Andromeda Class AKAs

A constellation located in the northern sky south of Cassiopeia and named from Andromeda, in Greek mythology the beautiful daughter of the Ethiopian King, Cephus, and of Cassiopeia. Her mother later angered Poseidon by boasting that Andromeda was more fair than Juno and the Nereides. The sea god retaliated by flooding Ethiopia and by sending a monster ashore to ravage the land. When the terrified people of the country turned to Ammon for counsel, that oracle warned them that the dangers could be warded off only by surrendering Andromeda to the monster.
Accordingly, the maiden was chained to a rock on the beach. However, before the fiend could devour the lass, the hero Perseus - flying back from his victorious encounter with the Gorgons - saw the helpless damsel and was entranced by her beauty. To save her, he uncovered Medusa's horrible head before the monster and thus turned him in stone.
Upon freeing Andromeda, Perseus married the grateful girl who bore him many children. After Andromeda's death, Athena placed her in the heavens as a constellation.
Transcribed by Yves HUBERT(


The Andromeda Class was designed by the United States Merchant Marine in 1937-38. Ships in the class were classified as C2-S-B1 type all-purpose cargo ships which had five cargo holds. The ships were 459 feet 2 inches long, with a 63 foot beam and a 26 feet 4 inch draft. They had a displacement of 14,200 tons when fully loaded. They were powered by 6000 horsepower turbo-engines, and could make 16.5 knots. Crew size was 429 men. Armament included one 5 inch 38 caliber gun, and eight 40 millimeter and sixteen 20 millimeter anti-aircraft guns. Thirty ships of the Andromeda Class were built between 1943 and 1945. The ships were named after certain stars and U. S. state counties.


Amphibious Attack Cargo Ships were designed to sail to the site of amphibious operations carrying equipment, cargo and troops. AKA/LKAs offloaded their equipment, cargo and troops into the ships landing craft which were used to ferry them ashore in support of an amphibious invasion.

Ship's Landing Craft Included

  • 8 LCM

  • 6 LCVP (14 War Time Compliment)

  • 2 LCPL


  • AKA-15 Andromeda ex AK-66

  • AKA-16 Aquarius

  • AKA-17 Centaurus

  • AKA-18 Cepheus

  • AKA/LKA-19 Thuban

  • AKA-20 Virgo Reclassified AE-30
  • AKA-53 Achernar

  • AKA/LKA-54 Algol

  • AKA-55 Alshain

  • AKA/LKA-56 Arneb

  • AKA-60 Leo

  • AKA/LKA-61 Muliphen

  • AKA-62 Sheliak

  • AKA-63 AKA-88 Uvalde

  • AKA-89 Warrick

  • AKA-90 Whiteside

  • AKA-91 Whitley

  • AKA-92 Wyandot Reclassified T-AK-283

  • AKA/LKA-93 Yancey

  • AKA/LKA-94 Winston

  • AKA-95 Marquette

  • AKA-96 Mathews

  • AKA/LKA-97 Merrick

  • AKA-98 Montaque

  • AKA-99 Rolette

  • AKA-100 Oglethorpe

  • AKA-101 Ottawa

As of 1 January 1969 all AKAs in service were re-designated LKAs

The following web sites contain information on USMM ships of Skagit's type. Those of us who were crew always heard that when Skagit's hull was first laid, she was to become the Merchant Ship Alden Besse but I'm not sure this has ever been confirmed.


The Alden Besse was built by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company at Wilmington, the same Company that built Skagit.

The Alden Besse, MC# 1360 (C2-S-AJ1) was delivered to the Maritime Commission in February 1944.

Skagit MC# 1696 (C2-S-AJ3) was delivered in November 1944, so the rumor that Skagit was to be the Alden Besse seems unlikely.


Andromeda or Tolland Class?

There has always been some disagreement between "Jane's Fighting Ships" and the "Dictionary Of American Fighting Ships" concerning Skagit's class.

We found that the later Tolland Class AKAs (C2-S-AJ3) hull numbers 101 thru 108 were built from the keel up as AKAs, whereas Skagit was a converted merchant ship (C2-S-B1) according to the "Dictionary Of American Fighting Ships".

According to the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company web site, Skagit was delivered as a (C2-S-AJ3) as was Union, Ottawa, Prentiss, Vermillion, Washburn, Rankin, and Seminole.

I don't think the (C2-S-AJ3) designation has anything to do with how the ship is fitted out, since there were merchant ships built on this hull.

Also according to the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company web site, they didn't build or finish any C2-S-B1 ships during 1944 and 1945.

So until more information is found, I guess the controversy will continue.

~ Links To More Information ~

US Navy Auxiliary Ships: Tolland (AKA-64) Class

Technical Specifications for Ships

USNS Flyer (T-AG 178)

United States Maritime Commission C2 Type Ships

US Navy Attack Cargo Ships, 1940-1945

Gunter's U. S. NAVY Ships/Landing, Cargo Landing

Project Liberty Ship

Tim Colton's Ship Building History


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Online

Haze Gray & Underway Web Links

NavSource.Org Main Page

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Saturday September 11, 2010
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