USS Rockdale (AK-208)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: Rockdale
Namesake: A county in Georgia
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2162
Builder: Leatham D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Laid down: 15 January 1944
Launched: 1 October 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. William R. Crawford
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 5 June 1945
Commissioned: 26 June 1945 as USS Rockdale (AK-208) at Galveston, Texas
Decommissioned: 22 March 1946, at Norfolk, Virginia
Struck: 12 April 1946
Fate: returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission, 26 June 1946; fate unknown
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 Rockdale (AK-208) 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, subsequent fate unknown.

Built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Rockdale (AK-208) was laid down 15 January 1944 as MC hull 2162 by Leatham D. Smith Ship Building Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; launched 1 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William R. Crawford; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission on loan-charter basis 5 June 1945; and commissioned at Galveston, Texas, 26 June 1945, Lt. Comdr. Robert F. Mendler, USNR, in command.

World War II service

Following shakedown off Galveston, Texas, Rockdale got underway from Gulfport, Mississippi, for the Panama Canal. Transiting the Canal 27 July, she proceeded to Hollandia, New Guinea, where she arrived 2 September to unload her cargo. On 9 September she steamed for Australia, reaching Brisbane 17 September. She got underway for Manus Island 25 September arriving 3 October. Underway the next day, she made Saipan on the 10th.

Rockdale got underway on 13 October for Okinawa where she arrived 5 days later. On 1 November she sailed for the Mariana Islands and operated in that island group until getting underway for the Panama Canal on 13 January 1946. She transited the Canal on 20 February and arrived Norfolk, Virginia, on 1 March.

Post-war inactivation

Rockdale decommissioned there 22 March, was returned to the War Shipping Administration on the 26th for lay-up in the James River, and was struck from the Navy list 12 April 1946.