Stuff You Should Know
USS Rainier was a Lassen-class ammunition ship, which was laid down on May 14, 1940 under the name of Rainbow. It was launched on March 1, 1941 and the US Navy received it on April 16, 1941. On the day of commissioning, December 21, 1941, it received the name Rainier after Mount Rainier, the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, and was under Capt. William W. Meek’s command. Its first missions were from Port Chicago in California to Pearl Harbor and then to Tongatapu, Fijis, Noumea, Auckland and back to the United States. Thus, the ship served in the US Navy for 5 years until it was decommissioned for the first time on April 30, 1946. On May 25, 1951 it was commissioned again and it operated in the eastern Pacific, Sasebo, Pohang and Pusan, and then back to California. During the Vietnam War, the ship operated between Subic Bay and replenishment areas off Vietnam. It was decommissioned for the second time and struck from the Naval Register on August 7, 1970. For its service brought to the US Navy during the Korean and Vietnam wars, USS Rainier received twelve battle stars overall.