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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Chatham (AK-169)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Golf - Whiskey

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

Alamosa Class Cargo Ship: Laid down, date unknown, as a Maritime Commission type (C1-M-AV1) hull, under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2142) at Froemming Brothers, Inc., Milwaukee, WI.
  • Launched, 13 May 1944
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 20 January 1945
  • Commissioned USS Chatham (AK-169), 22 February 1945, at Galveston, TX., LCDR. Norman C. Harrison, Jr., USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Chatham was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Chatham was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    21 September to 21 October 1945
    20 to 30 December 1945

  • Decommissioned, 2 April 1946, at Baltimore, MD.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1946
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 4 April 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
    Sold for merchant service by the Maritime Commission, 6 February 1947, to Koninklikje Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mj's., Amsterdam
    Removed from the Reserve Fleet, 28 February 1947, under a General Agency Agreement contract with Dickman, Wright and Pugh
    Transferred to buyer, 15 April 1947, reflagged Dutch, renamed MV Helena
    Resold in 1963, owner unknown, renamed MV Lincoln Express
  • Final Disposition, broke in two and sank in December 1972 in heavy weather West of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a load of Gypsum
    Displacement 2,382 t.(lt) 7,450 t.(fl)
    Length 338' 6"
    Beam 50'
    Draft 29' 2" (limiting)
    Speed 11.5 kts.
    Officers 15
    Enlisted 70
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,945 DWT
    non-refrigerated 227,730 Cu ft
    refrigerated 9,830 Cu ft
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    six single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 6,300 Bbls
    one Nordberg Diesel TSM6 engine
    two Diesel-drive 250Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 1,750shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Chatham (AK-169)
    Chatham 58k USS Chatham (AK-169) departing an island port in the Pacific, circa mid-1945.
    US Navy photo
    Submitted by Jacqueline O. Morrow,
    in honor of her father William H. O'Connell, USS Chatham.
    Merchant Service
    Chatham 66k Ex-USS Chatham (AK-169) Dutch flagged, in merchant service as the Koninklikje Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mj's MV Helena underway, date and location unknown. While under the Dutch flag MV Helena operated in the Netherlands - Caribbean trade for 15 consecutive years, sometimes transiting the Panama Canal, ongoing to Peruvian ports. Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Chatham (AK-169)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Harrison Jr., Norman C., USNR22 February 1945 - 2 October 1945
    02LCDR. Trynks, Herman G., USNR2 October 1945 - 5 February 1946
    03CDR. Hoffman, Allan C., USNR5 February 1946 - 2 April 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
    USS Chatham (AK-169) War Diary February to December 1945 and History
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page 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 2 August 2019