|New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey, United States
|19 Dec 1918
|24 Jan 1922
|10 Apr 1942
|6,071 tons standard; 7,750 tons full
|2x5in guns, 4x3in guns
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseInitially laid down as the passenger liner SS Santa Luisa, later renamed SS Santa Leonora, for W. R. Grace and Company, the ship was taken over by the United States Navy in Jul 1919 to transport troops across the Atlantic Ocean. In Sep 1919, USS Santa Leonora was transferred to the United States Army. In Nov 1921, it was transferred to the US Navy once again, converted into a submarine tender, and was recommissioned under the new name USS Canopus. She tended boats of Submarine Division 9 at San Pedro, California, United States until Jul 1923, then tended boats of Submarine Division 17 of the Battle Force at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii until mid 1924. In Sep 1924, she was assigned to the US Navy Asiatic Fleet in Sep 1924, and arrived in the Philippine Islands in Nov 1924. She visited a number of Chinese, Japanese, and British and French colonial ports while based in the Philippines. When the United States entered WW2 in Dec 1941, she was located at Cavite Navy Yard near Manila as the tender to Submarine Squadron 20. When US Army troops fell back into Manila, USS Canopus sailed to Mariveles Bay at the southern tip of Bataan peninsula on the opposite side of Manila Bay. She suffered a hit by a 500-pound armor-piercing bomb on 29 Dec 1941, which penetrated all decks and detonated on the propeller shaft housing, killing six sailors. Her crew placed smoke pots around the ship in an attempt to make her look like an abandoned wreck, while repair crews busily repaired the ship; she also continued to tend to submarines after dark. In the final days of Dec 1941, all submarines left Mariveles Bay, but the damaged USS Canopus remained behind to tend to various smaller craft. On 1 Jan 1942, she was struck by a fragmentation bomb, damaging her and killing 16 gun crew members. As the number of smaller craft dwindled at Mariveles Bay, a number of USS Canopus's crew members joined the naval battalion to fight as naval infantrymen on land, while others manned improvised gunboats created out of USS Canopus's launches. On 28 Feb 1942, 221 crew members of USS Canopus were evacuated from Bataan Peninsula to Corregidor Island, where they would serve alongside the US Marines. Another group of 327 crew members were evacuated to Corregidor shortly after, also joining the US Marines. As Japanese troops approached, she was backed off into deep water and scuttled on 10 Apr 1942 to prevent capture. A large number of the crew members of USS Canopus survived the Japanese conquest of Corregidor and were captured as prisoners of war. In 1944, Japanese salvage ships Kamikaze Maru No. 7 and Kamikaze Maru No. 5 unsuccessfully tried to raise the sunken USS Canopus. A number of men from USS Canopus were killed during the Palawan massacre of 14 Dec 1944.
Last Major Revision: Jan 2023
Canopus (AS-9) Interactive Map
Canopus Operational Timeline
|19 Dec 1918
|The keel of Santa Luisa was laid down by New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey, United States.
|9 Sep 1919
|USS Santa Leonora was decommissioned from service and was taken over by the US Army as USAT Leonora.
|22 Nov 1921
|USAT Leonora was taken off of the US Army ship list and was transferred to the United States Navy.
|24 Jan 1922
|USS Canopus was commissioned into service at Boston, Massachusetts, United States with Commander Alexander Wadsworth in command.
|9 Nov 1922
|USS Canopus departed Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
|17 Jul 1923
|USS Canopus departed San Pedro, California, United States.
|2 Jun 1924
|Commander Frank Roberts was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus, replacing Commander Lucien Kimball.
|4 Nov 1924
|USS Canopus arrived at Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands.
|26 Aug 1926
|Commander Lucien Kimball was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus, replacing Commander Frank Roberts.
|29 Jun 1929
|Commander Richard Wuest was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus, replacing Lieutenant Commander Walter Brown.
|25 May 1931
|Commander Percy Wright was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus.
|1 Jan 1939
|Commander Graeme Bannerman was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus.
|1 Jul 1939
|Commander Philip Kinney was named the commanding officer of USS Canopus, replacing Commander Graeme Bannerman.
|25 Dec 1941
|USS Canopus departed Cavite Navy Yard and arrived at Mariveles Bay in the Philippine Islands.
|29 Dec 1941
|USS Canopus was struck by a 500-pound armor-piercing bomb, which penetrated all decks and detonated on the propeller shaft housing, killing six sailors. At 1735 hours, the remains of the six lost were buried at sea.
|1 Jan 1942
|USS Canopus was struck by a fragmentation bomb, which detonated near the top of the smokestack, damaging the ship and killing 16.
|17 Feb 1942
|A detachment of the submarine tender USS Canopus, sailors from the Cavite Naval Ammunition Depot, and the majority of the general duty men in the area were transferred to the 4th Marine Regiment based on Corregidor, Philippine Islands.
|28 Feb 1942
|221 crew members of USS Canopus were evacuated from Bataan Peninsula to Corregidor Island in the Philippine Islands.
|10 Apr 1942
|Lieutenant Commander H. H. Goodall assumed command of USS Canopus, replacing Commander Earl Sacket, for the purpose of leading USS Canopus out to deeper waters off of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippine Islands for scuttling.
|14 Dec 1944
|Fearing they were about to be invaded, Japanese defenders in Palawan in the Philippine Islands murdered 145 American prisoners of war by shooting, bayoneting, clubbing and setting them on fire while still alive.
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