Stuff You Should Know
The USS Hyperion (AK-107) was a cargo ship belonging to the Crater-class that served the US Navy during World War II. The ship was named after Saturn’s moon, Hyperion and it was the only ship to bear the name. Originally laid down in 1943 under a different name, SS Christopher C. Andrews, by Permanente Metals Corporation and sponsored by Mrs. Percy Lindt, the vessel was acquired by the US Navy in June 1943 and commissioned in August later that year under Lieutenant Commander Charles C. Newman’s command. The ship’s first mission proved to be way more challenging than anticipated. The ship sailed towards Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides in September 1943 with the gasoline barge the USS YOG-85 in tow. During the trip, the tow was lost twice, got struck by lightning, and lost a crewman in high seas and even though signal flares were spotted, he was never found. The ship carried supplies and passengers in the staging areas among the Solomon Islands as well as New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, and the Bismarcks until the fall of 1944 when it joined the reinforcement group that supported the Northern Attack Force TF 78 in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The vessel later sailed for Okinawa carrying cargo, which was still a high-profile war zone. While discharging the cargo at Okinawa, Hyperion witnessed the battles of Naha and Shuri, countless naval bombardments on the island and many kamikaze attacks – two of which managed to damage the ship while it was anchored near New Mexico, 12 May 1945. The ship was decommissioned in November 1945 and sold for scrapping in August 1961. It received three battle stars for its World War II service.