USS Regulus (AF-57)

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Career (US) 100x35px
Ordered: as SS Escanaba Victory
VC-2-S-AP3 hull, MCV hull 112
Laid down: 29 April 1944
Launched: 7 June 1944
Acquired: 5 May 1952
Commissioned: 3 February 1954
Decommissioned: 10 September 1971
Struck: 10 September 1971
Fate: grounded on a reef, damaged beyond economical repair
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,960 tons(lt) 10,850 tons(fl)
Length: 455 ft 3 in (138.76 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draught: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
Propulsion: geared turbine engine, single propeller, 8,500shp
Speed: 16 kts.
Complement: 250
Armament: four twin 3'/50 dual purpose gun mounts

USS Regulus (AF-57) was an Denebola-class stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy. Her task was to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.

The second vessel to be named Regulus by the Navy, Regulus was built under Maritime Commission contract, was laid down as Escanaba Victory (MCV hull 112) by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oregon, 29 April 1944; launched 7 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Aubrey D. Day; and delivered to the Maritime Commission 29 June 1944.

Acquired by the Navy

Initially operated for the Maritime Commission by the American South African Line, Escanaba Victory was acquired by the Navy from the Commission's successor, the Maritime Administration, 5 May 1952; converted by the Todd Shipyard, Brooklyn, New York; and commissioned as Regulus (AF-57) 3 February 1954, Comdr. John D. Lautaret in command.


Completing initial training and outfitting on the west coast, Regulus, homeported at Alameda, California,, loaded at San Francisco, California, and on 8 May 1954 got underway for the Far East. A unit of ServRon 3, she operated out of Sasebo and replenished units of the U.S. 7th Fleet at sea and in ports from Japan to the Philippines until November when she steamed for the United States. Returning to San Francisco 2 December, she deployed again 26 February-26 August 1955, extending her range on that tour to ports in Indochina.

Supporting Vietnam operations

For the remainder of that decade and through the next, she continued to rotate regularly to the western Pacific Ocean, transporting in 1957 art treasures from Korea to the United States for exhibition. During the early sixties, her deployed time in WestPac was increased and from 1964 her primary mission was shifted to replenishment of 7th Fleet units operating off the coast of Vietnam. Her triennial overhaul periods excepted, Regulus, equipped in 1965 with a helicopter deck for vertical replenishment, continued to carry provisions to the units of the U.S. Pacific Fleet until the night of 16-17 August 1971.

Grounded on a reef in a typhoon

File:Typhoon Rose (1971) ship damage.JPG
USS Regulus, a U.S. Navy ship, aground in the harbor area of Hong Kong as a result of the typhoon

While riding out typhoon Rose at Hong Kong, Regulus grounded on Kau I Chau Island, ripping open her hull. After three weeks of attempting to refloat Regulus, it was finally decided that the damage she had incurred was too severe to warrant salvage. Regulus was decommissioned 10 September 1971 and subsequently struck from the Navy list.

Military awards and honors

Regulus’ crew was eligible for the following medals:


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links