Hi guys,

A great uncle of mine died recently, before I could have the chance to meet him. All I knew was that he was in the U.S. Navy during WWII. I contected William (Wagriff) of our fine forum and asked him if he could pull up any info on him. As it turns out, my uncle, Rufus Russell, served on an ammunition ship in the late months of the war. In honor of him and as a sort of public thanks to William for helping me out, here is the message I got back:


Hello Mo, Rufus Russell enlisted in the US Navy on May 19 1944 in Abingdon, Virgina. He was on the Naval reserves list until he was activated on October 16,1944. He is then listed as being a SV6 which means, (Selective Volunteer, guaranteed discharge within 6 months of war's end.) On Sept 29 1944,Rufus Russell Seaman 2nd Class (#935 58 08) , was listed on the sailing list of the ADP59 USS Newman.(note how war-time Navy service worked-he was not even officially activated from the Reserves yet,and they had him listed on a Ship) The Newman was a "Destroyer Escort". He didnt do much on the Newman, other than take a ride on it down to the Panama Canal Zone to transfer to the Mount Baker on October 5th 1944. He was then on the AE4 USS Mount Baker and 2 days later on the 7th is listed as sailing from The Canal Zone near Balboa and into "Dangerous Waters".

Here is the info on the USS Newman and what all it did.
USS Newman (DE 205 / APD 59)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - X - T - Y
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 5 stars - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Third Row: WWII Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal w/ Asia Clasp - Philippine Liberation Medal w/ 2 stars


Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Newman (DE 205) Building and Operational Data:
8 June 1943: Keel laid by the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, S.C.
9 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. J. B. Newman, mother of L. G. Newman AD3
26 November 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr W. C. Meyer, USNR, in command
5 July 1944: Reclassified APD 59, converted at Frontier Base, Staten Island, N.Y.
18 February 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.
1 September 1964: Stricken from the NVR
15 August 1966: Sold for scrapping to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
183k undated wartime image Harold S. Deal, Phm 1/c, USS Liddle
from his grandson, Jeff Deal
136k undated wartime image

Now, as for his time on the AE 4 USS Mount Baker, here is the info on that ship. Rufus Russell served on the Mount Baker until well after the war was over. By July 1, 1945, he was now a S1C(seaman 1st Class) in rank. They did, indeed, keep him until the war was over, thus fulfilling his V6S rating!
The Mount Baker was a dangerous ship to serve on-it supplied ammunition to the Pacific based theater of operations campaigns.

Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS USN Ret.
USS Mount Baker (AE-4)
USS Kilauea (AE-4) (1941 - 1943)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Echo - Juliet
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal - American Campaign Medal (with Fleet clasp) - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korea Service Medal (4) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Taiwan Straits, 6 to 12 September 1958, 5-Vietnam, 13 to 19 January 1965, 24 January to 14 February 1965, 3 May to 21 May 1965, 27 May to 5 June 1965, 8 to 18 June 1965) - Vietnam Service Medal (7)
Fourth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


Lassen Class Ammunition Ship
Laid down, date unknown, as MV Surprise a Maritime Commission type (C2-T Cargo) hull, under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 24) at Tampa Shipbuilding Corp., Tampa, FL.
Launched, date unknown
Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 14 November 1940
Converted to an Ammunition Ship at Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, AL.
Commissioned USS Kilauea (AE-4), 16 May 1941, Capt. W. I. Causey in command
Renamed USS Mount Baker (AE-4), 17 March 1943
During World War II USS Kilauea / Mount Baker was assigned to both the European and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters
Decommissioned in January 1947 at San Diego, CA.
Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
Recommissioned, 5 December 1951, Capt. Richard Mueller Nixon in command
During the Korean War USS Mount Baker participated in the following campaigns:
Korean War Campaigns Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
Second Korean Winter
23 March to 3 April 1952
21 to 30 April 1952 Korean Summer-Fall 1953
3 to 8 May 1953
23 May to 5 June 1953
14 to 24 June 1953
30 June to 10 July 1953
25 to 27 July 1953
Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
1 to 5 May 1952
18 to 29 May 1952
20 June to 1 July 1952
26 July to 2 August 1952
10 to 23 August 1952
16 to 30 September 1952
16 to 27 October 1952 Third Korean Winter
4 March 1953
14 to 17 March 1953
1 to 6 April 19 53
17 to 22 April 1953

