From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Betelgeuse is a star in the constellation Orion.


(AK-28: dp. 7476; l. 459'1"; b. 63'; dr. 26'5"; s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 267; a. 4 5"; cl. Arcturus)

Betelgeuse (AK-28) was launched 18 July 1939 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Mormaclark; purchased by the Navy 29 May 1941; converted by Brewer Dry Dock Co., Staten Island, N. Y.; and commissioned 14 June 1941, Commander H. D. Power in command.

Betelgeuse operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean with the Atlantic Fleet through 1941. During 19 February-25 March 1942 she made one voyage from New York to Great Britain and return, and then departed for Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 9 April. After unloading at Tongatabu (8 May-7 June), she proceeded to San Diego, Calif., and Pearl Harbor to embark Marine equipment for the invasion of Guadalcanal. Unloading her cargo at Guadalcanal and Tulagi (30 August-2 September) Betelgeuse remained in the South Pacific hauling supplies to Guadalcanal from Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides; Noumea, New Caledonia; and Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand, until departing for San Pedro, Calif., 25 December 1942.

Between 10 January and 17 February 1943 she underwent overhaul and repairs at San Pedro and Long Beach, Calif. She was reclassified AKA-11, 1 February 1943. Betelgeuse departed San Diego 18 February, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Charleston, S. C., 8 March to rejoin the Atlantic Fleet. Following additional training she departed Norfolk 10 May for the Mediterranean. During 6-12 July she took part in the invasion of Sicily and then returned to the United States for repairs. She arrived at Norfolk 14 August 1943 and remained there under repair until April 1944. Departing for the Mediterranean 4 May, she ferried supplies from North Africa to Italy and France until 25 October.

Betelgeuse arrived at Philadelphia 10 November 1944 and departed New Year's Day 1945 for Pearl Harbor where she arrived on the 24th. Proceeding to the Russell Islands, she loaded cargo (19-27 February) and, after training exercises, took part in the invasion of Okinawa (1-9 April). Returning to San Francisco 12 May, she spent the next two months shuttling cargoes between there and Pearl Harbor. Departing San Francisco 22 August she steamed to the Philippines and loaded troops at Batangas, Luzon (20-25 September) for the occupation of Japan. After landing her troops at Otaru, Hokkaido (5-7 October) she returned to Samar, Philippine Islands, to load Seabees for Tientsin, China. Delivering her passengers 10 November, Betelgeuse returned to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco 20 December. She departed 28 December for New York, was decommissioned there 15 March 1946; and sold 27 June 1946.

Betelgeuse received six battle stars for her participation in World War II.