Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Repairs to USS Adhara

On today's date in 1943, Dad's repair ship, Vestal, began emergency repairs to the cargo ship, USS Adhara.

While at Guadalcanal on April 7, Adhara was among several ships subjected to a Japanese air attack. At least 4 enemy planes dropped as many as 8 bombs, several of which exploded alongside Adhara, their fragments puncturing her hull in 3 places. According to the official report, the force of the explosions caused the ship to "lift bodily out of the water," and to damage cargo and 8 personnel. 1 CB temporarily attached to the ship was killed and buried at sea. She was also strafed by machine gun fire.

At Espiritu Santo, Vestal's weldors provided emergency patching to the bomb-damaged hull, working on her until at least the 17th. Then the stricken ship steamed to Australia for more repairs until it could sail for the West Coast in July for an overhaul.

Launched on October 27, 1942, Adhara served as a member of Service Squadron 8, transporting cargo and passengers between ports. After her overhaul in 1943, she served throughout the Pacific, participating in the Battle of Okinawa in May 1945. After Japan's surrender in August 1945, she returned to the States. Adhara was decommissioned on December 7 of that year, and like so many of her sister ships, she eventually was sold for scrap in 1971.

Adhara distinguished herself with 2 Battle Stars for her WWII service.

USS Adhara, after repairs at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1943
Source: NavSource Online

Source: Vestal War Diary, April 1943; Adhara War Diary, May 1943

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