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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Altair (AKS-32)
USS Altair (AK-257) (1952 - 1953)
SS Aberdeen Victory (1944 - 1952)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Echo - Quebec
SS Aberdeen Victory Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1-Okinawa) - World War II Victory Medal

USS Altair Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba)

Greenville Victory Class Cargo Ship / Antares Class General Stores Issue Ship<:
  • Laid down, 20 April 1944, as SS Aberdeen Victory, a Maritime Commission type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 110), at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp, Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 30 May 1944
  • Completed, 22 June 1944
  • Contracted to Waterman Steamship Co.
  • During World War II SS Aberdeen Victory was supported operations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • SS Aberdeen Victory participated in the Assault and occupation of Okinawa in May 1945
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, circa 1945-1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Transferred to the US Navy, 7 July 1951
  • Commissioned Cargo Ship USS Altair (AK-257), 31 January 1952, at Baltimore, MD., CDR. George J. Largess USN in command.
  • Decommissioned, 5 January 1953, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA., for conversion to a General Stores Issue Ship
  • Converted at Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, MD.
  • Recommissioned, USS Altair (AKS-32), 15 December, 1953, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Decommissioned, 2 May 1969, at Portsmouth, VA.
  • Custody transferred to MARAD, 1 May 1973, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 June 1973
  • Title transfer to MARAD, 1 September 1971
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 31 January 1975, to Luria Brothers & Co., Philadelphia, PA.
    Displacement 4,960 t.
    Length 455' 3"
    Beam 62'
    Draft 28' 6"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement 250
    Armament two twin 40mm gun mounts
    Propulsion steam turbine, single shaft, 8500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    War Shipping Administration
    Altair 57k SS Aberdeen Victory, under way, circa June 1944, probably near Portland, OR. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    USS Altair (AKS-32)
    Altair 265k USS Altair (AKS-32) underway while conducting an underway replenishment with USS Randolph (CVA-15) during the carrier's 1956-57 Mediterranean deployment. Paul Gwaltney, on behalf of his father LTjg. William Gwaltney USNR, Ret USS Randolph
    Altair 251k
    Altair 276k
    Altair 80k USS Altair (AKS-32), underway, circa 1959 or later (note the helicopter flight deck on her fantail which was added in 1959) place unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, October 1962
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Altair 82k USS Altair (AKS-32) moored at Naples Italy, late-May 1962. Photo by Jack C. Sofield
    Altair 1305k USS Altair (AKS-32) moored at Genoa Italy, 13 May 1962, alongside USS Canberra (CAG-2). Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Altair 85k USS Altair (AKS-32) entering a Mediterranean port, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Altair 54k USS Altair (AKS-32) moored pierside at NOB Norfolk, VA., circa 1963. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Altair 72k USS Altair (AKS-32) underway in the Mediterranean Sea.
    US Naval Support Activity, Naples Italy photo from the 16 August 1963 edition of station newspaper "Panorama".
    Michael F Troiano, BM3, USS Altair 1963-65
    Nitro 196k USS Nitro (AE 23) at right conducts an underway replenishment of ammunition with USS Forrestal (CV-59) while USS Altair (AKS-32) at left simultaneously conducts an underway replenishment of general stores.
    Tyrrhenian Sea, 8 January 1965. U.S. Navy photo from All Hands magazine, July 1965.
    (Thanks to Ken Killmeyer, USS Forrestal Association Historian, who found out where and when the photo had been taken.)
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Altair 48k USS Altair (AKS-32) underway during 1966; from the appearance of her decks and helicopter landing pad, aft, she is ready to commence an underway replenishment. Her "Victory Ship" lines are readily apparent in this aerial oblique view.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 96650
    Robert Hurst
    Altair 130k USS Altair (AKS-32) underway, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    Additional Ships Patches
    Contributed by C Wood Halsey & Charles Brecheisen
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    USS Altair (AK-257 / AKS-32)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Largess, George Joseph USN (USNA 1939)31 January 1952 - 15 January 1953AK-257
     Decommissioned15 January 1953 - 15 December 1953 
    02CDR. Taylor, Crittenden Battelle, USN (USNA 1930)15 December 1953 21 March 1955AKS-32
    03CDR. Bailey, Benjamin Franklin, USN (USNA 1932)21 March 1955 - 18 July 1956AKS-32
    04CAPT. Hughes Jr., William Chrtistopher, USN (USNA 1931) :RADM 18 July 1956 - 6 July 1957AKS-32
    05CAPT. Powell Jr., Edgar Samuel, USN (USNA 1934)06 July 1957 - 13 March 1958AKS-32
    06CAPT. Noel Jr., John Vavasour, CAPT USN (USNA 1936)13 March 1958 - 24 June 1959AKS-32
    07CAPT. CAPT. Schumacher, Vincent Edward, USN (USNA 1938)24 June 1959 - 4 June 1960AKS-32
    08CAPT. Colbert, Richard Gary, USN (USNA 1937) :ADM4 June 1960 - 21 August 1961AKS-32
    09CAPT. Kuntz, William Edward Jefferson, USN (USNA 1939) :RADM21 August 1961 - 30 April 1962AKS-32
    10CAPT. Dudley Jr., John Bauman, USN (USNA 1939)30 April 1962 - 15 May 1963AKS-32
    11CAPT. Nicodemus Jr., Gordon Kirkland, USN15 May 1963 - 27 February 1964AKS-32
    12CAPT. Midgette, Oliver Fanane, USN (XO, OinC)27 February 1964 - 9 March 1964AKS-32
    13CAPT. Morton, William Benjamin, USN (USNA 1940)9 March 1964 - 19 July 1965AKS-32
    14CAPT. Sams, William Ralph, USN19 July 1965 - 21 July 1966AKS-32
    15CAPT. Hoke Jr., Leonard Anderson, USN (USNA 1944)21 July 1966 - 9 July 1968AKS-32
    16CAPT. Feely, William Fergus, USN14 September 1968 - 1 November 1968AKS-32
    17CDR. Vojtek, Thomas Michael, USN6 November 1968 - 2 May 1969AKS-32
    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 Altair AKS-32
    USS Altair AKS-32 Blog

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 13 December 2019