in the service of Mexico as ARM California (B-3) followed by ARM Papaloapan (B-4), [ex-USS Earhart (APD-113)] underway in 1969, location unknown. Image taken from the gunboat ARM Guanajuato (C-7).
Official Mexican Navy photo.
||ARM California (B-3) underway in full dress ship, 2 April 1970.
US Navy photo.
||ARM California (B-3) hard aground south of Rosarito Beach, Baja California, 17 January 1972. California was a total loss. Photo from "Warship Boneyards" by Kit and Carolyn Bonner, (Author's Collection).
USS Belet (APD-109)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||LCDR. Merrill, Albert Philip, USNR||15 June 1945 - 15 September 1945|
|02||LT. Ailor Jr., William Henry, USNR||15 September 1945 - 1 November 1945|
|03||LCDR. Hitchcock, John Henderson, USNR||1 November 1945 - 4 May 1946|
|04||LT. Martin Jr., Walter Herbert, USNR||4 May 1945 - 22 may 1046|
|Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
Last Updated 17 January 2020
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|