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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Serpens (AK-266)
USAT William Lester (1949 - 1951)

Serpens (AK-266) transferred to South Korea
Alchiba Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 16 October 1944, as Northern Yeoman, a Maritime Commission type (N3-S-A2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2520), at McCloskey & Company, Tampa, FL.
  • Launched as William Lester, 17 June 1945
  • Delivered the Maritime Commission, 30 June 1945
  • Operated by Waterman SS Co. until returned to the Maritime Commission
  • Acquired by the USA Transportation Service and commissioned USAT William Lester in 1949
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 12 June 1951, renamed Serpens (AK-266)
  • Leased to South Korea, 12 June 1951 Returned to US Naval custody, January 1960
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 February 1960
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 27 June 1960, to Hong Kong Rolling Mills, Ltd., Hong Kong, B.C.C.
    Displacement 2,905 t.(lt), 5,202 t.(fl)
    Length 258' 9"
    Beam 42' 1"
    Draft 20' 9" (max.)
    Speed 10.5kts
    Complement 23
    Cargo Capacity 2,243 t.
    Cruising radius (nautical miles) 4,500
    Propulsion reciprocating steam engine, single propeller

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    Cepheus 107k Serpens (AK-266) under way while in South Korean service, circa 1951, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 84178. Courtesy of D.M. McPherson, 1976.
    Mike Green

    Serpens (AK-266)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 16 December 2016