USS Faribault (AK-179)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack
Name: Faribault
Namesake: A county in Minnesota
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull
Builder: Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, California
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 24 February 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. L. J. Morand
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 20 April 1945
Commissioned: 20 April 1945 as USS Faribault (AK-179)
Decommissioned: 10 July 1946, at Seattle, Washington
In service: 26 June 1947, at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington
Out of service: 20 July 1956
Struck: date unknown
Honors and
two battle stars for Korean War service
Fate: fate unknown after being laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego, California, Group
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 Faribault (AK-179) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during the final months of World War II. Faribault served U.S. military forces in the Pacific Ocean until shortly after the war when she was deactivated. During the Korean Crisis, she was reactivated and served with distinction, having been awarded two battle stars before final decommissioning.

Built in California

Faribault (AK-179) was launched 24 February 1945 by Kaiser Cargo, Inc., Richmond, California; sponsored by Mrs. L. J. Morand; acquired by the Navy from the U.S. Maritime Commission 20 April 1945; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant Commander C. O. Fulgham, USNR, in command.

World War II-related service

Between 16 June 1945 and 1 September, Faribault voyaged from San Francisco, California, to Leyte and Eniwetok with cargo, then sailed again 29 September with cargo for use in the occupation of Japan.

She remained in the western Pacific Ocean, carrying cargo to and from Yokosuka, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, Luzon, Samar, and Manus Island, until returning to San Francisco 23 April 1946. Faribault was decommissioned at Seattle, Washington, 10 July 1946, and returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission the following day.

Korean War reactivation

Reacquired 16 May 1947, Faribault was recommissioned 26 June 1947 at Bremerton, Washington, and assigned to duty in the Service Force, Pacific Fleet, based on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

She ranged among the islands of the Hawaiian, Marshall, Caroline, and Philippine groups, as well as other isolated islands such as Johnston Island. Between 7 November 1952 and 22 July 1953, she carried cargo from Pearl Harbor to Japan and Korea for support of the troops in Korea, then returned to duty in the Central Pacific.

Faribault served in the Far East once more between 11 August 1954 and 3 April 1955, and during September, October, and November 1954, lay at Tourane and Haiphong, Indochina, acting as fleet issue ship to the force carrying out Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of civilian refugees from Communist-held North Vietnam. From April 1955 through the remainder of the year, she carried cargo from Pearl Harbor to Midway Islands and the Marshall Islands.

Final decommissioning

On 13 April 1956 she arrived at San Diego, California, where she was placed out of commission in reserve 20 July 1956. Her subsequent fate is not known.

Honors and awards

Faribault received two battle stars for Korean War service.