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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Medusa (AR-1)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Mike - Charlie
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 7 December 1941, Pearl Harbor) - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal

Medusa Class Fleet Repair Ship:
  • Laid down, 2 January 1920, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA.
  • Launched, 16 April 1923
  • Commissioned USS Medusa (AR-1), 18 September 1924, CAPT. R. T. Menner USN in command
  • USS Medusa was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941
  • During World War II USS Medusa was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Decommissioned, 18 November 1947 at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Medusa (AR-1) earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 24 August 1950, to Ziedell Shipwrecking Co., Portland, OR.
    Displacement 10,620 t.(lt) (13,000 t.(lim)
    Length 484' 5"
    Beam 70' 3"
    Draft 20' 6"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Officers 54
    Enlisted 786
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    As Built
    four single 5"/51 gun mounts
    two single 3"/50 AA gun mounts
    Upgraded WW2 Armament
    six single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    one Navy Yard Puget Sound Parsons-type turbine
    two Thornycroft boilers, 210psi, Sat.
    double Parsons-type Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    one turbo-drive 100Kw 120V D.C.
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 7,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Contributed By
    Medusa - A Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone.
    Medusa head by Gianlorenzo Bernini in Musei capitolini.
    Author Livioandronico2013
    Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
    Tommy Trampp
    Medusa 225k Medusa (AR-1) a $4,000,000 repair ship for the Pacific Fleet, is pictured just prior to launching at the Bremerton Navy Yard on 16 April 1923. Medusa was the first of her kind to be built on the Pacific Coast. Her launching was rather unusual, as she did not slide down the ways, as normal,but instead the construction dock was flooded and she was floated out to her new berth for fitting out.
    Tacoma Public Library, Marvin D. Boland Collection, BOLAND-B7688. Images in the Image Archive may be downloaded for personal, educational, and other non-commercial use
    Mike Green
    Medusa 217k USS Medusa (AR-1) launching, 16 April 1923, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA. Dale Hargrave
    Medusa 58k USS Medusa (AR-1) at anchor, circa 1920s, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Medusa 120k USS Medusa (AR-1) moored pierside at Melbourne, Australia, during the fleet visit in 1925.
    Photo by the late Allan Greene
    Chris Howell, with copyright permission
    Medusa 153k
    Medusa 53k USS Medusa (AR-1) at anchor, circa 1925, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Medusa 97k USS Medusa (AR-1) at anchor, date and location unknown. The well deck amidships with its large cargo booms provided space for loading stores, facilitated access to ships alongside, and served as a boat gangway.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 69800, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Medusa 132k Dutch submarine K XIII in Navy Yard Mare Island Dry Dock #2, 4 September 1926. USS Medusa (AR-1) is in the background.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo
    Darryl Baker
    Medusa 102k USS Medusa (AR-1) moored, date and location unknown.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-466212, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US National Archives
    Medusa 57k USS Medusa (AR-1) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    Medusa 62k USS Medusa (AR-1) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo # NH 83333.
    Jon Burdett and John Chiquoine
    Medusa 402k USS Medusa (AR-1) alongside USS California (BB-44), 25 September 1932 in Elliott Bay, Seattle.
    US Navy photo.
    Pieter Bakels
    Medusa 283k
    Medusa 121k USS Medusa (AR-1) passing under the Steel Bridge at Portland, Oregon, circa the late 1930s. The ship received modifications circa the mid-1930s that included the expansion of the forward superstructure into the well deck and the addition of an extension (possibly a flat metal plate) on the after side of the smokestack.
    US Navy courtesy
    Mike Green
    Melville 100k USS Medusa (AR-1) in Balboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone, 24 April 1934. From the bottom to the top of the photo several US Navy and British ships are present including USS Zane (DD-337) and another destroyer alongside USS Melville (AD-2), USS Medusa (AR-1), USS Litchfield (DD-336), HMS Exeter and another destroyer nested with USS Truxtun (DD-229).
    US Navy photo # NH 60813 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Medusa 136k USS Medusa (AR-1) with USS Nashville (CL-43) alongside circa 1939-1940. The primary mission of repair ships was to support battleships and cruisers. The well deck of the repair ship is at about the same level as the main deck of the cruiser. Note the encroachment of the forward superstructure into it.
    US Navy courtesy
    Mike Green
    Curtiss 121k USS Curtiss (AV-4) afire after she was hit by a crashing Japanese dive bomber. Photographed from USS Tangier (AV-8). USS Medusa (AR-1) is at right. Timbers floating in the water (foreground) may be from USS Utah (AG-16), which had been sunk at her berth, astern of Tangier. Note weathered paint work on Curtiss and Medusa. The original photograph was in the CinCPac report of the Pearl harbor Attack, 15 February 1942, Volume 3, in 1990.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #: NH 96660
    Robert Hurst
    Tangier 39k View of the west side of Ford Island during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Visible are (left to right): USS Tangier (AV-8), the capsized USS Utah (AG-16), USS Curtiss (AV-4) in the distance directly behind Utah, USS Medusa (AR-1), and the stern of USS Raleigh (CL-7), which is listing after a torpedo hit.
    USAAF photo. U.S. National Park Service Pearl Harbor gallery.
    Robert Hurst
    Curtiss 87k USS Medusa (AR-1) at her mooring in Pearl Harbor soon after the Japanese raid of 7 December 1941. The damaged USS Curtiss (AV-4), is moored to starboard of USS Medusa
    Note that USS Curtiss (AV-4) has been fitted with an air search radar.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-32733, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Medusa 105k USS Medusa (AR-1) moored behind torpedo nets at Pearl Harbor circa early 1942. She still has her original armament of four 5"/51 and two 3"/50 AA guns.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-29121, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Medusa 109k USS Medusa (AR-1) underway circa early 1943. Medusa was at Pearl Harbor until April 1943 when she departed for the Southwest Pacific.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-45951, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green

