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The Constellation Leo

USS Denebola AF56 CommandingOfficers Norfolk


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USS DENEBOLA was built by the Oregon Ship building Company in Portland Oregon.  Launched on June 10, 1944, she was named the S.S. HIBBING VICTORY and served in the merchant fleet in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.  
In 1952, she was required by the US Navy to be converted to a refrigerated provisions stores ship.  On January 20, 1954, she was commissioned USS DENEBOLA.  

November  11-22, 1962  Denebola served during the Cuban missile crisis. Received Armed forces expeditionary medal.

The ship is named for a star, as our other ships of type.  Denebola is a second magnitude star in the constellation of Leo the Lion.  In fact, the name "Denebola" comes from the Arabic for "Tail of the Lion."  
The USS DENEBOLA was 455' 3" long and had a beam of 62'.  She carried 14 officers and 203 enlisted.  Her displacement was 11,200 tons fully loaded and her top speed was 18.3 knots.  
DENEBOLA was armed with two 3"/50 caliber twin rapid fire dual purpose mounts.  
DENEBOLA carried her cargo in four holes, any or all of which may be refrigerated to -2 degrees Fahrenheit.  Usually, most of one hole was refrigerated to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for frozen cargo, such as frozen beef. Most of another hole was refrigerated to 35 degrees Fahrenheit for chill cargo (lettuce, oranges, apples), and the other holes were un-refrigerated for dry provisions (flour, sugar, cocoa, canned goods) and for stores (brooms, swabs, coffee cups, paper napkins).  In all, Denebola carried about 3,800 tons of cargo, consisting of over 420 different items.  It was loaded in a manner that permits access to any item at any time and six vertical conveyers to bring the cargo up from the holes.  The cargo can then be transferred to another ship at up to 150 tons of cargo an hour.  


Denebola 67 Cruise Book, Editor: LTJG J. A. Thompson

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