USS Medusa (AR-1)
From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships
One of the Gorgons of Greek mythology.
(AR-1 : dp. 10,620: 1. 483'10" ; b. 4'0' ; dr. 20'6" ; s. 16 k.;
Cpl. 512; a. 4.5", 2 3".: cl. Medusa.)
Medusa (AR-1) was laid down at the Navy Yard, Puget Sound, Wash., 2
January 1920: launched 16 April : sponsored by Mrs. Burns Poe; and
commissioned 18 September 1924. Capt. R. T. Menner in command.
Medusa designed as a fleet repair ship for major repairs beyond the
fightning ship's own capabilities but which must be accomplished
without benefit of a Navy Yard, spent her naval career with the Pacific
Fleet. Assigned to in Squadron 2, Battle Force, after commissioning,
she performed her duties out of San Pedro until World II. To accomplish
her mission she was equipped with foundry, blacksmith, electrical, pipe,
carpentry, machine, and motion picture shops. Her machinery includes
lathes, radial drills, milling slotting, and boring machines, as well
as optical repair apparatus, armature bake ovens, and coil winding
machines. To meet additional demands from the fleet, she had large
laundry, bakery, and refrigeration units.
On 7 December 1941, Medusa was at Pearl Harbor. During the action
there, she helped to down two Japane6e planes and sink a midget
submarine, in addition to rendering assistance to numerous stricken
vessels. At the end of the attack Medusa undertook the task for which
she was designed, getting and keeping the ships in fighting condition.
By March 1942 the first rush was beginning to be cleared away, but the
pace kept up. Before each big battle she insured the Shipshape condition
of the combatants; afterwards, she helped patch the damage.
On 4 April 1943, she got underway for the combat area. Arriving at
Efate, New Hebrides, 20 April, she found more than enough work to keep
her busy for the next .vear. On 27 March 1944, she departed for a series
of shorter assignments. First sailing to New Guinea, she repaired ships
of the 7th Fleet at Milne Bay and Buna Roads; then sailed to
Guadalcanal, arriving 15 May. On 1 June she steamed to Sydney for
repairs to her hull, damaged by grounding on Buna Shoal in May, before
continuing on to Manus.
In mid-January 1945, she departed Manus for Hollandia where she
joined a convoy f or San Pedro Bay. There she serviced ships engaged in
the capture of Luzon and other enemy-held islands in the Philippines and
the Ryukyus until 6 July, when she returned to Manus. At the end of
August, with Pacific hostilities ended, Medusa steamed to Manila. There
she operated with Service Squadron 7 until heading back to the United
States, 14 November. On 8 December she reported to CNOB Terminal Island
for duty in connection with the layup of vessels in the 19th Fleet,
after which she herself began inactivation. Decommission,ed 18 November
1947 at Bremerton, she was stripped and turned over to the Maritime
Commission for ultimate disposal. On 24 August 1950 her hulk was sold to
Zeidell Shipwreeking Co.
Medusa received one battle star for World War II service.