- USS Shelikof (AVP-52)
USS Shelikof (AVP-52) was a "Barnegat"-class small
seaplane tendercommissioned by the U.S. Navyfor use in World War II. "Shelikof" tended to seaplanes, and served in the volatile Pacific Warin combat areas that provided her three battle starsby war’s end.
"Shelikof" (AVP-52) was laid down on
20 September 1942by the Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Washington; launched on 31 January 1943, sponsored by Mrs. F. D. Wagner, and commissioned on 17 April 1944, Lt. Comdr. R. E. Stanley in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Upon completion of fitting out, "Shelikof" departed for
Alameda, California, on 8 Mayand loaded aircraft spares. She then moved to San Diego, California, for a shakedown in the bay area; to San Pedro, California, for a yard period, and on 30 June, she departed for Pearl Harborand the Pacific war zone. Nine days later, she was underway from Pearl Harborwith a convoy bound for Eniwetok.
Building a base on Saipan
Eniwetokfrom 18 Julyto 1 August, the tender had her aviation machine shop and carpenter shop converted into combination aircraft and aircraft radarmaintenance facilities. Her next port of call was Tanapag Harbor, Saipana former Japanese seaplane base. "Shelikof's" personnel went ashore daily to clear debris from the hangars and the surrounding area in order to make the base operable, thereby relieving the congestion at aircraft tenders. When the ship departed on 3 December 1944, Naval Air Base, Saipan, was being used as a supply depot and a major overhaul facility.
Supporting the Okinawa invasion
"Shelikof" spent the next three months shuttling spare parts and supplies between
Guam, Ulithi, and Saipan. She sailed from Saipan with Task Unit(TU) 51.20 on 23 March 1945for the invasion of the Ryukyu Islands. The seaplane group moved into the anchorage at Kerama Rettofive days later as U.S. Armyunits were still battling to secure those small rocky islands before the major assault on OkinawaJima began. "Shelikof" laid eight seaplane mooring buoys that day and three of them were put into use the following day when the first PBM-5's arrived. The anchorage was under constant enemy air attack during the month of April, but the only casualties aboard her occurred on the 28th when friendly fire wounded two men. On 6 May, the tender took an enemy plane under fire which approached within 1,000 yards, 50 feet off the water, but no damage to it was noted.
The seaplane base was shifted to
Chimu Wan, Okinawa, on 15 Julyand "Shelikof" operated there until the end of hostilities with Japan. She then shuttled between Okinawa and ports in Japan until departing for the United Stateson 25 October. En route the tender made port at Midway Island, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, Acapulco, and Coco Solobefore arriving at Norfolk, Virginia, on 4 December 1945. After an overhaul, she sailed on 12 March 1946for the Azores. Back in Norfolk on the 30th, "Shelikof" made four voyages to San Juan and two to Trinidadby 11 June. Three days later, she was at Coco Solo, and the ship operated from there until 16 March 1947when she sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for inactivation.
"Shelikof" was decommissioned on
30 Juneand placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleetuntil 1 May 1960when she was struck from the Navy list. The tender was sold on 20 December 1960to Panagiotis Kokkinos, Pireaus, Greece, converted for merchant service as a passenger vessel, and renamed MV "Myconos" in 1964, MV "Artemis" in 1973, MV "Artemis K" in 1974, and MV "Golden Princess" in 1979. Final Disposition: she was sunk in a storm at Perama, Greece, while laid up in January 1981.
Military honors and awards
"Shelikof" earned three
battle starsfor World War IIservice.
List of United States Navy ships
World War II
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/#Anchor-Editoria-14954 Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]
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