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THE USS REGULUS (AF-57) WAS A PROUD SHIP; UNTIL TYPHOON ROSE

USS RegulusThe USS Regulus (AF-57), was a stores ship whose mission was to carry refrigerated and frozen food to ships operating at sea. During the Vietnam War she served several tours of duty off the coast of Vietnam and earned nine battle stars. She was a great ship with a great crew. In Fiscal Year 1970-71 she was selected at the best ship of her type operating in the Pacific.

 

In early 1971 she deployed to the Western Pacific in support of naval operations involved in the Vietnam War. In the following five months she provided supplies to 84 ships in the war zone. As the USS Regulus prepared to complete her long deployment and head home she entered Hong Kong for a period of R & R. In the following few days Typhoon Rose approached and eventually passed just a few miles west of that port. Unfortunately, a poor decision by the captain had the Regulus take shelter directly under what would become the typhoon%u2019s path. On the night of 16/17 August 1971 the eye of Typhoon Rose passed directly overhead. The ship was driven aground on Kau Yi Chau Island near Hong Kong by 45 foot waves and winds over 160 miles per hour.
The USS Regulus was mortally wounded. She had extensive damage to her bottom and was cracked nearly in half. The original salvage intent was to refloat and repair the ship, but there was too much damage. She was decommissioned on 10 September 1971 and all useable equipment and supplies were removed. Eventually she was sold for scrap to a Hong Kong company. Following that, her captain was disciplined and the crew reassigned to other duties.