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History of the STARR

Material provided by Mr. Larry Jewell

From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships; Vol. VI, p. 608.

STARR (A county in Texas.)

(AKA-67: dp. 13,910; l. 459'2", b. 63', dr. 26'4", s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 395;

a. 1 5", 8 40mm.; cl. ARCTURUS; T. C2-S-AJ3)


STARR (AKA-67) (ex-MC hull 1392) was laid down on 13 June 1944 by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, N.C.; launched on 18 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. C. L. Griffin; acquired by the Navy from the War Shipping Administration on a bareboat charter; and was commissioned on 29 September 1944, Comdr. Frederick O. Goldsmith in command.

STARR completed fitting out at Charleston, S.C., and sailed on 31 October for the Chesapeake Bay on her shakedown cruise. After loading cargo, she stood out of Norfolk on 27 November and proceeded, via the Panama Canal, to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 18 December 1944 and remained there until after Christmas. STARR participated in amphibious landing exercises during the first week of January and then entered Kahului Harbor, Maui, for combat loading.

STARR joined a large convoy and sailed west on 27 January, stopping at Eniwetok for two days, before proceeding to Saipan, where the Iwo Jima assault force was staging. The force cleared Tanapag Harbor on 16 February. At 0640 three days later, STARR launched her boats against the Iwo Jima beaches. The attack cargo ship had multiple duties: she was a receiving ship for wounded; an ammunition ship for SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25); and she had a priority cargo of vehicles which were to be delivered only when requested and then, as quickly as possible. She waited until the 25th to begin discharging her cargo and finished on 5 March. She then got underway for Leyte.

STARR loaded combat cargo from 9 to 27 March and joined a convoy for the Ryukyus. On 1 April, her first boats hit the water at 0615; and they soon joined their prearranged waves for hitting the Okinawa beaches. At 0420 on 9 April, the ship was raked from stem to stern by an explosion. At first, it was thought that she had been torpedoed; but it was soon learned that she had been attacked by a Japanese suicide boat. The suicide boat had exploded as it contacted one of a cluster of STARR's landing craft that were moored alongside. The explosion was sufficiently removed from the side of the ship, and the water absorbed the shock so STARR suffered no (some) damage.

STARR sailed for Guam on 10 April with a convoy and was routed onward to Pearl Harbor. She arrived there on 26 April and was notified that she was to return to the west coast for overhaul. She arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 5 May; and repairs were begun immediately. When they were completed, the ship participated in an amphibious exercise and then loaded cargo at San Francisco to be delivered to Guam. She sailed on 24 June and arrived at Guam on 11 July. On the 20th, she steamed to Pearl Harbor for another load of cargo for Guam. STARR was several days out of Guam when word was received that hostilities with Japan had ended. After discharging her cargo at Guam, the ship was routed to the Philippine Islands on 2 September; and she arrived at Leyte on the 5th. STARR operated in the Philippines until 29 November hen she got underway for China and arrived at Tsingtao on 4 December 1945.

STARR sailed from China to Sasebo, Japan, and thence to Vladivostok. She arrived there on 2 January 1946, unloaded her cargo, and returned to Sasebo here she received orders to proceed, via San Diego, to  San Francisco. She remained at San Francisco from 9 to 18 March and then got underway for Hampton Roads, Va.  STARR arrived at Norfolk, Va., on 4 April 1946; was decommissioned on 31 May 1946, and was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 1 June 1946. She as struck from the Navy list on 19 June 1946.

[From the Vessel Status Card:]

From 10 December 1946 to 18 July 1947, towed from one place to another.

3 December 1947- Delivered to Pacific Far East Lines; name changed to India Bear.

April 1957- Sold to Trans-Pacific Co.

11 November 1959- Sold to Dorama, Inc.

10 July 1959- Renamed Lanakila.

27 May 1960- Sold to Long Island Tankers Corp.; renamed India Bear.

7 February 1961- Sold to Pacific Far East Line, Inc.

9 September 1970- Sold to Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. for scrapping in Taiwan.

STARR received two battle stars for World War II service.

Read John Duvernay's Starr Journal


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