Lacerta AKA-20

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This Month in Naval History
Lacerta AKA-20

Lacerta
(AKA-20: dp. 7,080, 1. 42G', b. 58', dr. 16', s. 17 k.
cpl. 302 ; trp. 303 , a. 1 5', 8 40mm., 10 20mm.; cl.
Artemis T. S4-SE2-BE1 )

Lacerta (AKA-29) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract 5 July 1944 by Walsh-Kaiser Shipyard, Providenee, R.I.; launched 10 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Frank Bratley; acquired by the Navy 19 December 1944; and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. Louis Funkenstein in command.

After shakedown, Lacerta cleared Norfolk 18 January 1945 for Pearl Harbor where she loaded cargo for the Solomon Islands. Arriving Guadalcanal 27 February, Lacerta discharged cargo and embarked troops for the Okinawa invasion. She departed Saipan 27 March for the operation that would advance American troops to a strategic position almost next door to Japan. Arriving in the transport area 1 April under heavy enemy air raids, the cargo ship remained off the southeast coast ot Okinaws unloading supplies for marines flghting ashore.

Lacerta departed Okinawa 9 April for Saipan, where she remained until 3 June. In the months prior to Japan's surrender, she ferried cargo among the Solomon and Mariana Islands before arriving Manila 22 August. Loading troops and equipment there, Lacerta participated in the movement Of occupation forces to Japan, arriving Yokohama 13 September. She then carried occupation troops from Okinawa to Tientsin, China, remaining in
the Far East until 19 November when she cleared Tsingtao, China, tor Seattle.

After a short stay at Seattle, Lacerta arrived Norfolk 12 February 1946 and decommissioned 25 March. She was returned to the Maritime Commission for disposal.

Lacerta received one battle star for World War II service.

 

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