USS Alkaid (AK-114)
as SS William G. Sumner|
EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 1211
|Laid down:||13 September 1943|
|Launched:||8 November 1943|
|Acquired:||19 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||27 March 1944|
|Decommissioned:||6 January 1946|
|Struck:||28 March 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 Alkaid (AK-114) was an 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.
SS William G. Sumner (AK-114) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1211) on 13 September 1943 by the St. John's River Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Jacksonville, Florida; launched on 8 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. W. R. McQuaid; renamed Alkaid on 13 November 1943; acquired by the Navy under a bareboat charter on 19 November 1943; converted for naval service by the Gibbs Gas Engine Co., Jacksonville, Florida; and, commissioned in Jacksonville on 27 March 1944, Lt. Comdr . E. G. Gummer in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Following a period of shakedown training off the U.S. East Coast, Alkaid sailed on 6 May for the Pacific Ocean, via Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Panama Canal. On 14 June, the ship touched at Espiritu Santo and reported to Service Squadron 8 for duty.
Inter-island service in the South Pacific
For the duration of her World War II service, Alkaid acted as an interisland transport. Some of the ports she visited included Noumea, New Caledonia; Guadalcanal; Tulagi; Suva, Fiji; Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand; Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides; Oro Bay, New Guinea; Iwo Jima; Guam; and Eniwetok.
Alkaid touched at Pearl Harbor in early August. She was undergoing availability when she received word of the Japanese surrender. In September, the ship got underway for Japan. After making calls at Eniwetok, Saipan, and Iwo Jima, Alkaid dropped anchor at Yokosuka, Japan, on 4 October. For the next one and one-half months, the ship served with the occupation forces in Japan.
On 16 November, Alkaid left Japan with a load of homeward-bound American troops and reached San Francisco, California, on 6 January 1946.
Military awards and honors
- Photo gallery of Alkaid at NavSource Naval History