USS Pyro (AE-1)

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USS Pyro (AE-1).jpg
USS Pyro (AE-1)
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Laid down: 9 August 1918
Launched: 16 December 1919
  • 10 August 1920
  • 1 July 1939
  • 10 September 1924
  • 12 June 1946
Struck: 3 July 1946
Fate: scrapped
General characteristics
  • Light: 7,025 tons
  • Full load: 10,600 tons
Length: 482 ft 9 in (147 m)
Beam: 60 ft 11 in (18.6 m)
Draught: 20 ft 11 in (6.4 m)

The first USS Pyro (AE–1), an ammunition ship, was laid down 9 August 1918 at the Navy Yard, Puget Sound, Wash.; launched 16 December 1919; sponsored by Mrs. G. A. Bissett, wife of Comdr. Guy Aloysius Bissett, the Construction Officer at Puget Sound Navy Yard; and commissioned 10 August 1920, Comdr. John Sisson Graham in command.


After shakedown Pyro was assigned to the Naval Transportation Service. She departed Puget Sound 18 September 1920 on her first voyage to the east coast, arriving New York one month later. Her principal operations were conducted between ports which extended from Puget Sound on the west coast to as far north as Boston on the east coast. Her most frequent ports of call included Mare Island, San Francisco, San Pedro, San Diego, Balboa, Guantanamo Bay, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and New York. Besides ammunition and explosives, she also carried general cargo and some passengers.

Puget Sound sound along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington

Puget Sound is a sound along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and two minor connections to the open Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Juan de Fuca—Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and Deception Pass and Swinomish Channel being the minor.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Boston State capital of Massachusetts, U.S.

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

By April 1924 Pyro completed five additional runs to the east coast from California ports. Her Pacific operations took her as far as the Philippine Islands. Upon return from the east coast 22 April 1924 she put in at Bremerton and decommissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard 10 September.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Pyro, recommissioned 1 July 1939, Comdr. Robert Stevenson Haggart in command. Assigned to the Naval Transportation Service, she resumed transport of ammunition, general cargo, and passengers, making five voyages to the east coast and five to Pearl Harbor by August 1941. She was assigned to Commander, Base Force, Train Squadron 8, Pacific Fleet 22 August 1941. Departing Mare Island I October, she arrived Pearl Harbor one week later to commence operations in the Hawaiian area.

Pearl Harbor Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.

Pyro was moored at West Loch in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked 7 December 1941. She suffered no serious damage and was credited with damaging one Japanese plane. Four days later she departed Pearl Harbor for San Francisco, and carried ammunition from the west coast to Pearl Harbor until 30 September 1942. On 17 October she departed San Francisco for Alaskan waters where she issued a load of mines to smaller ships to be planted as a defense for the base at Adak. She returned to San Francisco 19 November.

Alaska State of the United States of America

Alaska is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of the United States West Coast, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast. Its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015— is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. United States armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.

Adak Island island in the United States of America

Adak Island is an island near the western extent of the Andreanof Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Alaska's southernmost town, Adak, is located on the island. The island has a land area of 274.59 square miles (711.18 km2), measuring 33.9 miles (54.5 km) on length and 22 miles (35 km) on width, making it the 25th largest island in the United States.

She departed San Francisco 8 December 1942, and upon arrival Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands 2 January 1943, became primary ammunition ship for various fleet units that were operating in the area. Pyro steamed for San Francisco 2 August, arriving 7 September.

Espiritu Santo largest island in the nation of Vanuatu

Espiritu Santo is the largest island in the nation of Vanuatu, with an area of 3,955.5 km2 (1,527.2 sq mi) and a population of around 40,000 according to the 2009 census.

Departing San Francisco 11 November 1943 for Brisbane, Australia, she reported to Commander, Service Force, 7th Fleet 7 December 1943. From that date until 8 April 1944, Pyro transported ammunition from Australia, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides to Milne Bay, New Guinea. From 13 April through 12 July 1944 she replenished combatants engaged in the Admiralty Islands and Hollandia, campaigns at various New Guinea harbors.

Pyro arrived Sydney, Australia 18 July 1944 for six weeks of repairs, returning 9 September to the new base of operations at Hollandia, where units of the fleet assembled for the invasion of Leyte. The ammunition ship remained at Hollandia. until 3 November when she steamed to Seeadler Bay, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands for emergency repairs and reloading, returning to Hollandia 1 December 1944. She steamed for Leyte Gulf 19 December, arriving one week later and remaining in the Philippine area replenishing combatants until 4 August 1945. Pyro then steamed for the Admiralty Islands for repair and overhaul.

She departed the Admiralty Islands 17 October with a load of serviceable ammunition for transfer to the United States. After embarking troops en route at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, she arrived Seattle 21 November 1945. She remained there until 17 February 1946 and then steamed for San Francisco Bay, arriving the next day. After discharging her ammunition, she returned to Seattle 2 April. Pyro decommissioned at Seattle 12 June and was struck from the Navy List 3 July. She was turned over to the War Shipping Administration 14 July 1946, and in March 1950 she was sold to the National Metal and Steel Co. Terminal Island, California for scrapping.

Awards and honors

Pyro was present in Pearl Harbor the day of the attack, December 7, 1941

Pyro earned one battle star for World War II service.

See also

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USS Pyro AE-1 / AE-24 Association