USS Alnitah (AK-127)

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Career (US) 100x35px
Ordered: as SS John A. Logan
EC2-S-C1 hull, MC hull 451
Laid down: 12 October 1943
Launched: 14 January 1943
Acquired: 7 October 1943
Commissioned: 27 November 1943
Decommissioned: 11 March 1946
Struck: 28 March 1946
Fate: fate unknown
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,023 t.(lt) 11,565 t.(fl)
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draught: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Propulsion: reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp
Speed: 12 kts.
Complement: 206
Armament: one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount; two dual 40mm AA gun mounts; eight single 20mm AA gun mounts

The USS Alnitah (AK-127) was a Crater-class cargo ship in the service of the United States Navy in World War II. Named a spelling variation of the star Alnitak in the constellation Orion, it was the only ship of the Navy to bear this name.

Alnitah was laid down 10 December 1942 as liberty ship SS John A. Logan (MCE hull 451) by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; launched on 14 January 1943; sponsored by Mrs. T. W. Ludington; acquired by the Navy on a bareboat basis on 7 October 1943; converted for naval service at San Pedro, California, by Los Angeles Shipbuilding Corp.; renamed Alnitah on 11 October 1943 and simultaneously designated AK-127; and placed in commission at San Pedro on 27 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. E. J. Youngjohns in command.

Following a brief period of shakedown training, the ship took on cargo and personnel at Port Hueneme, California, for transportation to the South Pacific. She departed the California coast on 12 December and reached Espiritu Santo on 3 January 1944. On that same day, Alnitah reported to Service Squadron 8 for duty as an interisland transport. Among her ports of call were Guadalcanal and Florida Island, Solomon Islands; Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides; Treasury Islands; Russell Islands; Fiji Islands; Auckland, New Zealand; Nouméa, New Caledonia; Milne Bay, New Guinea; Ulithi, Caroline Islands; Tinian and Guam, Mariana Islands; and Okinawa.

Alnitah continued her routine of transporting cargo and personnel throughput the Pacific theatre of operations in to late July 1945. The ship departed Saipan on 28 July and shaped a course for the west coast of the United States. During her homeward voyage, Japan capitulated in mid-August ending World War II. After a two-day visit en route at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the cargo ship arrived at San Francisco, California, on 21 August and received voyage repairs before the vessel resumed action on 25 September. She was subsequently assigned to "Magic-Carpet" duty, which involved shuttling American military personnel from various points in the Pacific back home to the United States.

The cargo ship made a voyage from San Francisco to Roi, Kwajalein, and Majuro Atolls in October. She touched back at Pearl Harbor on 12 November before continuing on to San Diego, California. Alnitah debarked her passengers before getting underway on 29 November for Okinawa. The vessel arrived there on 22 December and discharged her cargo and passengers. She operated in the Okinawa area through 4 February 1946; then sailed for the Philippines. The ship reached Subic Bay on 8 February and there embarked troops for transportation to Japan. Alnitah left Philippine waters on 16 February and arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, on 23 February. Upon her arrival preparations were begun to deactivate the ship. She was decommissioned on 11 March 1946 and was transferred to the War Shipping Administration representative at Yokohama, Japan. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 March 1946.

Alnitah was scrapped in 1961.


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