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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Cheleb (AK-138)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Echo - Romeo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

Crater Class Cargo Ship
  • Laid down, 29 December 1942, as SS Lyman J. Gage, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCE Hull 520) at Permanente Metals Corp. Yard No. 1, Richmond, CA.
  • Launched, 29 January 1943
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 6 February 1943
  • Commissioned, USS Cheleb (AK-138), 1 January 1944, LT. Addison E. McKimmey, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Cheleb, was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Cheleb was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 16 November 1945 to 2 April 1946
  • Decommissioned, 25 July 1946, at Pearl Harbor, T.H.
  • Cheleb was retained by the Navy and used in a special explosives test, before being returned to the Maritime Administration
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 22 May 1947
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 23 May 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 27 March 1978, (PD-X-1026) to Levin Metals, Corp. for $111,653. Removed from the Reserve Fleet, 19 April 1978
    Displacement 4,023 t.(lt) 14,550 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 12.5 kts.
    Officers 18
    Enlisted 234
    Cargo Capacity 7,800 DWT
    non-refrigerated 373,943 Cu ft
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 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 9,660 Bbls
    Diesel 2,010 Bbls
    one Joshua-Hendy vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    two Combustion Engineering header-type boilers, 220psi 450°
    Ships Service Generators
    three reciprocating-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
    Cheleb 113k USS Cheleb (AK-138) amidship looking aft while at Alameda, CA., 4 December 1943.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 8072-43.
    Darryl Baker
    Cheleb 58k Stern view of USS Cheleb (AK-138) off San Francisco, CA., 3 January 1944.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 90-44.
    Darryl Baker
    Cheleb 53k Broadside view of USS Cheleb (AK-138) off San Francisco, CA., 3 January 1944.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 92-44.
    Darryl Baker
    Cheleb 62k Bow on view of USS Cheleb (AK-138) off San Francisco, CA., 3 January 1944.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 94-44.
    Darryl Baker

    USS Cheleb (AK-138)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. McKimmey, Addison, E.1 January 1944 - 3 January 1944
    02LCDR. Clark, Matthias S.3 January 1944 - 8 February 1945
    01LCDR. McKimmey, Addison, E.8 February 1945 - 25 July 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 11 July 2014