Stuff You Should Know
The USS Interpreter was a radar picket ship belonging to the Guardian-class that was in the service of the US Navy during World War II. The ship was originally built as the Liberty Ship SS Dudley H. Thomas under contract for the WSA and operated throughout the war as an aircraft freighter and cargo ship but it was later converted to a livestock ship and used as part of the Heifers for Relief project where it was responsible for delivering livestock across the Atlantic. Once the war relief work was finished, the ship was placed in the reserve fleet for a short period because its service was needed once again in the Korean War. Between 1951 and 1953, the USS Interpreter (SS Dudley H. Thomas at the time) delivered personnel, goods, mail, and food in the war zone and assisted the American forces in their fight against the Communist aggression in South Korea. Once its service was no longer needed, the ship returned in the reserve fleet where it remained until 1957. In June 1957, the ship was acquired by the US Navy, renamed, converted, and equipped with long-range radar and communication gear to be used as part of the Continental Air Defense Command project. During this project, the vessel was responsible for reporting and tracking aircraft at long distances and monitoring for enemy air attack in the Contiguous Radar Barrier until July 1965 when it returned to the reserve fleet. The ship was sold for scrapping in November 1974.