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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Thuban (LKA-19)
USS Thuban (AKA-19) (1943 - 1969)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Quebec - Xray

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 13 January 1945) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8)- World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)- Korean Service Medal (3)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (5-Vietnam, 1-Cuba) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (1)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Andromeda Class Amphibious Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 2 February 1943, as AK-68, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 203), at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Kearny, N.J.
  • Launched, 26 April 1943
  • Commissioned USS Thuban (AKA-19), 10 June 1943, at Brooklyn Navy Yard, N.Y., CDR. James C. Campbell USNR in command
  • During WWII USS Thuban was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater;
    TransRon Twelve, COMO. H.B Knowles USN (17);
    TransDiv Thirty-Four and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa landings, Betio Island, 20 to 29 November 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 20 October and 18 November 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 to 12 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 15 June to 28 July 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 9 to 16 March 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation
    24 to 28 July 1944
    Third Fleet operations against Japan
    9 to 15 August 1945

  • Following World War II USS Thuban was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 to 4 September 194516 November 1945 to 29 April 1946
    21 September to 15 November 1945 
    11 to 25 November 1947 

  • During the Korean War USS Thuban participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    18 September to 2 November 1950
    Inchon Landing
    15 to 17 September 1950
    Communist China Aggression
    3 to 18 November 1950
  • Decommissioned, 31 October 1967, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Fleet Reserve, Norfolk Group
  • Redesignated Amphibious Cargo Ship, (LKA-19), 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 January 1977
  • USS Thuban earned eight battle stars for World War II service and three battle stars for Korean War service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Final Disposition, disposed of by MARAD, 27 September 1984, fate unknown
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 14,200 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 3"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
    Officers 38
    Enlisted 418
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,895 DWT
    non-refrigerated 322,092 Cu ft.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    three 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 Bbls
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Combustion Engineering D-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    three 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    252k Thuban (AKA-19) prior to commissioning at her builder's yard, Federal Kearny, 17 May 1943. In the foreground is Black (DD-666) prior to commissioning.
    U.S. National Archives Identifier NA-USS Black-19LCM
    John Chiquoine
    564k Thuban (AKA-19) moored pierside at U.S. Naval Drydocks, Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA., 20 April 1944, with a unidentified YO alongside.
    U.S. National Archives Identifiers BS-83749 and BS-83750
    Nicholas Tiberio
    195k USS Turban (AKA-19) berthed for damage repair in June 1945 at General Engineering, Alameda CA.
    Photo by Thomas McAvoy, Life Magazine, used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    Thuban 154k USS Thuban (AKA-19) at anchor in the Whangpoo River, Shanghai, China, 20 November 1945. David Lancaster for his father James P. Lancaster USS Thuban
    Thuban 65k USS Thuban (AKA-19) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, January 1954.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Thuban 108k Aft plan view of USS Thuban (AKA-19) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 9 August 1946. Thuban was under repair at Mare Island from 14 June to 12 August 1946.
    US Naval Shipyard Mare Island photo # AKA 19 2873-46, 8/9/46
    Darryl Baker.
    Thuban 108k Forward plan view of USS Thuban (AKA-19) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 9 August 1946.
    US Naval Shipyard Mare Island photo # AKA 19 2876-46, 8/9/46
    Darryl Baker.
    Thuban 151k USS Thuban (AKA-19) getting underway at NOB Norfolk, VA. with the assistance of Tazha (YTM-147) and an unidentified tug, August 1964 © Richard Leonhardt
    Thuban 2640k USS Thuban (AKA-19) conducting a highline transfer with USS Francis Marion (APA-249_ during their 1965 Mediterranean deployment. Photos taken from Francis Marion. Photos by Earl Bailey PC3, USS Francis Marion, 1963-1965.
    Thuban 1784k
    Thuban 2361k

    USS Thuban (AKA-19)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Campbell, James C., USNR10 June 1943 - 20 February 1945
    02LCDR. Strudley, James Henry, USNR20 February 1945 - 14 July 1945
    03LT. Johnson, Henry Charles Louis, USNR14 July 1945 - 24 September 1945
    04LCDR. Biggs, George Prettyman, USN24 September 1945 - ?
    05CAPT. Searles, William Marvin, USN (USNA 1928)1949 - October 1950
    06CAPT. Dennett, Erle Van Emburgh, USN (USNA 1929)October 1950 - December 1951
    07CAPT. Longton, Ernest William, USN (USNA 1931)December 1951 - 1953
    08CAPT. Mann, Charles Clark, USN (USNA 1934) :RADM1954 - February 1956
    09CAPT. Derickson Jr., Richard Barnett, USN (USNA 1933)February 1956 - June 1957
    10CAPT. Michaels, Emmett Theodore, USNJune 1957 - 1958
    11CAPT. Wheeler Jr., Rexford Vinal, USN (USNA 1937)1958 - 1959
    12CAPT. Zimanski, Frank Anthony, USN (USNA 1938)1959 - 1960
    13CAPT. Meadors, William Winfield, USN1960 - ?
    14CAPT. Stow Jr., Walter Kent, USN, (USNA 1939)? - 1962
    15CAPT. Simmons, Walter Earl, USN, (USNA 1942)6 September 1963 - 20 August 1964
    16CAPT. Spore, Burns Walling, USN (USNA 1941)20 August 1964 - 24 August 1965
    17CAPT. Gillcrist, John Anthony, USN (USNA 1945)24 August 1965 - 15 August 1966
    18CAPT. Cooke Jr., Emmett Marion, USN 15 August 1966 - 25 August 1967 (Deactivated 31 July 1967)
    19CAPT. Hughes Jr., Thomas Joseph, USN :VADM25 August 1967 - 9 October 1967
    20CDR. Crawford, Bentley Baker, USN 9 October 1967 - 31 January 1968 (Last Day in Command)
    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
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The Amphibious Cargo Ship (AKA) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 5 May 2923