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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Virgo (AE-30)
USS Virgo (AKA-20) (1943 - 1966)

AKA-20 International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Sierra - Foxtrot
AE-30 International Radio Call Sign:
November - Oscar - India - Lima
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 - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal (9) - Vietnam Service Medal (9)
Fourth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Andromeda Class Attack Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 9 March 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 204) at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.
  • Launched, 4 June 1943
  • Commissioned USS Virgo (AKA-20), 10 July 1943 at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., CDR. Clayton H. McLaughlin in command
  • During WWII USS Virgo (AKA-20) was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater;
    TransRon Eleven, COMO. D. W. Loomis USN (18)
    TransDiv Thirty-Three, CAPT. S. M. Haight USN (18) and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Tarawa - Betio Island, 20 to 29 November 1943
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 9 to 24 September 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 4 February 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 17 February to 2 March 1945
    Hollandia operation
    Aitape Humboldt Bay-Tanahmerah Bay, 21 to 27 April and 1 to 5 May 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 1 to 15 May 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 21 to 27 July 1944

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

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    19 September 1945 to 10 April 194627 March to 12 April 1947
    16 to 25 May 1947 
    22 to 29 March 1949 
    1 to 7 July 1949 

  • During the Korean War USS Virgo (AKA-20) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    18 September to 8 October 1950
    Second Korean Winter
    30 November to 16 December 1951
    29 December 1951 to 10 January 1952
    22 January to 3 February 1952
    14 to 26 February 1952
    10 to 27 March 1952
    5 to 12 April 1952
    Inchon Landing
    15 to 17 September 1950
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    24 May to 5 June 1952
    14 June to 17 July 1952
    30 to 31 July 1952
    First UN Counteroffensive
    15 to 18 March 1951
    31 March to 11 April 1951
    Third Korean Winter
    4 to 22 January 1953
    2 to 10 and 18to 24 February 1953
    2 to 7 March 1953
    22 March to 1 April 1953
    13 to 19 and 29 to 30 April 1953
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    24 April to 6 May 1951
    14 to 18 May 1951
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    1 to 5 and 14 to 17 May 1953
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    1 to 21 November 1951

  • Decommissioned, 3 April 1958
  • Laid up in Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, Astoria, OR.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1961
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Astoria, OR..
  • Withdrawn from reserve in September 1965
  • Reinstated in the Naval Register, 1 November 1965 as an Ammunition Ship
  • Recommissioned USS Virgo (AE-30), 19 August 1966 at Seattle, WA., CAPT. Harold R. MacMillan in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Virgo (AE-30) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    12 February to 2 March 1966
    9 March to 6 April 1966
    Vietnamese Summer-Fall 1969
    9 to 13 and 20 to 23 June 1969
    30 June to 15 July 1969
    24 July to 8 August 1969
    1 to 2 and 9 to 23 September 1969
    1 to 16 and 30 to 31 October 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    12 to 15 and 30 to 31 May 1967
    Winter-Spring 1970
    1 to 12 November 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 11 June 1967
    28 June to 13 July 1967
    24 July to 16 August 1967
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    7 to 26 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    7 to 17 April 1968
    26 April to 6 May 1968
    16 to 29 May 1968
    12 to 24 June 1968
    11 to 24 July 1968
    3 to 22 August 1968
    9 to 16 September 1968
    24 September to 8 October 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    5 to 21 July 1970
    27 July to 4 August 1970
    14 to 18 August 1970
    17 September to 3 October 1970
    20 October to 4 November 1970
    Tet 69/Counteroffensive
    29 May to 8 June 1969

