USS Starr (AKA-67)

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USSStarr.jpg USS Starr (AKA-67)
History
Laid down: 13 June 1944
Launched: 18 August 1944
Commissioned: 29 September 1944
Decommissioned: 31 May 1946
Struck: 19 June 1946
Fate: Sold for scrap 9 September 1970
General Characteristics
Hull Type: C2-S-AJ3
Displacement: 8,635 tons light, 13,910 tons loaded
Length: 459 ft 2 in (140 m)
Beam: 63 ft (19.2 m)
Draft: 26 ft 4 in (8.0 m)
Propulsion: GE geared steam turbine drive, single propeller,
6,000 shp (4.5 MW)
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h)
Complement: 395 (62 officers, 333 men), plus embarked troops
Armament: 1 × 5"/38 caliber DP gun,
4 × twin 40 mm AA guns,
16 × 20 mm AA guns
Boats: 14 LCVP,
8 LCM
NOTES: Some sources report different displacements for ships of this type. Speed and complement may have changed as the ship or her mission were modified. Often one or two LCVPs were replaced by LCPLs. 20mm AA guns were sometimes removed.

USS Starr (AKA-67), was a Tolland-class attack cargo ship named for Starr County, Texas, She served as a commissioned ship for 20 months, receiving two battle stars for World War II service.

1944

Her keel was laid down (as "MC Hull 1392") on June 13, 1944 as Maritime Commission hull 1392, under Maritime Commission contract C2-S-AJ3, by North Carolina Shipbuilding Company of Wilmington, North Carolina. She was launched on August 18, 1944, sponsored by Mrs. C. L. Griffin and acquired by the Navy from the War Shipping Administration on a bareboat charter; and was commissioned on September 29, 1944 with Commander Frederick O. Goldsmith in command.

Starr completed fitting out at Charleston, South Carolina, and sailed on October 31 for the Chesapeake Bay on her shakedown cruise. After loading cargo, she departed Norfolk, Virginia, on November 27, and proceeded, via the Panama Canal, to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on December 18, 1944, and remained there until after Christmas. Starr participated in amphibious landing exercises during the first week of January and then entered Kahului Harbor, Maui, for combat loading.

1945

Starr joined a large convoy and sailed west on 27 January 1945, stopping at Eniwetok for two days, before proceeding to Saipan, where the Iwo Jima assault force was staging. The force cleared Tanapag Harbor on 16 February. At 0640 three days later, Starr launched her boats against the Iwo Jima beaches. The attack cargo ship had multiple duties: she was a receiving ship for wounded; an ammunition ship for Salt Lake City (CA-25); and she had a priority cargo of vehicles which were to be delivered only when requested and then, as quickly as possible. She waited until 25 February] to begin discharging her cargo and finished on 5 March. She then got underway for Leyte.

Starr loaded combat cargo from March 9 to 27, and joined a convoy for the Ryukyu Islands. On 1 April, her first boats hit the water at 0615; and they soon joined their prearranged waves for hitting the Okinawa beaches. At 0420 on 9 April the ship was raked from stem to stern by an explosion. At first, it was thought that she had been torpedoed; but it was soon learned that she had been attacked by a Japanese suicide boat. The suicide boat had exploded as it contacted one of a cluster of Starr's landing craft that were moored alongside. The explosion was sufficiently removed from the side of the ship, and the water absorbed the shock so Starr suffered little damage.

Starr sailed for Guam on 10 April with a convoy and was routed onward to Pearl Harbor. She arrived there on 26 April and was notified that she was to return to the West Coast for overhaul. She arrived at San Pedro, California, on 5 May; and repairs were begun immediately. When they were completed, the ship participated in an amphibious exercise and then loaded cargo at San Francisco, California, to be delivered to Guam. She sailed on 24 June and arrived at Guam on 11 July. On 20 July, she steamed to Pearl Harbor for another load of cargo for Guam. Starr was several days out of Guam when word was received that hostilities with Japan had ended. After discharging her cargo at Guam, the ship was routed to the Philippines on 2 September; she arrived at Leyte on 5 September. Starr operated in the Philippines until 29 November when she got underway for China and arrived at Tsingtao on December 4, 1945.

1946 onward

Starr sailed from China to Sasebo, Japan, and thence to Vladivostok. She arrived there on January 2, 1946, unloaded her cargo, and returned to Sasebo where she received orders to proceed, via San Diego, California, to San Francisco, California. She remained at San Francisco between 9 and 18 March and then got underway for Hampton Roads. Starr arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, on 4 April 1946; was decommissioned on 31 May 1946, and was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 1 June 1946. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 June 1946 .

As a civilian vessel, Starr was sold on 3 December 1947 to Pacific Far East Lines, which changed her name to India Bear. In April 1957 she was sold to Trans-Pacific Company, who sold her in turn on 11 November 1959 to Dorama, Incorporated. On 10 July 1959, she was named Lanakila, and on 27 May 1960, she was sold to Long Island Tankers Corporation which renamed her India Bear. On 7 February,1961 she was again sold to Pacific Far East Line. Finally, on 9 September 1970 she was sold to Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Company for scrapping in Taiwan.

References

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