USS Eridanus (AK-92)

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USS Eridanus (AK-92).jpg
USS Eridanus (AK-92), broadside view, in San Francisco Bay, 8 May 1943.
United States
  • Luther Burbank
  • Eridanus
Ordered: as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 1099[1]
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Cost: $982,446[2]
Yard number: 1099[1]
Way number: 8[1]
Laid down: 12 March 1943[1]
Launched: 9 April 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Luther Burbank
Acquired: 22 April 1943
Commissioned: 8 May 1943
Decommissioned: 8 May 1946
Struck: 21 May 1946
Honors and
1 × battle star
Fate: Returned to MARCOM, laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia, 15 May 1946
Status: Sold for commercial use, 14 February 1947
Name: Panagiotis
Namesake: Paul Kruger
Owner: John P. G. Livanos, Athens, Greece
Acquired: 17 February 1947
Fate: Ran aground Kunsan, South Korea, 15 November 1955
Status: sold, 18 September 1956
South KoreaSouth Korea
Name: Silla
Owner: Far Eastern Marine Transport Company, Ltd., Inchon, South Korea
Acquired: 18 September 1956
Fate: laid up 31 January 1972, Masan, South Korea
Status: scrapped September 1972
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Tonnage: 10,860 long tons deadweight (DWT)[4]
  • 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: 206
General characteristics 1956[3]
Tonnage: 11,000 long tons deadweight (DWT)
Length: 449 ft (137 m)

USS Eridanus (AK-92) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II and manned by a US Coast Guard crew. She was named after the constellation Eridanus. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.


Eridanus was launched 9 April 1943, as Luther Burbank, MCE hull 1099, by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract; sponsored by Mrs. Luther Burbank; acquired by the Navy 22 April 1943; and commissioned 8 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander F. W. Johnson, USCGR, in command.[5]

Service history[edit]

Eridanus carried cargo and passengers between US West Coast ports and bases in the southwest Pacific, the Hawaiians, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the Palaus from 26 June 1943 to 3 February 1946, often making lengthy tows in addition to her cargo operations. Almost constantly at sea, she played her part in the Navy's gigantic task of carrying supplies for its ships and shore bases, as well as for the US Marines and US Army, half way round the world at the same time as it carried on combat operations. In February 1944 she made a direct contribution to the troops seizing islands in the northern Solomons, bringing cargo and passengers to Bougainville.[5]

Her last service was a long and difficult towing job, in which she took section of a floating dry dock from Eniwetok, sailing 4 February 1946, to Hampton Roads, Virginia, arriving 16 April.[5]


She was decommissioned at Baltimore, Maryland, 8 May 1946, and returned to the War Shipping Administration (WSA), 15 May 1946, her name reverted to Luther Burbank.[3] She was then laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia, the same day.[4]

Merchant service[edit]

On 14 February 1947, she was sold for commercial service to John P. G. Livanos, Athens, Greece, for $544,546. She was re-flagged for Greece and renamed Panagiotis.[3]

On 15 November 1955, she ran aground at Kunsan, Korea while carrying a load of coal from Baltimore, Maryland, to Inchon. She broke in two, 21 November 1955, and was declared a total loss. Far Eastern Marine Transport Co Ltd, Inchon, bought her 18 September 1956. Both parts were refloated, towed to Pusan, then to Shimonoseki, Japan. The aft section arrived 18 September 1956, with the name Silla. The forepart arrived three days later, 21 September 1956. Both parts were then towed to Tokyo where they were rejoined by I.H.I. and lengthened to 449 ft (137 m), which increased her to 11,000 long tons deadweight (DWT). She resumed service as Silla, flagged South Korean. She was laid up 31 January 1972, at Masan, South Korea. She was finally sold to local breakers, where she resumed trading for short period before being eventually being scrapped at Masan, September 1972.[3]


Eridanus received one battle star for World War II service.[5] Her crew was eligible for the following medals:[3]



  • "Eridanus". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 17 December 2016. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • "Kaiser Permanente No. 2, Richmond CA". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  • "USS Eridanus (AK-92)". 13 June 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  • "LUTHER BURBANK (AK-92)". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  • "SS Luther Burbank". Retrieved 15 December 2017.

External links[edit]