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USS POLLUX AKS-2 HISTORY

  POLLUX (AKS-2) was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Hoboken, New Jersey as SS COMMENT 26 May 1939; launched 16 December 1939; acquired by the Navy 16 January 1941; converted to a general stores ship by the Brewers Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Hoboken, New Jersey and commissioned as USS POLLUX (AKS-2) on 6 May 1941 with Commander Hugh W. Turney in command. POLLUX was ready for sea 24 May 1941, and served with the Atlantic Fleet on regular provisioning cruises. On 18 February 1942, POLLUX and TRUXTON grounded during a storm off St. Lawrence Harbor, Newfoundland at Lawn Point and Chambers Cove respectively, and were lost. The survivors owed their rescue in large measure to the tireless, efficient and in many cases, heroic action of the people of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland. Only 140 POLLUX survivors could tell the fate of the 93 souls who perished that fateful day in February 1942. USS POLLUX (AKS-2) was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 25 March 1942. Interested readers who want learn more about the sinking of the USS POLLUX (AKS-2) and the USS TRUXTUN (DD-229), the following is furnished by Henry Strauss (a survivor of the AKS-2), for your information: 

1. STANDING INTO DANGER (COMPLETE AUTHORITATIVE STORY) by CASSIE BROWN. Available at Amazon.com. 

2. NORTHERN SEAS, HARDY SAILORS (Chapter on POLLUX by GEORGE WHITLEY). Published by W.W. Norton New York & London 1982. 

3. AFTER THE STORM (Chapter on POLLUX by JOHN ROUSEMANIERE). Published by McGraw Hill 2002.

USS POLLUX AKS-4 HISTORY

  POLLUX (AKS-4) was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearney, New Jersey as SS NANCY LYKES 2 October 1941 and launched 5 February 1942. She was acquired by the U.S. Navy 19 March 1942 and then transferred to the Robbins Dry Dock and Repair Company, Brooklyn, NY for conversion. USS POLLUX (AKS-4) was commissioned 27 April 1942 with Captain E.J. Kidder in command. After a shakedown cruise, POLLUX operated as a unit of the Service Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. She supplied forces afloat and Allied bases at Guantanamo, Cuba; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Trinidad and Jamaica, West Indies; Colon, Panama Canal Zone; Recife and Bahia, Brazil; and Bermuda. She operated out of the East Coast ports of New York, Bayonne, Baltimore and Norfolk. On 19 August 1943 POLLUX sailed for duty in the Pacific under the command of Commander H.L. Bixby, sailing independently from the Canal Zone to Sydney, Australia. During the next 15 months, she supported the Eastern and Western New Guinea Campaigns, and the Admiralty Islands Campaign. During this period, she made numerous trips replenishing her stores from Sydney and Brisbane, Australia; Espiritu Santo; New Herbrides and Oakland, California. POLLUX then supported the Philippine Liberation Campaign. Operating out of New Guinea, she ran a shuttle service between the islands servicing forces afloat and bases from the Leyte Gulf to Manila. On 18 February 1945 POLLUX evacuated 124 repatriates from Lingayen Gulf. These men were the first POW's to be freed by our troops in the Manila area. During World War II, POLLUX steamed 135,152 miles, generally on unescorted supply lines. Although she received no battle stars, her services permitted our fleet to operate far in advance of normal bases. After World War II, she operated in the Pacific with Service Squadron I earning the Navy Occupation Service Medal from 9 October to 12 November 1945 while participating in the atomic tests at Bikini Atoll; and she earned the China Service Medal for periods from 29 March 1947 to 6 August 1949. POLLUX was decommissioned on 3 April 1950 but placed in reserve status. She was recommissioned 5 August 1950. She served in Korea during periods from 13 October 1950 to 19 July 1953 and received four battle stars for Korean War Service. From July 1953 through 1957 her operations continued between the West Coast of the United States and ports of the Far East, including Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. After an extensive overhaul and modernization at Todd Shipyard in San Francisco in 1957, POLLUX was assigned to her new homeport of Yokosuka, Japan with Service Group 3, never to see the United States again. With the outset of the Vietnam conflict, POLLUX served almost continually in the South China Seas supplying the various task groups of the U.S. 7th Fleet. On 31 December, 1968, Captain Charles N. Flitton, POLLUX's last Commanding Officer, decommissioned her in Yokosuka, Japan. USS POLLUX (AKS-4) was struck from the Naval Register 1 January 1969.

 

USS POLLUX STATISTICS

Displacement:               13,910 empty
Length:                   459 feet 2 inches
Beam:                                   63 feet
Draft:            26 feet, 6 inches (max)
Speed:                                 17 knots
Complement:                               199
Armament:                        One 5 inch
                                      Four 3 inch
                             A.A. guns (20 mm)
Class:                                    CASTOR