One of the many ships in need of routine repairs by the Vestal at Espiritu Santo this month in 1943, was the USS Pyro. Aptly named, the Pyro was an ammunition ship, which transported ammunition between various fleet ships operating in the area during 1943. Pyro is one of many unsung heroes during the war.
The USS Pyro was one of the older ships in the fleet, having been launched in 1919. She was assigned to the Pacific Fleet in August 1941, arriving at Pearl Harbor that same month. She would enter the war with the other ships at Pearl when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. In the attack, she suffered no serious damage and was credited with damaging 1 Japanese plane. Immediately after the attack, Dad was temporarily assigned to a crew to unload its ammunition to safeguard it from becoming another Japanese target. Four days later she departed Pearl Harbor for San Francisco. She carried ammunition from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor through September 1942.
After her stint in 1943 as the primary ammunition ship supporting vessels around Espiritu Santo, Pyro transported ammunition from Australia, New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides to New Guinea. From April through July 1944, she replenished combatants engaged in the Admiralty Islands and Hollandia campaigns in New Guinea. From December 1944 to August 1945, she replenished ships in the Philippines. After transporting troops en route at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, in October 1945, she returned to the West Coast.
USS Pyro was decommissioned in 1945, and sold for scrap in 1946. She earned 1 Battle Star for her WWII service.
Source: USS Vestal War Diary, February 1943; Wikipedia