USS Megrez (AK-126)
as SS General Vallejo|
EC2-S-C1 hull, MC hull 1642
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||23 April 1943|
|Acquired:||7 October 1943|
|Commissioned:||26 October 1943|
|Decommissioned:||29 May 1946|
|Struck:||1 August 1947|
|Fate:||scrapped in 1974|
|Class and type:||Crater-class cargo ship|
|Displacement:||4,023 t.(lt) 11,565 t.(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Propulsion:||reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp|
|Armament:||one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount; two dual 40 mm AA gun mounts; eight single 20 mm AA gun mounts|
USS Megrez (AK-126) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Megrez (AK 126), built under Maritime Commission contract by the California Ship Building Corp., Wilmington, California, was launched as SS General Vallejo (MC hull No. 1642) 23 April 1943; and sponsored by Mrs. J. R. Jago. She was acquired by the Navy tinder bareboat charter from the Maritime Commission 7 October 1943; renamed Megrez 11 October 1943; converted by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Division, San Francisco, California; and commissioned 26 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Dow, USNR, in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Departing San Francisco Bay 13 November 1943, Megrez headed for Micronesia. She operated out of Funafuti and, after 6 March 1944, Kwajalein as the "wholesaler" distributing dry provisions, clothing, medical supplies, and ship's store stock to mobile supply base craft, which in turn distributed supplies directly to the consumer units of the fleet.
Disembarking material at Saipan and Tinian
She returned to Pearl Harbor 2 June and took on a cargo of rolling stock, sheet metals, and ammunition for transportation to the Marianas in support of Saipan and Tinian operations. Leaving Hawaiian waters 19 June, she steamed, via Kwajalein and Eniwetok, for Saipan, Arriving 14 August. Two days later she moved to Tinian where she discharged her cargo at a rate of 590 tons[vague] a day.
A floating supply ship
She next sailed for Eniwetok, arriving on the 31st to become a floating supply and freight depot once again. In October she was reassigned and on her arrival at Ulithi 14 October she became a station ship for the issuance of lube oil to the U.S. 3rd Fleet and the U.S. 5th Fleet. Megrez served in this capacity for the next 7 months, supplying this vital fluid to the warships as they pressed closer to the enemy's home islands.
Supporting Philippine operations
On 13 April 1945, her tour as a floating supply center completed, Megrez departed Ulithi for Kossol Roads carrying fleet freight and general stores and supplies. She arrived in the Palau Islands on the 14th, unloaded her cargo and departed for San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands, on the 18th.
Through September Megrez freighted cargo among the Philippines and between San Pedro Bay and Ulithi. On 5 October she departed for Buckner Bay, Okinawa, arriving on the 13th and continuing on to Japan 3 November. Arriving at Yokosuka on the 7th, she supplied ships in the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea until departing for Pearl Harbor in early 1946.
Decommissioned at Pearl Harbor 29 May 1946, she was towed to San Francisco, California, a year later. Her name was struck front the Naval Vessel Register 1 August 1947 and she was turned over to the Maritime Commission 18 September 1947. She was then laid up at Suisun Bay, Benicia, California, as a unit of the National Defense Reserve Fleet. In 1974, she was scrapped.
Military awards and honors
Navy records do not record battle stars awarded to this ship. However, Megrez’ crew was eligible for the following medals:
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
- Philippines Liberation Medal
- Photo gallery of Megrez at NavSource Naval History