Mindanao was a Liberty Ship constructed for the Maritime Commission at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore. She was acquired by the Navy immediately after launch and was converted to an internal combustion engine repair ship (ARG), commissioning 6 November 1943.
Mindanao served her entire career in the Pacific, supporting advancing US forces. She was at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, on 10 November 1944 when the ammunition ship Mount Hood (AE 11), and her 3,800 ton cargo of munitions, blew up at anchor. Although Mindanao was anchored 350 yards from the ammunition ship, she suffered severe damage. In this view a variety of landing craft from nearby ships have gathered around to render aid to the damaged ship and to remove wounded sailors. 180 of Mindanao's crew were killed or wounded in the explosion. Damage to the ship was repaired by her own crew with help from Seabees and the old repair ship Medusa (AR 1), and Mindanao was repairing engines again by 21 December 1944.
Mount Hood was completely demolished by the explosion. Total casualties were 45 dead, 327 missing, and 371 injured. The only survivors from Mount Hood's crew were 18 men who were ashore when the ship exploded.
Mindanao was decommissioned in 1947 and went into the Maritime Commission's reserve fleet.
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