USS Beaverhead (AK-161)

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USS Beaverhead (AK-161).jpg
USS Beaverhead (AK-161) at anchor, date and location unknown.
United States
Name: Beaverhead
Namesake: Beaverhead County, Montana
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2106[1]
Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Richmond, California
Yard number: 63[1]
Laid down: 15 June 1944
Launched: 2 September 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. T. H. Purdom, Jr.
Acquired: 3 January 1945
Commissioned: 3 January 1945
Decommissioned: 8 March 1946
Struck: 28 March 1946
Fate: Sold, 28 March 1947, to Koninklijke Nederlandsche StoombootMattschappij N.V., Amsterdam
Name: Hera
Owner: Koninklijke Nederlandsche StoombootMattschappij N.V.
Acquired: 28 March 1947
Status: Sold 1963
  • Omar Express (1963–1967)
  • Cementos Ponce (1967–1976)
  • Vanessa (1976–1982)
Owner: Bahamas Lines, Panama
Acquired: 1963
Refit: 1967, to a self-unloading cement carrier
Identification:IMO number5407590
Fate: scrapped at Veracruz, Mexico between 1982 and 1984
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Type: C1-M-AV1
Tonnage: 5,032 long tons deadweight (DWT)[1]
  • 2,382 long tons (2,420 t) (standard)
  • 7,450 long tons (7,570 t) (full load)
Length: 388 ft 8 in (118.47 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 1 × propeller
Speed: 11.5 kn (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
  • 3,945 t (3,883 long tons) DWT
  • 9,830 cu ft (278 m3) (refrigerated)
  • 227,730 cu ft (6,449 m3) (non-refrigerated)
  • 15 Officers
  • 70 Enlisted

USS Beaverhead (AK-161) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.


Beaverhead was laid down on 15 June 1944 at Richmond, California, by Kaiser Cargo, Inc., under a Maritime Commission contract, MC hull 2106; launched on 2 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. T. H. Purdom, Jr.; and commissioned on 3 January 1945, Lieutenant Commander Olin F. Weymouth, USNR, in command.[3]

Service history[edit]

World War II Pacific Theatre operations[edit]

Beaverhead was fitted out at the Naval Supply Depot at Oakland, California, and then underwent a brief conversion at the Naval Sea Frontier Base, Treasure Island, California. Beaverhead departed the San Francisco Bay area on 22 January bound for San Pedro, California, and shakedown. At the conclusion of that training, she conducted a post shakedown availability at the San Pedro Harbor Boat Co. between 8 and 14 February.[3]

On the 20th, the ship got underway from San Pedro bound for the Admiralty Islands. She arrived at Manus on 15 March but remained only until the 18th, moving via Hollandia in New Guinea to the Philippine Islands. She arrived in Leyte Gulf on 28 March. Over the next eight months, Beaverhead plied the waters of the Philippines, supplying various American bases. Although operating principally in that archipelago, the ship on occasion, voyaged to Borneo, Morotai, and Manus.[3]

Heading home for decommissioning[edit]

Ultimately, Beaverhead sailed for home on 5 December. She transited the Panama Canal on 19 January 1946 and arrived in New York 11 days later. She moved to Norfolk, Virginia, during the second week in February and was decommissioned there on 8 March 1946. The ship was turned over to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 13 March 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 March 1946.[3] She was subsequently sold in February 1947.[4]

Merchant service[edit]

Beaverhead was sold to the Dutch shipping firm of Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij, N.V., on 28 March 1947, for $693,862, and renamed Hera.[4]

In 1963 she was sold to Bahamas Line, Panama, and renamed Omar Express.[5] She was converted in 1967, to a self-unloading cement carrier, at the Avondale Shipyard, in Avondale, Louisiana, and renamed Cementos Ponce. In 1976 she was renamed Vanessa. She was finally scrapped at Veracruz, Mexico, sometime between 1982 and 1984.[2]

Military awards and honors[edit]

Beaverheads's crew was eligible for the following medals and campaign ribbons:[2]




Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Beaverhead (AK-161) at NavSource Naval History