USS Ara AKA-136

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Ara-AKA-136

Estero II

(AG-134: dp. 500; 1. 177', b. 33'; dr. 10'; s. 12 k.;
cpl. 26; cl. Camano)

The second Estero (AG-134) which originally served with the Army as FS-275, was acquired by the Navy in March 1947 and commissioned on 5 July, Lieutenant (junior grade) H. E. Toponce, in command. She was employed in logistics support of the administration of the United Nations Trust Territories, calling throughout the Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas. On 31 March 1949 she was reclassified AKL-5.

At the outbreak of the Korean war she was fitted out for emergency ammunition carrying service, participating thereafter in the Inchon invasion (15 September 1950). Early in 1951 she was converted to carried refrigerated cargo, and in September resumed cargo duty bearing supplies to warships until the end of hostilities.

From 25 August to 2 September 1954 she made five trips in support of Operation "Passage to Freedom", the evacuation of refugees from North Viet-Nam. Subsequently she performed her logistics services for the fleet in the western Pacific, with only brief interludes as in May through July 1957 when she transported an Air Force team which was surveying the habitability of prospective stations in the Sulu Sea.

During the Formosan crisis in 1957-58, she rendered important support with emergency lifting of ammunition from Japan to Taiwan. Estero shuttled supplies among Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong until 22 January 1960 when she was decommissioned. Her name was stricken from the Navy List on 1 February 1960.

Estero earned seven battle stars in the Korean war.