USS Estero (AG-134)

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Estero (AKL-5), underway at Sasebo, Japan, 23 October 1953
Name: USS Estero
Acquired: March 1947
Commissioned: 5 July 1947, as AG-134 (Miscellaneous Auxiliary)
Decommissioned: 22 January 1960
Reclassified: AKL-5 (Light Cargo Ship), 31 March 1949
Struck: 1 February 1960
Honours and
7 battle stars (Korea)
General characteristics
Type: Camano-class cargo ship
Displacement: 500 long tons (508 t)
Length: 177 ft (53.9 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10.1 m)
Draft: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 6-278A V6 diesel engines, 500 hp (373 kW) each, 2 screws
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 26
Armament: None

USS Estero (AG-134/AKL-5) was a Camano-class cargo ship in the United States Navy. She was named after Estero, an island off the coast of Florida.

Estero, which originally served with the U.S. Army as USAT FS-275, was acquired by the U.S. Navy in March 1947 and commissioned on 5 July, with Lieutenant (junior grade) H. E. Toponce, in command.

Pacific Ocean operations

She was employed in logistics support of the administration of the United Nations Trust Territories, calling throughout the Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas. On 31 March 1949 she was reclassified AKL-5.

Korean War service

At the outbreak of the Korean War she was fitted out for emergency ammunition carrying service, participating thereafter in the Inchon invasion in September 1950. Early in 1951 she was converted to carry refrigerated cargo, and in September resumed cargo duty bearing supplies to warships until the end of hostilities.

Vietnam War service

From 25 August to 2 September 1954 she made five trips in support of "Operation Passage to Freedom", the evacuation of refugees from North Vietnam. Subsequently she performed her logistics services for the fleet in the western Pacific, with only brief interludes as in May through July 1957 when she transported an Air Force team which was surveying the habitability of prospective stations in the Sulu Sea.

Formosan Crisis operations

During the Formosan crisis in 1957-58, she rendered important support with emergency lifting of ammunition from Japan to Taiwan. Estero shuttled supplies among Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.

On 22 January 1960 Estero was decommissioned. Her name was stricken from the Navy List on 1 February 1960.

Estero earned seven battle stars in the Korean War.


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