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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Cepheus (AKA-18)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Papa - Golf
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 - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

USS Cepheus (AKA-18) was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Andromeda Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 207) at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.
  • Allocated to the US Navy as AK-67
  • Launched, 23 October 1943
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 15 December 1943
  • Commissioned USS Cepheus (AKA-18), 16 December 1943, CAPT. Robert B. Hall, USCG, in command
  • During WWII USS Cepheus was assigned first 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
    Invasion of southern France
    Saint Raphael, 15 to 25 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 15 April 1945

  • When assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater USS Cepheus (AKA-18) came under the command of:
    TransRon Eighteen, COMO J. G. Moyer USN (14);
    TransDiv Fifty-Two
  • Following World War II USS Cepheus was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    22 to 30 September 194526 December 1945 to 22 January 1946
    19 to 29 October 1945 

  • Decommissioned, 22 May 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Cepheus earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 12 September 1946, at the Maritime Commission National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group, Jones Point, N.Y.
  • Delivered, 5 May 1947, to Maryland Drydock Co. for reconversion to merchant service
  • Merchant Service
    Sold for merchant service to United States Lines, 8 October 1947, renamed SS American Hunter
    Title returned to the Maritime Administration, 11 January 1961
    Operated as a bare bottom charter by United States Lines from 11 January 1961 to 1 March 1966
    Sold to Sperling Steamship and Training Corp., 1 March 1966, renamed SS Brookville
    Served in the US east-coast to Pacific trade, delivering commercial and military cargo to the Far East via the Panama Canal
  • Final Disposition, 3 April 1968, being on a ballast voyage home from Sattahip (Thailand) to Tampa, FL, she ran aground at full speed on a reef off Honduras and was heavily damaged. Refloating not being possible, she was finally abandoned as a constructive total loss June 1968
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt), 14,200 t.(lt)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 44
    Enlisted 360
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,895 DWT
    non-refrigerated 420,000 Cu. ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3'?50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eighteen single 20mm AA gun mounts
    eight LCMs
    one LCP(L)
    fifteen LCVPs
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 11,010
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster Wheeler D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single shaft, 6,000shp

    Nicholas Tiberio
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Cepheus (AKA-18)
    656k Cepheus (AKA-18) under construction at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J., circa November 1943.
    U.S. Navy photo from MARAD
    Cepheus 90k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway, circa December 1943 in New York Harbor.
    U.S. Navy photo
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    616k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway near Navy Yard Norfolk, VA. 9 December 1944. Her camouflage scheme is measure 32/8T.
    U.S. Navy photos #'s 80-G-294251, 19-N-96758 and 19-N-96759 now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives
    Nicholas Tiberio
    205k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway at Norfolk, VA., 16 December 1944.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-81312, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Cepheus 76k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) conducting amphibious operations off Honolulu, T.H. in 1945. From the photo diary of Edward R. Mueller, SC/2c USS Cepheus
    198k USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway in San Francisco Bay heading south with the Oakland San Francisco Bridge in the background circa 1946. Cepheus departed San Francisco, 15 February 1946
    US Navy photo from Vallejo Naval and History Museum. Photo also available as USNH&H # NH 78551
    Darryl Baker
    Merchant Service United States Lines
    Cepheus 341k Ex-USS Cepheus (AKA-18) underway while in merchant service as the United States Lines SS American Hunter, date and location unknown.
    Original copyright belonged to the late British ship photo dealer Alex Duncan.
    Gerhard Muller-Debus

    USS Cepheus (AKA-18)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Hall, Robert B. USCG :RADM16 December 1943 - 1944
    02CDR. Sarratt Jr., Robert Clifton USCG16 June 1944 - 6 June 1945
    03CAPT. McKay, Donald Edward USCG :RADM11 June 1945 - January 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
    MARAD Vessel History Database

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    Last Updated 17 July 2024