USS Caelum (AK-106)
|Ordered:||as SS Wyatt Earp, EC2-S-C1 hull|
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||30 June 1943|
|Acquired:||10 August 1943|
|Commissioned:||22 October 1943|
|Decommissioned:||30 July 1946|
|Fate:||Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 31 July 1946|
|Displacement:||4,023 t.(lt) 14,250 t.(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||27 ft 7 in (8.41 m)|
|Propulsion:||Joshua Hendy reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp|
|Armament:||one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount; one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount; eight 20mm AA gun mounts|
USS Caelum (AK-106) was a Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Caelum was launched 25 July 1943 as SS Wyatt Earp by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. H. N. MacKusick; transferred to the Navy 10 August 1943; commissioned 22 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. Johnson in command; and reported to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
World War II Pacific Ocean operations
Shouldering her share of the Navy's great task of building up Pacific bases, Caelum carried cargo between Pearl Harbor and Tarawa, Majuro, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, and Ulithi, in her first year of service. Her tireless operations included participation in the occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro in February 1944, and from June through October 1944 she was assigned to famed Service Squadron 10.
Supporting invasion forces
A San Francisco overhaul late in 1944 was followed by Caelum's assignment from 20 January 1945 as station ship at Ulithi, and from 8 May, at Guam. At these bases she controlled and issued cargo and provisions to the ships which carried out the massive operations in the Palaus, Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, and the task forces which pounded Japanese bases from the air.
Returning to the States for overhaul in June and July 1945, Caelum towed YF-741 to Ulithi in August, and sailed on to support the occupation of Korea in September, and to provide logistic services to ships at Shanghai in early October. From 9 November, when she arrived at Samar, Philippine Islands, the cargo ship sailed from this and various Chinese ports until clearing for the United States 15 April 1946.
Decommissioned at Seattle, Washington on 30 July 1946, Caelum was returned to the Maritime Commission the next day.
Military awards and honors
Caelum received one battle star for World War II service.
- This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of Caelum at NavSource Naval History