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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Vela (T-AK-89)
USAPRS Joe. C. Specker (1945 - 1947)
Vela (AK-89) (1945)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Sierra - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Enceladus Class Cargo Ship:
  • Originally designated MV Charles A. Ranlett, a Maritime Commission type (N3-M-A1) hull to be built under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 652) at Penn-Jersey Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.
  • Renamed Vela (AK-89), 30 October 1942, by US Navy
  • Acquired from the Maritime Commission by the US Navy, 1 January 1943
  • Laid down, 5 June 1944
  • Launched, 15 January 1945
  • Transferred to the US Army Transportation Service, 17 January 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 8 February 1945
  • Allocated to the US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Completed as a Port Rehabilitation vessel and renamed USAPRS Joe C. Specker, date unknown
  • Declared surplus by the US Army, returned to the Maritime Commission, 27 August 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Transferred to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) 11 June 1952
  • Placed in service as USNS Vela (T-AK-89), 12 June 1952
  • Placed out of service, date unknown
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 17 January 1971, to Hierros Ardes, S.A., Spain, c/o Boston Metals, (MARAD sale PD-X-888, dated 23 November 1970) in a four ship deal) for $267,070.00
    Displacement 1,677 t.(lt), 5,200 t.(fl)
    Length 269' 10"
    Beam 42' 6"
    Draft 20' 8"
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,175 DWT
    non-refrigerated 115,873 Cu. ft.
    Speed 10.25 kts
    Complement 83
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 1,940 Bbls
    one Cooper Bessemer Diesel engine
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    two Diesel-drive 40Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 1,190shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    USAPRS Joe C. Specker
    Vela 97k USAPRS Joe C. Specker at anchor, location unknown. Bow horns for lifting diving and salvage equipment, and plenty of machine shops ultimately made these ships useful to the Army.
    US Navy photo from the U.S. Naval Institute.
    Photo and text from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover.
    Robert Hurst
    USNS Vela (T-AK-89)
    Vela 82k USNS Vela (T-AK-89) underway circa mid-1950s in MSTS service. She was similar in appearance to USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87), except that her Army cathead had been removed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # unknown, courtesy
    Mike Green

    USNS Vela (T-AK-89)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    United States Army in World War II - The Corps of Engineers: Troops and Equipment- Chapter XVII - Preparing to Reconstruct Ports
    Back to the Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The US Navy Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The US Navy Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The US Army Ship Type Index Back To The US Army Port Repair Ship Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 15 February 2019