Taurus was laid down in 1944 as Fort Snelling (LSD 23), a dock landing ship. With the end of WWII her construction was cancelled, and the incomplete hull was resold on the commercial market, entering service in 1956 as SS Carib Queen, a roll-on/roll-off vehicle cargo ship. In 1958 she became the property of the Maritime Administration after her owners defaulted on loans. MARAD transferred her to the Navy on 15 January 1959 as USNS Taurus (T-AK 273). Her designation was later changed to LSV 8, and finally AKR 8. She was placed out of service in 1968 and scrapped soon thereafter.
Taurus shows her LSD origins in the low, bulky superstructure and long, low hull aft, showing the position of her original docking well. As a commercial ship she has received raised funnels, a modified bow and bridge, and has been stripped of the cranes and other topside gear she would have carried as a warship.
Correct answers were received from: Bill Marshall, Wd Schweikart, Kelly Jernigan, Bob Harmer, Barry Gerrard, Rick Espanol, Yves Grangeon, Masahiko Toshima, Arthur R. Hoffman, Kenji Nozaki, Joseph Chase, Jørn Kiel Nielsen, Steve Hissem, Gunter Krebs, Johan Bertilsson, Javier Hueso, Wade Arms trong, Harry W. Weese, Serge Maliar, Chris Vallery, Bill Rhodes, Sal Mercogliano, Pat Brown, Anthony Vella, Brooks A Rowlett, Maurizio Brescia, Doug Cook, Scott Betterton, Sam Betterton, Chris Galm, Garth Kidman, Ville Toivanen, Randy Townsend, Howard J K och, Espen Arnestad, Oren Williams, Wolfgang Hopf, Scott Odell, Masaki Ogasawara, Rick Barton, Paolo Marsan, William Novobilsky, Jim Swank, Nick L. Snyder, Don Eaton, J Pinkerton, Rich Austin, Randy Leo.
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