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Rigel II AF-58

Rigel II

(AF-58: dp. 15,150 (f.); 1. 502'; b. 72'; dr. 29'; s. 21 k.;
cpl. 350; a. 8 3"; cl. Rigel; T. R3-S-4A)

The second Rigel (AF-58) was laid down under Maritime Administration eontraet 15 March 1954 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Paseagoula, Miss.; launched 15 March 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Austin K. Doyle; and commissioned 2 September 1955, Capt. W. T. Griffin in command.

The first of a new class of high-speed, large-capacity, fully refrigerated stores issue ships, Rigel completed shakedown out of Newport and her homeport of NorfoIk. In February 1956 she sailed south for the first time; underwent further training

in Cuban and Puerto Rican waters; and into the fall provided logistic support along the mid-Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean. In late fall (14 November-9 December), she completed her first 6th Fleet deployment which included her initiation in her primary mission—replenishment at sea.

During the winter of 1957, she spent 2 months in the Caribbean, then sailed east, in May, for 4 months in the Mediterranean. January 1958 brought a return to the Caribbean, followed in March by the initiation of a regular schedule of 6-week replenishment deployments to the Mediterranean with intervening periods spent in loading upkeep, training, and shipyard overhauls. On her second and third deployments of that year, she directly supported units of the 6th Fleet sent to Lebanon at the request of that country's president.

Rigel maintained her regular Mediterranean logistic deployment schedule through the 1960's. Interruptions eame with the replenishment of units engaged in good will visits to West Africa (January 1961); exercises off Ieeland and Canada (June 1962, June 1965); and crises in the Caribbean—the Cuban Quarantine (November 1962) and the Dominican ReDublie Crisis (May 1965).

kigel was fitted out with an amidship helicopter olatform in 1961, thus providing her with a vertical replenishment capability. Two years later that platform was replaced with one on her fantail to simplify the pilots' problems when landing aboard or conducting replenishments. Rigel continues to serve into 1974, replenishing ships of the 2d and 6th Fleets.
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