USS Taurus (AF-25)

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Name: USS Taurus
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: in 1921 as SS San Benito
Acquired: 2 October 1942
Commissioned: 28 October 1942
Decommissioned: 11 December 1945
Struck: 3 January 1946
Fate: unknown
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,600 long tons (6,706 t) full load
Length: 355 ft (108 m)
Beam: 46 ft (14 m)
Draft: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Propulsion: Reciprocating steam engine, single screw, 2,500 shp (1,864 kW)
Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) max.
Complement: 107
Armament: • 1 × single 4"/50 caliber guns
• 1 × single 3"/50 caliber guns
• 6 × single 20 mm AA gun mounts

USS Taurus (AF-25) was a stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering necessary goods and equipment to ships and stations in the war zone.

SS San Benito - a cargo steamer constructed in 1921 at Belfast, Northern Ireland, by the Workman Clark Co., Ltd. - was renamed Taurus and designated AF-25 on 20 August 1942; was acquired by the Navy on 2 October 1942 through the War Shipping Administration from the Balboa Shipping Co., Inc., a subsidiary of the United Fruit Co.; was converted to a provision store ship by the Bethlehem Steel Corp. yard in Alameda, California; and was commissioned on 28 October 1942, Lt. Comdr. Edward T. Collins in command.

World War II Pacific Theatre operations

After over a month of false starts and material casualties, Taurus finally loaded cargo and departed San Francisco, California, on 1 December. Her voyage to the South Pacific Ocean took the store ship via Pago Pago, Samoa, to Auckland, New Zealand. In the course of the trip, the former fruit carrier suffered at least 32 more engineering casualties and lost a third of her cargo due to the failure of her ice machine. Upon her arrival at Auckland, Taurus went into a five-week availability to correct as many of the deficiencies as possible before beginning her tour of duty with the Service Squadron, South Pacific Force.

Servicing South Pacific island bases

She completed repairs during the first week in February 1943 and loaded cargo bound for Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands. On 9 February, she began the first of four round-trip voyages carrying cargo between Auckland and Espiritu Santo to be staged on to the forward areas.

By August, her sphere of operations was widened to include the Solomons. On each of her next six voyages, Taurus carried cargo from Auckland, via Espiritu Santo, to Guadalcanal.

Through 1944 and much of 1945, Taurus continued to ply the waters of the South Pacific on relatively uneventful supply missions. Early in 1944, she added Napier, New Zealand, and Noumea, New Caledonia, to her ports of call. By late April, she was operating as far north in the Solomons as New Georgia and Bougainville. In May and June, the store ship visited Efate, Napier, Noumea, and Espiritu Santo. July and September brought resupply runs to the Russell Islands in the Solomons. Through the end of 1944 and during the first three months of 1945, Taurus continued carrying provisions to the Solomons, primarily to Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Russells.

Supporting the Philippine Island invasion

Following overhaul at Auckland from 6 March to 16 April 1945, the ship got underway for Hollandia, New Guinea. Through the end of August, all her voyages - save one to Manus in the Admiralties - were between Auckland and Hollandia. She returned to Auckland on 30 August and departed again nine days later for New Caledonia and thence to the Philippines. After a stop at Noumea between 12 and 14 September, Taurus arrived at Samar on the 25th.

End-of-war activity

From there, she began her voyage back to the United States. By 23 November, she had transited the Panama Canal and had reported for duty with the Atlantic Fleet. Though originally ordered to Norfolk, Virginia, she was rerouted to New Orleans, Louisiana. She reported to the Commandant, 8th Naval District, on 29 November 1945.

Post-war decommissioning

On 11 December 1945, Taurus was decommissioned and returned, via the War Shipping Administration, to her owner. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 3 January 1946. Her final fate is not recorded.

Military awards and honors

Taurus’ crew members were authorized the following medals:


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

See also

External links