USS Deimos (AK-78)

USS Deimos (AK-78) was a Crater-class cargo ship in the service of US Navy in World War II. It was the first ship of the Navy to have borne the name Deimos, after one of the moons of Mars.

Broadside view of USS Deimos (AK-78) underway off San Francisco, 26 January 1943.
United States
  • Hugh McCulloch
  • Chief Ouray
  • Deimos
Ordered: as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 513[1]
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Cost: $1,089,087[2]
Yard number: 513[1]
Way number: 5[1]
Laid down: 27 November 1942
Launched: 28 December 1942
Sponsored by: Mrs. Marie Moyer
Acquired: 7 January 1943
Commissioned: 23 January 1943
Honors and
1 × battle star
Fate: Damaged by torpedo, 23 June 1943
Status: Abandoned and scuttled by gun fire from O'Bannon
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
  • 4,023 long tons (4,088 t) (standard)
  • 14,550 long tons (14,780 t) (full load)
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draft: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Installed power:
Speed: 12.5 kn (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph)
  • 7,800 t (7,700 long tons) DWT
  • 444,206 cu ft (12,578.5 m3) (non-refrigerated)
Complement: 210


Deimos was laid down 27 November 1942, as liberty ship SS Hugh McCulloch, renamed SS Chief Ouray, MCE hull 513, by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract. Deimos was launched on 28 December 1942 and sponsored by Mrs. Marie Moyer. Deimos was transferred to the Navy on 7 January 1943, and commissioned 23 January 1943, with Lieutenant Commander Walter L. Sorenson, USNR, in command.[4]

Service history

Deimos sailed from San Francisco 27 January 1943, with cargo for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, and Townsville, Australia. She arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia, 23 May, to load cargo which she delivered to Guadalcanal in June. Returning to her base, she was torpedoed on 23 June, on the port side, aft. Efforts to save her failed. She was finally abandoned and sunk by gunfire from O'Bannon (DD-450) at 11°26′S 162°01′E.[4]


Deimos received one battle star for World War II service.[4]



  • "Cetus". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • "Kaiser Permanente No. 1, Richmond CA". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  • "USS Deimos (AK-78)". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  • "SS Chief Ouray". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  • Photo gallery of USS Deimos (AK-78) at NavSource Naval History
  • "CHIEF OURAY". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 16 December 2016.

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