USS Helios (ARB-12)

USS Helios (ARB-12)

The USS "Helios" (ARB-12) was one of 12 "Aristaeus"-class battle damage repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Helios (in Greek mythology, the sun-god, represented as driving a four-horse chariot through the heavens), she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as "LST-1127", the ship was launched 14 February 1945 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company of Seneca, Illinois; sponsored by Mrs. Emery Adams; and commissioned on 26 February 1945 with Lieutenant Adam W. Melohusky in command. The ship sailed down the Mississippi River and around to Baltimore where she decommissioned 16 March 1945. She was then converted to a battle damage repair ship by the Maryland Drydock Company of Baltimore and renamed "Helios". Recommissioned USS "Helios" (ARB-12) 23 July 1945 with Lieutenant Melohusky in command, she proceeded to Chesapeake Bay for her shakedown. Ordered to the Pacific, "Helios" sailed from Norfolk 27 August. By the time she reached Pearl Harbor 29 September, the long War had come to its end and her services were no longer needed. Sailing 11 October, she reached Charleston a month later and from there sailed to the Inactive Fleet Berthing Area at Green Cove Springs, Florida. "Helios" decommissioned there 3 December 1946 and remained in reserve until leased to the government of Brazil 19 January 1962 and renamed "Belmonte" (G-24).

The vessel was sold outright to Brazil via the Security Assistance Program on 1 December 1977 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register 10 December 1977. Decommissioned by the Brazilian Navy 7 June 1997, "Belmonte" was sunk as a target on 19 March 2002.



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