The USS Culebra Island (ARG-7) was launched as John F. Goucher 23 November 1943 by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss J. F. Miller; transferred to the Navy 29 November 1943; and commissioned 19 May 1944, Commander W. E. McClendon in command. Departing Norfolk 30 June 1944 Culebra Island reached Milne Bay, New Guinea, 16 August. She joined Floating Repair Unit 1 of the 7th Fleet at Alexishafen and remained there on repair duty until arriving at Hollandia 7 October. Here she prepared ships for the Leyte operation until 25 December when she departed for San Pedro Bay, towing a drydock and escorting a tug convoy. From 6 January to 21 February 1945 she repaired and tended ships in San Pedro Bay, then sailed to Mindoro to ready LSM's for the forthcoming invasions in the southern Philippines. On 14 April she sailed for Morotai to serve ships bound for the Borneo operation and repaired those damaged there until 24 July when she returned to Leyte.