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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Sterope (AK-96)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Golf - Victor
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

USS Sterope (AK-96) was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Crater Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 9 December 1941, as SS James Wilson, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 183), at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 22 February 1942
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 27 March 1943
  • Commissioned, USS Sterope (AK-96), 14 May 1943, LCDR. Leo P. Toolin, USCG, in command
  • Converted for Naval service by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., completing shakedown, 10 June 1943
  • During World War II USS Sterope was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 July to 9 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 10 to 31 May 1945

  • Decommissioned, 16 May 1946, at Pearl Harbor, T.H.
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission in August 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., name reverted to SS James Wilson
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 November 1947
  • Final Disposition, SS James Wilson was sold for scrapping, 16 August 1963, to The Learner Corp./Union Minerals & Alloys Corp., Oakland, CA., removed, 26 September 1963, to The Learner Corp., Oakland, CA.
  • USS Sterope earned two battle stars for World War II service
    Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 14,550 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 12.5 kts.
    Officers 19
    Enlisted 188
    Cargo Capacity 7,700 DWT
    non-refrigerated 404,274 Cu ft
    Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
    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 General Machine Corp. vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    two Combustion Engineering 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
    SS James Wilson
    Sterope 100k SS James Wilson launching, 22 February 1942, at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR. David Nixon
    USS Sterope (AK-96)
    Sterope 59k USS Sterope (AK-96) unloading cargo onto pontoons at Guadalcanal, 1943
    US Navy photo from DANFS
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret

    USS Sterope (AK-96)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Toolin, Leo P., USCG14 May 1943 - 1 May 1944
    02LCDR. Krestensen, John B., USCG1 May 1944 - 12 December 1945
    03LCDR. Sutter, Harry S., USCG12 December 1945 - 16 May 1946
    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
    U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office - USS Sterope AK-96
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) 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 13 June 2014