  • Decommissioned, 18 February 1971, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal
  • USS Virgo earned seven battle stars for World War II service, nine battle stars for Korean War service, and nine campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition sold for scrapping, 19 November 1973 to Taipei Hsieh of Taiwan
    AKA Specifications:
    Displacement 6,556 t.(lt) 14,200 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 3"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 26' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts. (trial)
    Officers 52
    Enlisted 421
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 4,450 dwt
    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 11,010 Bbls
    one De Laval steam turbine
    two Combustion Engineering "D"-type boilers, 465psi 765°
    De Laval double Main Reduction Gears
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Virgo (AKA-20)
    Virgo 70k USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    367k USS LST-66 steams into Tanahmerah Bay, Dutch New Guinea, 23 April 1943, maneuvering past USS Virgo (AKA-20). LST-66's deck is jammed to the rails with trucks, jeeps and other motorized equipment. As she steams in to the Bay American amphibious forces spring their smashing invasion of this strategic area. At the right is Virgo and in the distance other LSTs have hit the beach and dropped their ramps.
    Refs. USS LST-66, USS John Rodgers and USS Virgo War Diaries, National Archives 205585106 Local Identifier 26-G-218, US Coast Guard photo # 2185 by Sturgis
    David Upton
    Virgo 242k USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway in the attack force of the Invasion of Guam in July 1944, as seen from USS Ringgold (DD-500). Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine
    Virgo 97k USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    283k Port and starboard side views of USS Virgo (AKA-20) near the US Naval Dry-docks, Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA., 16 December 1944. Note her newly-fitted lattice radar mast. Three of the six early Federal-built units (AKA-17, 19, and 20) had this type of radar mast added between April and December 1944, all at this yard, while the other three received pole masts. This lattice mast was similar to the one fitted in the later Moore-built units but was located further forward and supported the small anti-aircraft fire control director that was mounted on a stand over the bridge in the Moore ships. Her camouflage scheme is measure 32/8T.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-81312 and #19-N-81311, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Virgo 82k Stern view of USS Virgo (AKA-20) in the Mare Island channel, 29 July 1946. Virgo was under repair at Mare Island from 28 May to 26 July 1946. Ships to the right of Virgo, are per the shipyard logs:
    USS Missoula (APA-211);
    USS Magoffin (APA-199);
    USS Meriwether (APA-203); and
    USS Lubbock (APA 197).
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # AKA 20 2751-46 - 7/29/46
    Darryl Baker
    Virgo 86k Broadside view of USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway in the Mare Island channel, 29 July 1946.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # AKA 20 2753-46 - 7/29/46
    Darryl Baker
    Virgo 56k Bow on view of USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway with assistance of an unidentified tug off Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 29 July 1946. Ships in the background are part of the 19th Fleet (Reserve Fleet) moored at Mare Island.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # AKA 20 2756-46 - 7/29/46
    Darryl Baker
    249k USS Virgo (AKA-20) entering San Francisco Bay circa 1946. Marin County shore to the left and Angel Island to the far right in the background.
    U.S. Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Darryl Baker
    Virgo 401k USS Virgo (AKA-20) underway while inbound on her way into San Diego Bay, circa late 1940s-early 1950s.
    Photos Oather Morper Ship Photos.
    David Buell
    Virgo 421k
    Virgo 447k
    Virgo 113k USS Virgo (AKA-20) transferring cargo to USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39) while en route to Japan, 8 June 1953
    US Navy photo # NH 97301, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Virgo 87k Broadside view of USS Virgo (AKA-20) off Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 14 May 1957. Virgo was under repair at Mare Island from 5 March to 13 May 1957.
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # AKA 20 34262-5-57, 5/14/57
    Darryl Baker
    Virgo 495k USS Virgo (AKA-20) being removed from the Reserve Fleet at Astoria, OR., 19 August 1965 on her way to Seattle for conversion to an ammunition ship. Photo from the archives of the "San Francisco Examiner". David Buell
    USS Virgo (AE-30)
    Virgo 86k USS Virgo (AE-30), Subic Bay PI, 26 August 1970
    US Navy Photo NH 97300, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Virgo 42k USS Virgo (AE-30) in the South China Sea being replenished via VertRep by a CH-46 helicopter from USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), circa 1969-70 Photo by Dr. W. P. Jones, Medical Officer, USS Niagara Falls
    Haleakala 30k USS Virgo (AE-30) and USS Haleakala (AE-25) steaming together in the late 1960s, place unknown. Bill Toohey
    Virgo 118k USS Virgo (AE-30) as she steams alongside another ship in the Gulf of Tonkin during a replenishment at sea. The sign reads "Damn the Demonstrators Pass the Ammo" a retort to the anti-war demonstrators back in the US. The ship was cruising 60 miles north of the border between South and North Vietnam and 8 miles off the coast of North Vietnam. The Virgo was carrying ammunition for destroyers which were shelling the coast of North Vietnam.
    AP Wirephoto.
    Tommy Trampp
    Virgo 243k USS Virgo (AE-30) underway in harbor, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Virgo 1061k USS Virgo (AE-30) moored pierside at Naval Station Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines in 1969. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Virgo 337k Bow on and port quarter views of USS Virgo (AE-30) departing NAD Concord, CA. in 1970.
    US Navy photos.
    Mike Smolinski
    Virgo 326k
    Virgo 95k USS Virgo (AE-30) ship's plaque, features an insignia design adopted in 1966.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #: NH 76172-KN (Color).
    Robert Hurst

    For more photos and information about USS Virgo, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Virgo's 1957 Seventh Fleet Deployment, slide show contributed by Marc Schenck for his father LTjg. Bernard Schenck USS Virgo

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. McLaughlin, Clayton H.16 July 1943 - 10 August 1944AKA-20
    02LCDR. Randall, Herbert E.10 August 1944 - 13 December 1945 AKA-20
    03LCDR. Lermond, Joseph W. 13 December 1945 - 16 January 1946 AKA-20
    04CAPT. Bennett, Laurence, USN16 January 1946 - 16 August 1946 AKA-20
    05CAPT. McCready Jr., George Thomas16 August 1946 - 17 October 1948 AKA-20
    06CAPT. Kaitner, William E.17 October 1948 - 14 November 1948 AKA-20
    07CAPT. Legg, Charles Alston14 November 1948 - 4 February 1950 AKA-20
    08CAPT. Ross, Philip Harold4 February 1950 - 14 July 1951 AKA-20
    09CAPT. Sampson, Norman John14 July 1951 - 5 September 1952 AKA-20
    10CAPT. Outerson, William5 September 1952 - 5 November 1953 AKA-20
    11CAPT. Haskins, Enrique D'Hamel :RADM5 November 1953 - 1 February 1955 AKA-20
    12CAPT. Becker, Charles H.1 February 1955 - March 1956 AKA-20
    13CAPT. Rhymes Jr., Cassius DouglasMarch 1956 - 18 April 1957 AKA-20
    14CAPT. Logsdon, Earl William18 April 1957 - 8 May 1958 AKA-20
      Decommissioned8 May 1958 - 9 August 1966 
    15CAPT. MacMillan, Harold Robert 9 August 1966 - 27 May 1967AE-30
    16CAPT. Carrier Jr., William, USN (USNA 1945)27 May 1967 - 29 June 1968 AE-30
    17CAPT. Kaplan, Alan Joel29 June 1968 - 16 August 1969 AE-30
    18CAPT. Roulstone, Don Jon16 August 1969 - 14 January 1971 AE-30
    19LCDR. Parks Jr., William Hutchinson14 January 1971 - 18 February 1971AE-30
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 9 June 2023