USS Richland (AK-207)

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Name: Richland
Namesake: named for counties in Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wisconsin
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2161
Builder: Leatham D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Laid down: 15 January 1944
Launched: 5 August 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Warren G. Brown
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 17 April 1945
Commissioned: 22 April 1945 as USS Richland (AK-207) at Houston, Texas
Decommissioned: 23 January 1946 at Mobile, Alabama
Refit: for naval service at Port Houston Iron Works, Houston, Texas
Struck: 7 February 1946
Fate: sold for scrapping, 1971
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 Richland (AK-207) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that was constructed for the U.S. Navy during the closing period of World War II. She served with distinction in the Pacific Ocean theatre of operations and returned home in 1946 to be placed into the “mothball” fleet where she silently remained until scrapped in 1971.

Built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

The first ship to be so named by the navy, Richland (AK-207) built under U.S. Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2161) was laid down 15 January 1944 by Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; launched 5 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Warren G. Brown; acquired from the Maritime Commission on a loan-charter basis 17 April 1945 at Port Houston Iron Works, Texas, where she was converted for Navy use and commissioned 22 April 1945, Lt. Isaac Hills III, USNR, in command.

World War II service

Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico, Richland transited the Panama Canal and reported to the U.S. Pacific Fleet for duty 10 June 1945. She arrived in Leyte Gulf 17 July and operated on cargo hauls in Philippine Islands waters until steaming for the United States 9 November.

Post-war inactivation

Richland transited the Panama Canal 16 December 1945 and proceeded to Norfolk, Virginia. She then continued to Mobile, Alabama, where she decommissioned 23 January 1946. She was struck from the Navy list 7 February 1946, redelivered to the U.S. Maritime Commission and placed in the Naval Defense Reserve Fleet. She was berthed at Mobile, Alabama, through the first half of 1971 and subsequently scrapped.