During the Vietnam War USS Mount Baker participated in the following campaigns:
Vietnam War Campaigns Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
Vietnamese Counteroffensive
13 to 28 February 1966
16 to 25 March 1966
16 to 26 April 1966
22 May to 3 June 1966
14 to 19 June 1966
23 to 30 June 1966 Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
27 November to 3 December 1968
10 to 19 December 1968
19 to 31 January 1969
12 to 22 February 1969
Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
1 to 10 July 1966
1 to 12 August 1966
20 September to 11 October 1966
25 October to 10 November 1966 Tet 69/Counteroffensive
23 February 1969
12 to 22 March 1969
31 March to 16 April 1969
25 April to 6 May 1969
14 to 23 May 1969
5 to 8 June 1969
Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
30 October to 27 November 1967
17 December 1967 to 5 January 1968
12 to 14 January 1968
22 to 29 January 1968 Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
9 to 12 June 1969
Tet Counteroffensive
30 January to 2 February 1968
24 February to 10 March 1968
18 to 29 March 1968

Decommissioned, date unknown
Struck from the Naval Register, 2 December 1969
Transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal
Final Disposition, scrapped in 1974
USS Mount Baker received four battle stars for Korean War service and seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
Displacement 6,350 t.(lt) 14,225t.(fl)
Length 459'
Beam 63'
Draft 25' 11"
Speed 15.3 kts (trial)
Officers 21
Enlisted 260
Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
eight twin 20mm AA gun mounts
Cargo Capacity 387,000 Cu ft., 5,000 DWT
Fuel Capacity 10,925 Bbls
two Nordberg Diesel, TSM219 Diesel engine
single Falk Main Reduction Gears
Ship's Service Generators
four Diesel-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
one Diesel=drive 150Kw 120V/240V D.C.
single propeller, 6,000shp

Click On Image
For Full Size Image Size Image Description Source
129k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) moored pierside, probably at her homeport of NAD Port Chicago, CA., circa 1950s.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo. Robert Hurst
102k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) arriving at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA., for overhaul, 9 November 1953. USS Mount Baker was underwent repairs at Mare Island from 9 November 1953 to 20 January 1954.
Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # 19287-11-53, 11/9/53 Darryl Baker
93k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) departing Naval Shipyard Mare Island on trails, 3 September 1957. Mount Baker was undergoing repairs at Mare Island from 21 June to 10 September 1957.
Mare Island Naval Shipyard photo # 36384-9-57, 9/3/57 Darryl Baker
46k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) overhead view, at anchor, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
46k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) underway, date and location unknown "AE" Sailors Association
608k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco, date unknown. Phil Bird LTjg MPA USS Mount Baker
484k USS Mount Baker (AE-4) and USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) during an underway replenishment off the coast of California, 2 September 1965. Carrier Air Wing (CAW-5) deployed with USS Ticonderoga from 1960 to 1966. The A4 Skyhawk aircraft visible on the flight deck belong to VA-56 "Champions" and VA-144 "Roadrunners."
.US Navy photo CVA-14-2854-9-65 9/2/65. Phil Bird LTjg MPA USS Mount Baker


In case any of these links do not come up, here are the written ones to try-check them out, as they have many good photos:
USS Mount Baker (AE-4) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ammunition Ship Photo Index
High-speed Transport APD-59 Newman

Naturally, I cannot assess the war record of Russell himself, due to the privacy issue and all, but by checking out the records of the ships he served on-particularly the war awards of the Mount Baker, you can at least see where he went and what happened to the ship he was on at the time. He vanishes from the listings on Feb 1, 1946, so I can only assume he was finally discharged at this point. Check out especially the wikipedia link on the Mount Baker. It looks like the guys had a pretty interesting bit of a ride on it! Sorry I couldn't find more,but this should, hopefully, point you in the right direction to look further.