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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS USN (Ret.) - Popular Patch

USS Oberon (T-AKA-14)
USS Oberon (AKA-14) (1943 - 1949)
USS Oberon (AK-56) (1942 - 1943)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Tango - Delta
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (5) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal - Korean Service Medal (5)
Fourth Row - Philippines Liberation Medal - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Arcturus Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Delabla, a Maritime Commission type (C2-F) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 133), at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp., Kearny, N.J.
  • Renamed Oberon, 16 February 1942
  • Launched, 18 March 1942
  • Acquired by the US Navy and Commissioned USS Oberon (AK-56), 15 June 1942, at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., CDR. Ion Purcell, USN in command
  • Reclassified Attack Cargo Ship (AKA-14), 1 February 1943
  • During World War II USS Oberon was initially assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater, and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    North Africa occupation
    Algeria-Morocco (Fedela), 8 to 11 November 1942
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 March to 26 April 1945
    Sicily occupation, 9 to 15 July 1943  
    Salerno landings, 9 to 21 September 1943  
    Convoy KMF-25A, 6 November 1943  
    Invasion of Southern France, 15 August to 25 September 1944  

  • While assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS Oberon came under the command of:
    TransRon Fourteen, COMO. D. L. Ryan USN (16);
    TransDiv Forty-Two, CAPT. A.R. Mack USN (17)
  • Following World War II USS Oberon was assigned the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) and performed Occupation and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 2 to 30 September 194511 December 1948 to 9 January 1949
    Asia - 24 October to 12 November 1945 
    Asia - 27 April to 11 May 1946 
    Asia - 17 to 28 November 1946 
    Asia - 10 to 15 January 1949 
    Europe - 15 to 18 February 1954 

  • Transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 1 October 1949, redesignated (T-AKA-14)
  • During the Korean War Oberon (T-AKA-14) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    First UN Counter Offensive
    13 March 1951
    23 to 30 March 1951
    2 to 5 April 1951
    15 to 21 April 1951
    Second Korean Winter
    2 to 14 February 1952
    26 February to 10 March 1952
    22 March to 9 April 1952
    18 to 30 April 1952
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    22 April 1951
    29 April to 2 May 1951
    6 to 19 May 1951
    29 May to 10 June 1951
    29 June to 8 July 1951
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    9 to 16 July 1951
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    1 to 4 May 1952

  • Decommissioned, 27 June 1955
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1960
  • USS Oberon earned six battle stars for World War II service and five battle stars for Korean War service
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration, 2 March 1960 for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, at Olympia WA.
  • Permanent transfer to the Maritime Administration, 30 June 1960
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 3 December 1970, to Marine Power and Equipment Co., Inc., (PD-X-890) for $47,000.00, delivered, 28 December 1970
    Displacement 7,391 t.(lt) 14,225 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 5"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 45
    Enlisted 445
    Largest Boom Capacity 40 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,375 DWT
    non-refrigerated 332,850 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 10,670 Bbls
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Oberon (AK-56)
    Oberon 85k USS Oberon (AK-56) underway off Kearny, New Jersey, 15 June 1942. She is painted in the splotch patterns of Camouflage Measure 12 (Modified).
    US Navy photo # NH 83229 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1975.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Oberon 43k USS Oberon (AK-56) moored between piers 4 and 5, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation (HRPE), Newport News, VA., 19 Oct 1942 Edward Grune
    The Library of Virginia,
    US Army Signal Corps
    Photograph Collection
    Oberon 125k USS Oberon (AK-56) underway, circa 1942, location unknown. Edward Grune
    USS Oberon Association
    USS Oberon (AKA-14)
    Oberon 221k USS Oberon (AKA-14) underway in Hampton Roads, off Norfolk, VA., circa April 1943, Note Southern Railway Pier 4 in background. Edward Grune
    USS Oberon Association
    214k USS Oberon (AKA-14), USS Monrovia (APA-31) and USS Lyon (AP-71), Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, underway between Algiers, Algeria and Gela, Sicily, 6-9 July 1943.
    TimeLife_image_116064061 by Bob Landry, Life Magazine. For personal non-commercial use only.
    David Upton
    TL 116108659
    249k USS Oberon (AKA-14), Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily, Gela Landings, "Dime" beaches, 10-12 July 1943.
    TimeLife_image_116108659 and 116108616, by J.R. Eyerman. Life Magazine. For personal non-commercial use only.
    David Upton
    TL 116108616
    Oberon 67k USS Oberon (AKA-14) underway off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA., 7 February 1944. Note the change in fore and aft 40mm gun mounts single 40mm's changed to twin 40mm's with MK51 directors.
    US Navy photo # 92295 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of Frank Jankowski, 1981.
    US Naval Historical Center
    83k USS Oberon (AKA-14) underway off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA., 7 February 1944.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo #'s 19-N-60517 & 19-N-60519, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Oberon 95k USS Oberon (AKA-14) at anchor, circa the later 1940s. Note the two triple sets of kingposts, one fore and one aft, the tall center kingposts in each supporting the ship's 40-ton booms.
    US Navy photo # 104075 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Oberon 39k USS Oberon (AKA-14) at anchor, date and location unknown. Russ Padden
    Oberon 84k USS Oberon (AKA-14) underway in the late 1940s or early 1950s, probably while entering San Diego Harbor, CA.
    US Navy photo # 104076 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    USS Oberon (T-AKA-14)
    Oberon 48k USS Oberon (T-AKA-14) in the background of this photo of USS Cusk (SSG-348) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA., 7 December 1950.
    US Navy photo # 90847 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy Jack Howland, 1980.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Oberon (AKA-14) Shipyard Overhaul Photos circa 1950s, US National Archives
    Contributed by Edward Grune
    Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon
    Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon Oberon

    USS Oberon (AKA-14)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Purcell, Ion, USN :RADM15 June 1942 - 22 October 1943AK-56 / AKA-14
    02LCDR Greenlee, David Glass, USN (USNA 1925)22 October 1943- July 1944AKA-14
    03LCDR. Cameron, Harold Thomas, USNRJuly 1944 - 24 May 1945AKA-14
    04CAPT. Goodnough, John Clark, USN (USNA 1923)24 May 1945 - 24 July 1945AKA-14
    05LCDR. Johnson, Carl, F. A., USNR24 July 1945 - 1 April 1946AKA-14
    06CDR. Perry, Ernest Reide USN (USNA 1926)1 April 1946 - 2 April 1948AKA-14
    07CAPT. Gross, Paul David USN USN (USNA 1927)2 April 1948 - 1949AKA-14
    08CAPT. Ramsay, Alston, USN (USNA 1927) :RADM1949 - ?AKA-14
    09CAPT. Wirtz, Peyton Louis, USN (USNA 1931)June 1952 - August 1953AKA-14
    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 Oberon (AK-56) War Diary, 1942-1943
    USS Oberon (AKA-14) War Diary, War Diary and History, 1943-1945

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    Last Updated 22 October 2021