The USS Betelgeuse AK-260
Memories of Her
Two ships were named Betelgeuse in honor of
a large super star or Orion, the hunter,
as told to me while playing chess games
with a really good player in 2nd division on
the “Goose”, whose name I do not remember.
The first Betelgeuse was made ready as a Naval Cargo ship
the AK 28 in May 1941 and refitted as AKA 11 in Feb.1943.
She was decommissioned and struck from the records in 1946.
The USS Betelgeuse AK 260 was launched
in 1944 as the SS Columbia Victory,
she was renamed in 1952 and decommissioned
and struck from the records in 1974.
In the beginning…..
I was 19 when I reported to the “Goose” for my first duty
August 1961, in Charleston, South Carolina.
That first day on the “Goose”, I was scared to death,
I had never been away from my home in
New London, Connecticut.
We loaded up the cargo hole and got underway.
The first meal served that day was traditional
Navy food, “— — — —” on a shingle.
I loved it.
I did not love being seasick for nearly the entire
thirteen day trip to Holy Loch, Scotland.
But, while on duty, I did enjoy the sunrises and sunsets,
the salty cool breezes and watching the Pilot whales
swimming along side the ship.
The food was great and the galley was always open.
Once we got under way there was not much
to do except to stand watch:
4 hours on and 8 hours off.
I was trained on port side, starboard side,
aft steering, fan tail and helm watch.
I was a busy little sea dog.
That first trip, seeing Scotland for the first time,
is still one of my fondest Navy memories.
As soon as we arrived at Holy Loch, we spent the
next three days unloading supplies from the “Goose”
and three days unloading the supplies from the
Sub Tender Proteus onto the “Goose”.
After one day of Liberty we turned around and
went back to the U.S. to one of our two homeports,
We were supposed to be in port for a month,
but instead we were sent right back to Scotland.
Find more about this ship here:
You can contact me at:
ussbetelgeuse at centurylink.net