- USS Turandot (AKA-47)
USS "Turandot" (AKA-47) was an "Artemis" class
attack cargo shipnamed after the minor planet " 530 Turandot," discovered by Max Wolf in 1904 and named by him after the title character in the Puccini opera of the same name.
"Turandot" (AKA-47) was laid down under
Maritime Commissioncontract (MC hull 1908) on 29 March 1945by the Walsh-Kaiser Co., Inc., Providence, R.I.; launched on 20 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Charles H. MacLeod; and commissioned on 18 June 1945, Lt. Comdr. Francklyn W. C. Zwicker, USNR, in command.
Following fitting out and conversion at the
Boston Navy Yard, "Turandot" made her shakedown cruise in the Chesapeake Bayin July 1945. After undergoing availability at Norfolk, the new attack cargo ship took on passengers and cargo; then departed Hampton Roadson 24 July, bound for the Canal Zone. She transited the Panama Canalon 30 Julyand, early the next day, rendezvoused with USS "Barbero" (SS-317) for exercises en route to the Hawaiian Islands. On 10 August, she parted company with the submarine and made her way independently to Oahu, arriving at Pearl Harboron 14 August 1945.
After discharging her cargo, she embarked 172 Army troops and departed the Hawaiian Islands on
7 September, setting her course for the New Hebrides. She arrived at Espiritu Santoon the 17th, discharged her passengers, loaded cargo, and embarked elements of the 85th Construction Battalion.
22 September, she got underway for the Marshalls. After fueling at Eniwetok, she continued on and arrived at Wake Islandon 6 October. The following day, she discharged her cargo and passengers and returned to Eniwetok to begin "Magic-Carpet" duties, carrying troops back to the United States. She embarked more than 600 veterans, then got underway on 13 Octoberand steamed via a great circle routeto California. On Friday, 26 October, she entered San Pedro Harbor and disembarked her happy passengers. After voyage repairs at Terminal Island, she again got underway on 3 November, steaming for the Marianas. On the 19th, "Turandot" arrived at Saipan. This time, she was to serve as a magic carpet for more than a thousand returning troops. She departed Saipan on the 27th and completed the crossing at San Pedro on 12 December.
Voyage repairs occupied most of the remainder of the month. "Turandot" opened the new year with a voyage to
San Diego; then, on the 24th, continued southward and steamed, via the Panama Canal, to the Atlantic. On 5 February, she arrived at Hampton Roadsand was delivered on 25 June 1946to the Maritime Commission for custody pending disposal. She decommissioned on 21 March 1946and was struck from the Navy list on 17 April 1947.
4 November 1954, the former attack cargo ship was reacquired by the Navy; reclassified a cable repair ship, redesignated ARC-3, and renamed "Aeolus". Her conversion was completed on 15 May 1955at Baltimoreby the Key Highway Plant of the Bethlehem Steel Co. The ship was accepted for limited service and re-commissioned later that month.
USS Aeolus (ARC-3)for the continued history of this ship.
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/t9/turandot.htm Naval Historical Center: USS "Turandot"]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a3/aeolus-ii.htm Naval Historical Center: USS "Aeolus"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/02047.htm NavSource Online: AKA-47 Turandot, ARC-3 Aeolus]
* [http://www.nandc.com/aeolus/ USS "Turandot" / USS "Aeolus" web site]
* [http://ussrankin.org/id352.htm 51 Years of AKAs]
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