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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Bellatrix (AF-62)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Victor - Lima
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Cocktail (Q)uebec - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Quemoy-Matsu, Vietnam)
Bottom Row - Vietnam Service Medal (5) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (5) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Alstede Class Stores Ship:
  • Laid down, 16 October 1944, as SS Fleetwood a Maritime Commission, type (R2-S-BV1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1207) at Moore Drydock Co. Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 4 December 1944
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 21 June 1945, for operation under GAA contract, by United Fruit Co.
  • To Coastwise SS. Co., 20 October 1946, for operation under bare bottom charter
  • To General SS Co. 12 October 1948, for operation under GAA contract
  • To Pacific Far East Lines, 27 December 1948, for operation under bare bottom charter
  • Assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 1 January 1958, operated by Pacific Far East Lines under GAA contract
  • Transferred to the Navy, 22 August 1961, converted for Naval Service at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
  • Renamed and designated Bellatrix (AF-62), 13 October 1961
  • Commissioned, 18 November 1961 as USS Bellatrix (AF-62) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., CDR. Nathan E. Dozier in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Bellatrix participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    7 to 9 June 1964
    21 to 24 June 1964
    15 to 17 July 1964
    20 to 24 December 1964
    3 to 10 January 1965
    1 February to 6 March 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    6 to 28 February 1967
    31 March to 10 April 1967
    Vietnam Defense
    29 November to 7 December 1965
    20 to 23 December 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    3 to 22 November 1967
    11 to 26 December 1967
    3 to 9 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    24 December 1965 to 2 January 1966
    14 to 25 May 1966
    3 to 10 June 1966
    22 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    7 to 16 May 1968
    28 May to 7 June 1968
    19 to 29 June 1968

  • Decommissioned, 30 September 1968, at Naval Shipyard Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 September 1968
  • USS Bellatrix earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 24 March 1969, under MARAD contract PD-X-824 of 27 February 1969, to Zidell Explorations Inc., for $36,606.60
    Displacement 14,180 t.(fl)
    Length 460'
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26'
    Speed 16 kts.
    Complement 292
    Armament two .50 cal machine guns
    Propulsion cross-compound turbine engine, single propeller

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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Bellatrix - A bluish-white giant star located 250 light years away in the constellation of Orion, where it marks the giant’s western “shoulder”. It is the 3rd brightest star in Orion, with an apparent magnitudes of 1.64, but only the 27th most luminous star in the night sky. Its location close to the sky’s 10th brightest star, an enormous red giant called Betelgeuse, makes it one of the easiest stars to recognize, with Bellatrix best seen in December and January.
    Tommy Trampp
    Bellatrix 142k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) conducting underway replenishment with USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Duncan (DDR-874) in Western Pacific waters. Photograph was released by Coral Sea under date of 16 April 1962.
    US Navy photo # NH 97649 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    CVA-61 Ranger 327k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) replenishing USS Ranger (CVA-61), 1963, location unknown. Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
    Bellatrix 373k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) under way in the Tonkin Gulf, Christmas Day 1965 during an underway replenishment of USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Bellatrix got the nickname "UNREP A GO GO" because of this photo. John E ("JB") Bagby. LT USN, USS Bellatrix, PAO/PIO
    Bellatrix 89k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) underway in the Tonkin Gulf, 5 June 1966. © Richard Leonhardt
    Bellatrix 93k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) underway, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Bellatrix 222k USS Bellatrix (AF-62) underway, date and location unknown. Rich Rohweder RMC(NAC) Ret. USS Bellatrix Feb-Sep 1966.
    CVA-43 451k USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), with A-4E Skyhawks from VA-153 "Blue Tail Flies" and VA-155 "Silver Foxes," moored to pier #3 South, NAS Alameda, California, 22 to 26 July 1967. USS Hancock (CVA-19) is moored to pier #3 North, and USS Ranger (CVA-60) to pier #2 North. Other ships present include: USS Bellatrix (AF-62) and USS Aludra (AF-55), moored port side and starboard side, respectively, to pier #2 South; and probably USNS Breton (T-AKV-42), astern of Coral Sea. William T. Larkins

    USS Bellatrix (AF-62)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Dozier, Nathan Ernest, USNR18 November 1961 - 27 November 1962
    02LCDR. Lilly Jr., Raymond Edward, USNR27 November 1962 - 11 January 1963
    03CAPT. Whiteaker, James Glenn, USN11 January 1963 - 20 January 1964
    04CDR. Evans, Jack Lavelle, USN20 January 1964 - 2 November 1964
    05CAPT. Short, James Woodleigh, USN (USNA 1943)2 November 1964 - 29 September 1965
    06CAPT. Shawcross, William Henley (Bill), USN :RADM29 September 1965 - 28 January 1967
    07CAPT. Koen, George, USN28 January 1967 - 22 February 1968
    08CAPT. Johnson Jr., John David, USN :VADM22 February 1968 - 30 September 1968
    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
    MARAD Vessel History Data Base

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 24 December2020