USS Boreas (AF-8)

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Name: USS Boreas
Builder: Moore Shipbuilding, Oakland, California
Launched: 1919, as SS Yaquina
Acquired: 6 December 1921
Commissioned: 6 August 1940
Decommissioned: 15 February 1946
Struck: 28 March 1946
Fate: Scrapped, 28 November 1947
General characteristics
Class and type: Arctic-class stores ship
Displacement: 4,654 long tons (4,729 t) light
11,570 long tons (11,760 t) full
Length: 416 ft 6 in (126.95 m)
Beam: 53 ft (16 m)
Draft: 26 ft 5 in (8.05 m)
Installed power: 2,800 shp (2,100 kW)
Propulsion: 1 × geared turbine
1 × shaft
Speed: 11 kn (13 mph; 20 km/h)
Complement: 267
Armament: 2 × 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns, 4 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal dual purpose guns, 8 × 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons

USS Boreas (AF-8) was an Arctic-class stores ship acquired by the United States Navy after World War I. She served with distinction during World War II, supplying food and other supplies to ships and installations in the combat zones of the Pacific Theater.

Early career

Boreas was built for the United States Shipping Board as SS Yaquina in 1919 at Oakland, California, by the Moore Shipbuilding Company; renamed Boreas on 29 October 1921; acquired by the Navy on 6 December 1921 and laid up in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; commissioned in ordinary on 6 August 1940; towed to the Todd-Robbins Dry Dock and Repair Co. in Brooklyn, New York, for reactivation; and placed in full commission on 24 March 1941, Commander George M. O'Rear in command.

Following shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay in May, the store ship filled her holds with construction equipment and material, and a load of frozen turkeys. She set course for the Pacific, and stopped at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before transiting the Panama Canal. She topped off her tanks and cargo holds at San Diego and San Francisco, California, and then got underway for Pearl Harbor on 6 June. For the next few months, she operated a shuttle service between these ports on the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii.

World War II

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Boreas was in San Francisco. One of the first provision ships to arrive in Hawaii after the attack, she made 10 round-trips between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor in 1942 hauling goods and material to rebuild and resupply the strategic naval base there.

On 26 December 1942, Boreas departed San Francisco, bound for Nouméa, New Caledonia, and Espiritu Santo, to begin supplying advanced bases. Returning to Pearl Harbor or San Francisco to refill her holds with needed supplies, Boreas provisioned many of the major islands and bases in the Pacific including Samoa; Funafuti; Kwajalein; Eniwetok; Tulagi; Guadalcanal; Guam; Saipan; Iwo Jima; Okinawa; Manus; Ulithi; Efate; Tarawa; Makin; Christmas Island; and Auckland, New Zealand.

Boreas generally steamed alone, only occasionally rating a small escort, but the store ship never suffered damage and rarely even saw an enemy. Late in 1944, she salvaged cargo from Asphalt, a concrete storage barge that had grounded on a coral reef off Saipan during a severe storm.

Post-war career

After the Japanese agreed to surrender on 15 August 1945, Boreas carried supplies to Okinawa to support occupation forces there. Later in the fall of 1945, she received orders to move on to Japan and provisioned Wakayama, Nagoya, Sasebo, and Kure from 20 October to 18 November when orders came sending her home. Boreas arrived at San Diego on 23 December.

The store ship steamed via the Panama Canal for the Norfolk Navy Yard, where she arrived on 19 January 1946. Boreas was decommissioned on 15 February, and her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 March. Returned to the War Shipping Administration in July 1946, she was sold on 28 November 1947 to the Patapsco Steel Scrap Co. of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and scrapped.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links