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USS Menelaus (ARL-13)
Menelaus ARL-13
Menelaus departing Norfolk in September, 1951 for an 18-month Mediterranean deployment.
Career US flag 48 stars.svg
Name: USS Menelaus
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 17 November 1944
Launched: 20 December 1944
Commissioned: 29 May 1945
Decommissioned: 5 June 1947
Recommissioned: 14 December 1950
Decommissioned: 5 September 1955
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold, 28 October 1960
General characteristics
Class & type: Achelous class repair ship
Displacement: 2,125 long tons (2,159 t) light
3,960 long tons (4,024 t) full
Length: 328 ft (100 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h)
Complement: 262 officers and enlisted men
Armament: • 2 × 40 mm gun mounts
• 8 × 20 mm gun mounts

USS Menelaus (ARL-13) was one of 39 Achelous-class landing craft repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Menelaus (in Greek mythology, a son of Atreus, king of Ancient Sparta, husband of Helen and younger brother to Agamemnon), she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as LST-971 by the Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard of Hingham, Massachusetts 17 November 1944; launched 20 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William Cosgrove; and placed in reduced commission 15 January 1945. Proceeding to Baltimore, Maryland she decommissioned on the 29th; was converted to an ARL at the Bethlehem Key Highway Plant; and commissioned in full as USS Menelaus (ARL 13) 29 May 1945 with Lieutenant Peter F. Tripp in command.

Service historyEdit

1st commissionEdit

Having completed shakedown and fitting out by 2 July, the landing craft repair ship headed north to Davisville, Rhode Island to take on pontoons for transport to forward areas. On 7 July she departed the east coast, transited the Panama Canal on the 15th, and was two days out of Pearl Harbor when she received word of the Japanese surrender. Mooring in that Hawaiian harbor 16 August, she got underway again on the 20th for Saipan, where she ably carried out her repair duties for the next six months.

Departing Saipan 18 February 1946 Menelaus proceeded, via Hawaii, the Panama Canal and New Orleans, to Galveston, Texas, arriving 17 June to begin inactivation. Completing the process at Orange, Texas she decommissioned 5 June 1947 and was berthed there as a unit of the Reserve Fleet.

2nd commissionEdit

Recommissioned 14 December 1950 she sailed for Charleston for outfitting and on 24 March 1951 arrived at Norfolk, Virginia to report for duty to ComAirLant. On 5 September, having added aviation supply duties to her role as a repair ship, she departed Norfolk for an extended tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. For the next 4½ years, with only one interruption for availability at Norfolk (9 March to 15 August 1953), Menelaus operated throughout the Mediterranean. On 19 March 1955 she returned to Norfolk for her second pre-inactivation overhaul. In June, she steamed to Green Cove Springs, Florida where she decommissioned 5 September. The ARL remained berthed in Florida as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until struck from the Naval Vessel Register 1 June 1960. On 28 October 1960 she was sold to the Norfolk, Baltimore & Caroline Line, which subsequently placed her in service as MV Maryland Clipper.

Resold in 1978 to the Thor Corporation of Venezuela, her final fate is unknown.


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