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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
    APD Specifications:
    Displacement 1,630 t.(lt) 2,130 t.(fl)
    Length 306' ovl.
    Beam 37'
    Draft 12' 7" (limiting)
    Speed 23.6 kts. (trial)
    Range 6,000 nautical miles at 12 kts.
    12 Officers
    192 Enlisted
    Troop Accommodations
    12 Officers
    150 Enlisted
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Boats four LCVP landing craft
    Troop Accoutrements
    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

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Belet (APD-109)
    Belet 202k
    Robert 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
    Belet 175k USS Belet (APD-109) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy Photo
    Mike Green
    ARM California (B-3)
    Belet 91k 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.
    Robert Hurst
    Belet 73k ARM California (B-3) underway in full dress ship, 2 April 1970.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Belet 78k 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). Robert Hurst

    USS Belet (APD-109)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Merrill, Albert Philip, USNR15 June 1945 - 15 September 1945
    02LT. Ailor Jr., William Henry, USNR15 September 1945 - 1 November 1945
    03LCDR. Hitchcock, John Henderson, USNR1 November 1945 - 4 May 1946
    04LT. Martin Jr., Walter Herbert, USNR4 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
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To the Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The High-speed Transport (APD) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 17 January 2020