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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Auriga (AK-98)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Hotel - Bravo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - 25 October 1944)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (2)

Personnel Awards

Purple Hearts (5-WIA, Leyte, 25 October 1944)

Auriga Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 9 June 1942, as SS Alcoa Partner, a Maritime Commission type (C1-B) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 493) at Consolidated Steel Corp., Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched, 7 September 1942
  • Completed and delivered to the War Shipping Administration, 13 March 1943
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 16 March 1943
  • Converted for Naval service at Matson Navigation Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Commissioned USS Auriga (AK-98), 1 April 1943, at San Francisco, CA., LCDR. John G. Hart, USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Auriga was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa landing, 13 November to 8 December 1943
    Manila Bay-Bicol operations
    Zambales-Subic Bay, 29 to 31 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 16 to 17 and 25 to 28 June 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 10 to 19 April 1945
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20 October and 18 November 1944

  • Following World War II USS Auriga (AK-98) was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 26 September to 27 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 22 January 1946, at New York Naval Shipyard
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 7 February 1946
  • USS Auriga earned five battle stars for her World War II service
  • Merchant Service
    Delivered to Alcoa S.S. Co, 22 January 1946, at Weehawken, N.J., name reverted to SS Alcoa Partner
    Returned to the Maritime Commission, 1 November 1963, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group. Lee Hall, VA.
    Transferred to the US Army, 17 June 1966, for stevedore training at Fort Eustis, VA.
    Returned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet James River Group, 2 October 1968
    Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 27 May 1970, to Aguilar Y Peris , S.L. Valencia, Spain

    Displacement 12,975 t.(fl)
    Length 416'
    Beam 60'
    Draft 27' 6"
    Speed 14.7 kts.
    Officers 26
    Enlisted 232
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 6,650 DWT
    non-refrigerated 400,000 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/51 cal surface gun mount
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity NSFO - 7,930 Bbls
    one Westinghouse steam turbine engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 4,000shp

    Ex-USS Auriga (AK-98) in merchant service as Alcoa Steamship Co.'s freighter SS Alcoa Partner moored in the port of Paramaribo, Suriname, in 1947.
    Photographer Willem van de Poll. Van de Poll photo collection
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Auriga (AK-98)
    Auriga 115k Aft plan view of USS Auriga (AK-98), after conversion, at San Francisco, 1 April 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photos # 2237-4-43, 4/1/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Auriga 113k Forward plan view of USS Auriga (AK-98), after conversion, at San Francisco, 1 April 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photos # 2239-4-43, 4/1/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Auriga 96k Bow on view of USS Auriga (AK-98) underway off San Francisco, 2 April 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photos # 2281-4-43, 4/2/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Auriga 77k Broadside view of USS Auriga (AK-98) underway off San Francisco, 2 April 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photos # 2283-4-43, 4/2/43 now in the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, photo # NH 91135.
    Darryl Baker
    Auriga 80k Stern view of USS Auriga (AK-98) underway off San Francisco, 2 April 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photos # 2285-4-43, 4/2/43.
    Darryl Baker
    Auriga 196k USS Auriga (AK-98) at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 18 Feb 1944, across the pier from USS Washington (BB-56).
    US National Archives 19GC, BB56 folder.
    John Chiquoine,
    Auriga 166k
    339k On the ninth day after arriving at the anchorage off Charan Kanoa, Saipan, and after six days underway reverse-coursing off shore, USS Auriga (AK-98) anchored with others, including USS Jupiter (AK-43) (center foreground). Auriga began off-loading, 25 June 1944. She was attached to transport elements under CTF52, and after three days was escorted to Eniwetok by USS Macdonough (DD-351).
    Photos by J.R. Eyerman, Life Magazine, who passed thru the anchorage on the 25th. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine,
    98k USS Auriga (AK-98) at anchor in San Francisco Bay, 21 June 1945.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo #'s 19-N-87736 and 19-N-87737 courtesy
    Mike Green
    Merchant Service Alcoa Steamship Co.
    255k Robert Hurst

    USS Auriga (AK-98)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Hart, John G., USNR1 April 1943 - 9 December 1944
    02LCDR. Fonda, Charles Henry9 December 1944 - 22 January 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
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 21 April 2023