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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Draco (AK-79)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Yankee - Quebec - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal

Crater Class Cargo Ship
  • Laid down in 1942 as SS John M. Palmer, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 453) at Permanente Metals Corp.,Richmond, CA.
  • Launched, 19 January 1943
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 31 January 1943
  • Commissioned, USS Draco (AK-79), 16 February 1943, LCDR. Earle L. Evey, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Draco was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 27 July to 9 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 to 30 June 1945

  • Decommissioned, 28 November 1945, at Tacoma, WA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 December 1945
  • USS Draco earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 27 July 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Astoria, OR.
  • Laid up, 22 July 1947, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Merchant Service
    Sold, 9 August 1947, to Southern Steamship Proprietary Ltd., reflagged South African, renamed SS President Kruger
    Resold in 1951, renamed SS Riviera
    Resold in 1953, renamed SS Effie
    Renamed SS President Pretorius in 1958
    Final Disposition, scrapped in April 1968, at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 14,350 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 12.5 kts (trial)
    Officers 18
    Enlisted 188
    Troop Accommodation
    Officers 52
    Enlisted 991
    Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
    Cargo Capacity 7,800 DWT
    non-refrigerated 400,000 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    six single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 7,285 Bbls
    one Joshua-Hendy vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 220psi 450°
    Ship's Service Generators
    three recip-drive 20Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Draco (AK-79)
    Draco 329k Starboard broadside view of USS Draco (AK-79) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Ed Zajkowski
    Draco 93k USS Draco (AK-79) underway in Puget Sound in August 1945.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Merchant Service
    Draco 380k Ex-USS Draco (AK-79) in merchant service as SS President Kruger, under way, date and location unknown.
    Photo © Alex Duncan.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Draco 293k Ex-USS Draco (AK-79) in merchant service as SS President Pretorius, under way, circa early-1960s, location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Draco (AK-79)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Evey, Earle Llewllyn16 February 1943 - 26 September 1944
    02LCDR. Drysdale Jr., Robert Maxwell26 September 1944 - 28 November 1945
    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 Database
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 25 May 2018