USS Diamond Head (AE-19)

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USS Diamond Head
United States
Name: USS Diamond Head
Launched: 3 February 1945
Acquired: 10 March 1945
  • 9 August 1945
  • 9 August 1951
Decommissioned: 23 August 1946
Struck: 1 March 1973
Fate: scrapped
General characteristics
Length: 459 ft 2 in (140 m)
Beam: 63 ft (19.2 m)
Draft: 28 ft 3 in (8.6 m)
  • Geared turbine
  • 1 × shaft
  • 6,000 shp (4.5 MW)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Capacity: 7,700 long tons (7,800 t) deadweight
Complement: 267 officers and enlisted

The USS Diamond Head (AE-19) was a U.S. ammunition ship. Launched on February 3, 1945, the ship was built by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, N.C. under a Maritime Commission contract, and sponsored by Mrs. D. Bill. Transferred to the U.S. Navy on March 10, 1945, and converted at Bethlehem Key Highway Shipyard, Baltimore, Md. to carry and transfer naval ammunition, the ship was commissioned on August 9, 1945, under the command of Lieutenant Commander F. C. Snow, USNR.

On September 20, 1945, Diamond Head reported for duty to Norfolk Commander, Service Force, Atlantic. After crew training, the Bureau of Ships used the Diamond Head experimentally to test suitable exterior markings for hospital ships. She departed Norfolk on April 5, 1946, for Galveston, Texas, arriving five days later. Diamond Head was placed out of commission and into the reserve fleet on August 23, 1946.

Diamond Head was recommissioned on August 9, 1951, as part of the naval expansion brought about by the Korean War. Assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, the ammunition ship took her place as part of the vital logistics support force that has given the United States Navy outstanding sea-keeping ability and unprecedented mobility. Diamond Head served in various operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, and through 1960 had made five cruises with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

On March 16, 1967, Diamond Head left Norfolk, VA, for a nine-month deployment off Vietnam. She transited the Panama Canal on March 22, arriving at Pearl Harbor on April 5, 1967. She arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines on April 22. From May through October, the crew rearmed almost 200 ships, transferring almost 12,000 tonnes (26,000,000 lb) of ammunition. Diamond Head supplied the antiquated bombs that led to the disaster aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. The ship also visited Manila; Hong Kong; Sasebo, Japan; Pearl Harbor; San Diego; and Panama City for much appreciated Rest & Recreation. Diamond Head arrived in Norfolk on December 19, 1967.

The ship was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on March 1, 1973 and sold for scrapping in 1974.


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