USS Aludra (AK-72)

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USS Aludra (AK-72) 1942-43
USS Aludra (AK-72), 1942-43
Career (USA) 100x35px
Name: USS Aludra
Namesake: Aludra
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation
Laid down: 28 October 1942 as SS Robert T. Lincoln
Launched: 7 December 1942
Acquired: 14 December 1942
Commissioned: 26 December 1942
Out of service: 23 June 1943
Renamed: Aludra 30 October 1942
Honours and
1 x battle star
Fate: Sunk 23 June 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Displacement: 14,250 tons
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 10 in (17.32 m)
Draft: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: 198
Armament: 1 x 5", 1 x 3"

The USS Aludra (AK-72) was a Crater-class cargo ship in the service of the United States Navy in World War II. Named after the star Aludra in the constellation Canis Major, it was the first ship of the Navy to bear this name.

Aludra was laid down 28 October 1942 as liberty ship SS Robert T. Lincoln (MCE hull 437) by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; launched on 7 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy A. Rainbow; renamed Aludra (AK-72) on 30 October 1942; delivered to the Navy on 14 December 1942; and placed in commission at San Francisco, California, on 26 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander. Dale E. Collins in command.

The new cargo ship joined the Pacific Fleet and held brief shakedown training before departing the west coast on 7 January 1943. She anchored in Dumbea Bay, New Caledonia, on 29 January. The vessel got underway on 2 February for Havannah Harbor, Efate Island, and arrived there two days later. Aludra continued on to Espiritu Santo, where she remained from 11 February through 6 May.

The vessel left Espiritu Santo on 6 May in company with Brooks (APD-10). The two ships reached Brisbane, Australia, on 11 May and took on cargo. Aludra sailed on 17 May for Auckland, New Zealand. She arrived there on 23 May and spent one week in port taking on supplies and equipment. The ship left Auckland on 30 May but returned that same day to repair a steering casualty. She got underway again on 31 May.

Aludra made port calls at Nouméa, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal. She departed the latter port on 22 June, bound for Espiritu Santo. At 04:44 on 23 June, a torpedo fired by Japanese submarine RO-103 hit Aludra’s port side and exploded. Approximately five hours later, at 09:33, the cargo ship sank in over 2,000 fathoms (3,650 m) of water. Two of her crew members were killed and 12 were wounded.

Aludra earned one battle star for her World War II service.


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