USS Pictor (AF-54)

USS Pictor (AF-54) was an Alstede-class stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy. Her task was to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.

Pictor replenishing Yorktown and Bausell, 1957
History
United States
Ordered:
  • as SS Great Republic
  • C2-S-B1 hull, MC hull 187
Laid down: 18 March 1942
Launched: 4 June 1942
Acquired: 13 September 1950
Commissioned: 13 September 1950
Decommissioned: December 1969
Struck: 1 June 1976
Fate: sold, 25 November 1981, Scrapped, Kaohsiung 1986-1987
General characteristics
Displacement: 15,500 tons(fl)
Length: 459 ft 2 in (139.95 m)
Beam: 63 ft (19 m)
Draught: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Propulsion: cross-compound turbines, single propeller
Speed: 16 kts.
Complement: 292

Pictor was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract as S.S. Great Republic (MC–187) 18 March 1942 by the Moore Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, California; launched 4 June 1942; sponsored by Mrs. William Craig, Jr.; Added refrigeration to all 5 holds at outfitting, reclassed as C2-S-B1(R) and delivered 29 June 1943.

Service as a commercial freighter

From 29 June 1943 until April 1950, she served as SS Great Republic for various private companies, including United Fruit Co., and Pacific Far East Lines of San Francisco, California. In April 1950, she was returned to the Maritime Commission and was moored in an inactive status in Suisun Bay, California.

Commissioned by the Navy

In September 1950, the Navy acquired this merchant ship from the Maritime Administration for conversion into a store ship. Pictor commissioned 13 September 1950, and reported for duty to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Korean War

During the Korean War, she made tours of the Far East to supply perishable foods and dry stores to personnel in Korea and on the Taiwan patrol.

After the Korean War, she continued to store refrigerate, transport, and issue, underway and in port, perishable foods and dry stores for the U.S. 1st Fleet and the U.S. 7th Fleet off the U.S. West Coast and in the western Pacific Ocean.

Vietnam War operations

During the Vietnam War, she supplied food and dry goods to the 7th Fleet on station off Vietnam.

Decommissioning

She decommissioned in December 1969 and was returned to MARAD in August 1970 for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. She was struck from the Naval Register, 1 June 1976. Final Disposition: disposed of by MARAD sale, 25 November 1981, to Levine Metals Corp., Moored in Richmond, CA. Sold Alien to Shiong Yek Steel Corporation for scrapping in Taiwan on 29 September [1986] with ex-USS Procyon and USS Zelima. All 3 ships scrapped at Kaohsiung between December 1986 and 16 June [1987].

Military awards and honors

Pictor received one battle star during the Korean War:

  • Korea, Summer-Fall 1953 Campaign

She received eight campaign stars during the Vietnam War:

  • Vietnam Defense
  • Vietnamese Counteroffensive
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase II
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase III
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase IV
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase V
  • Tet/69 Counteroffensive
  • Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969

Her crew was eligible for the following medals:

References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.


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