USS Cassiopeia (AK-75)

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USS Cassiopeia (AK-75).jpg
Broadside view of USS Cassiopeia (AK-75) off San Francisco, 19 December 1942.
United States
  • Melville W. Fuller
  • Cassiopeia
Ordered: as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 504[1]
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Cost: $1,124,481[2]
Yard number: 504[1]
Way number: 2[1]
Laid down: 13 October 1942[1]
Launched: 15 November 1942
Sponsored by: Mrs. C. F. Calhoun
Acquired: 27 November 1942
Commissioned: 8 December 1942
Decommissioned: 21 November 1945
Struck: 5 December 1945
Honours and
1 × battle star
Fate: Laid up in National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia, 21 November 1945
Status: Disposed of as a target by USS Cutlass (SS-478), in the VACAPES area, date unknown
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Type: Type EC2-S-C1
  • 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:
  • 1 × Header-type boilers, 220psi 450°,  (manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox)
  • 2,500 shp (1,900 kW)
Speed: 12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)
  • 7,800 t (7,700 long tons) DWT
  • 444,206 cu ft (12,578.5 m3) (non-refrigerated)
Complement: 195

USS Cassiopeia (AK-75) was a Crater-class cargo ship in the service of the US Navy in World War II. She was the only ship of to bear this name. She is named after the northern hemisphere constellation Cassiopeia.


Cassiopeia was launched 15 November 1942 as liberty ship SS Melville W. Fuller by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MCE hull 504; sponsored by Mrs. C. F. Calhoun; acquired by the Navy 27 November 1942; and commissioned 8 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander William E. Carlson in command.[4]

Service history[edit]

Cassiopeia sailed from San Francisco 21 December 1942 with cargo for Nouméa, where she arrived 12 January 1943. From this base, she offered essential support to the operations in the consolidation of the northern Solomons, carrying the varied necessities of war throughout the South Pacific. Between 19 June and 11 July, the cargo ship voyaged to Auckland, New Zealand, to reload, then returned with voyages from Nouméa to Guadalcanal until 9 August. Another resupply mission and a brief repair period in New Zealand preceded her resumption of South Pacific operations in November.[4]

This pattern of ferrying vital supplies in the South Pacific alternating with voyages to New Zealand to reload continued until 6 June 1945, when Cassiopeia cleared Auckland for San Francisco, the Panama Canal Zone, and Norfolk, where she arrived 25 October.[4]


The cargo ship was decommissioned 21 November 1945, and transferred to MARCOM for disposal the same day.[4]

Final disposition[edit]

Cassiopeia was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Virginia, on 21 November 1945.[3]

On 21 June 1961, the Navy requested her for testing purposes, on 27 June 1961, she was transferred back to the Navy[5] to be used as a target by Cutlass, in the VACAPES area.[3]


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



External links[edit]