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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Shaula (AK-118)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Uniform - Charlie
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippine Liberation Medal

Crater Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 4 October 1943, as SS James Screven, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1213), at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Corp., Jacksonville, FL.
  • Launched, 23 November 1943
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 4 December 1943
  • Converted for Naval service at Bibbs Gas Engine Co., Jacksonville, FL.
  • Commissioned, USS Shaula (AK-118), 5 May 1944, LCDR Edward B. Waters, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Shaula was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Shaula was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    6 October 1945 to 12 February 194620 February to 23 March 1946

  • Decommissioned, 24 June 1946, at Seattle, WA.
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 25 June 1946, for disposal
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 July 1946
  • Sold by the Maritime Commission to Achille Lauro Italy, 24 July 1947, renamed SS Olimpia
  • Final Disposition, scrapped at La Spezia, Italy in 1968
    "She was temporarily used as an emigrant carrier but reverted to a cargo only role in 1951. Achille Lauro was a right wing politician who expanded out of cargo shipping into the emigrant business.
    Olimpia was a ship with basic accommodation which had been hastily crammed for emigrant passengers.
    She was included in the list of vessels on whose regular line voyages the International Refugee
    Organization proposed to make block bookings in the year to July 1950. In 1951 her passenger
    accommodation was removed and she sailed from 1952 to 1968 on Lauro's cargo only service. Her route
    was Genoa to Australia via Naples, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Singapore, Fremantle and Sydney. In 1968 she
    was scrapped at La Spezia." Courtesy Don Hazeldine

    Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 12,350 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 12.8 kts. (trial)
    Officers 29
    Enlisted 260
    Largest Boom Capacity 37 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,520 DWT
    non-refrigerated 417,330 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four 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 turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    SS James Screven (MCE hull 1213)
    Shaula 85k SS James Screven launching, 23 November 1943, at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Corp., Jacksonville, FL. David Nixon
    USS Shaula (AK-118)
    Shaula 33k USS Shaula (AK-118) nested with another auxiliary on the Whangpoo River, Shanghai, China, 21 April 1946. Gary Kern for his father-in-law Eugene B. Meisnitzer SM1/c (deceased) USS Shaula, 9 May 1944 to 31 May 1946
    Shaula 27k USS Shaula (AK-118) at anchor, date and location unknown. Gary Kern for his father-in-law Eugene B. Meisnitzer SM1/c (deceased) USS Shaula, 9 May 1944 to 31 May 1946

    USS Shaula (AK-118)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Waters, Edward, USNR5 May 1944 - 24 June 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 Main Photo Index 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
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 13 June 2014