    USS Medusa Memorabilia
    Ship's Service 5 cent token (front)
    Contributed by Tommy Trampp
    Ship's Service 5 cent token (back)
    Contributed by Tommy Trampp

    For more photos and information about USS Medusa, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Pearl Harbor Action Report

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Menner, Robert Tryon (Duke), USN (USNA 1900)18 September 1924 - 1925
    02CDR. Davis, Milton Smith, USN (USNA 1903)1925 - 24 July 1926
    03CAPT. Simons, Manley Hale, USN (USNA 1901) :RADM24 July 1926 - 22 November 1927
    04CAPT. Canaga, Bruce Livingston, USN (USNA 1908)22 November 1927 - 1 June 1929
    05CAPT. Abbott, John Strong, USN (USNA 1903)1 June 1929 - 29 April 1931
    06CAPT. Alexander, George Andrew, USN (USNA 1906)29 April 1931 - 30 June 1933
    07CAPT. Grady, Ronan Callistus, USN (USNA 1906)30 June 1933 - 1 June 1934
    08CDR. Rockwell, Francis Warren, USN (USNA 1908) :VADM1 June 1934 - 26 May 1936
    09CDR. Bowman, Mark Cooper, USN (USNA 1909)25 May 1936 - 1 June 1937
    10CAPT. McClung, Edgar Raymond, USN (USNA 1911)1 June 1937 - 29 May 1939
    12CAPT. McMillin, George Johnson, USN (USNA 1911)29 May 1939 - 6 October 1939
    12CDR. Doyle Jr., Thomas John6 October 1939 - 1 November 1940
    14CAPT. Schrader Jr., Albert Ernest, USN (USNA 1916)12 June 1941 - 27 February 1943
    15CDR. Miller, John Frood Prentice, USN27 February 1943 - 13 October 1943
    16CAPT. Kuter, Paul Edward, USN13 October 1943 - 14 September 1945
    17CDR. Ransom, Roy Ralph, USN (USNA 1925)14 September 1945 - 18 November 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 24 April 2020