USS Fairfield (AK-178)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack
Name: Fairfield
Namesake: Towns in 14 States, and counties in three States
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull
Builder: Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, California
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 6 February 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. Henry W. Creeger
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 28 March 1945, on a loan-charter basis
Commissioned: 28 March 1945 as USS Fairfield (AK-178)
Decommissioned: 11 January 1946, at Yokosuka, Japan
Struck: date unknown
Fate: returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission 11 January 1946; fate not known
General characteristics
Type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Tonnage: 2,382 tons
Tons burthen: 7,435 tons
Length: 388' 8"
Beam: 50'
Draft: 21' 1"
Propulsion: Diesel, single screw, 1,700shp
Speed: 11.5 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount; six 20mm guns

USS Fairfield (AK-178) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during the final months of World War II. She served in the Pacific Ocean theatre of operations and was decommissioned shortly after war’s end.

Built in California

The second ship to be so named by the Navy, Fairfield (AK-178) was launched on 6 February 1945 by Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, California; sponsored by Mrs. Henry W. Creeger; acquired by the Navy on a loan-charter basis from the U.S. Maritime Commission; and commissioned on 28 March 1945, Lieutenant C. R. Snyder, USNR, in command.

World War II-related service

Fairfield completed shakedown and fitting out before 8 May when she arrived at San Francisco, California, to load cargo for Manus, Samar and Calicoan Islands. In early July she loaded U.S. Army cargo at Parang, Mindanao, and was en route to Agusan Providence when on the 14th she picked up six Filipino guerillas from the wreckage of their boat which had been cut in two and sunk by a submarine.

Fairfield continued her cargo operations among the islands of the southwest Pacific Ocean through October 1945 when she was drydocked at Newcastle, Australia, for a brief period before being assigned to carry Australian Army cargo from Sydney, Australia, to Borneo, Tacloban, and Manila, Philippine Islands.

Post-war decommissioning

During December the Navy removed all excess gear and she steamed into Yokosuka, Japan, on the 25th. On 8 January 1946 a Japanese crew came on board for training and on the 11th she was decommissioned and turned over to the War Shipping Administration for disposal.

Her subsequent fate is not known.