USS Firedrake (AE-14), a Wrangell-class ammunition ship was launched 12 May 1944 by North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, N.C., as Winged Racer; sponsored by Mrs. R. M. Kitchins; acquired by the Navy 29 June 1944; and commissioned 27 December 1944 in Jacksonville, FL, Commander A. Elb, USNR, in command.
Firedrake loaded ammunition and general cargo at Earle, N.J., from which she sailed 16 February 1945 for Ulithi. Arriving 21 March, she put to sea 7 April to join the replenishment group servicing carriers off Okinawa and ships lying in the anchorages of the Kerama Retto. After reloading ammunition at Ulithi from 16 May to 4 June, she arrived in Leyte Gulf to issue explosives until 1 November, when she sailed for the east coast. She was decommissioned at Orange, Tex., 21 February 1946 and placed in reserve.
Recommissioned 11 October 1951, Firedrake based at San Francisco for annual tours of duty in the western Pacific from 1952 through 1962. During the first two of these, she rearmed United Nations ships at sea off Korea during war operations. Highlights of the following years included participation in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands in 1955, and calls at a wide variety of oriental ports. When not deployed overseas, she has sailed out of her home port to replenish ships at sea in west coast operations.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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