USS Caelum (AK-106)

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For other ships with the same name, see Wyatt Earp (disambiguation).
USS Caelum (AK-106) underway probably in San Francisco Bay, date unknown.
USS Caelum (AK-106) underway probably in San Francisco Bay.
United States
  • Wyatt Earp
  • Caelum
Ordered: as a type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MCE hull 1860, SS Wyatt Earp
Builder: California Shipbuilding Corporation, Wilmington, California
Laid down: 1943
Launched: 30 June 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. H. N. MacKusick
Acquired: 10 August 1943
Commissioned: 22 October 1943
Decommissioned: 30 July 1946
Struck: 15 August 1946
Fate: sold for scrapping, 19 October 1961, to Hyman-Michaels Co.
Status: scrapping completed, 2 January 1962, at National Steel and Shipbuilding Co
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
  • 4,023 long tons (4,088 t) (standard)
  • 14,550 long tons (14,780 t) (full load)
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draft: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Installed power: 2,500 shp (1,900 kW)
Speed: 12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)
Complement: 221

USS Caelum (AK-106) was a Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, named after constellation Caelum. 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

End-of-war activity[edit]

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.

Post-war decommissioning[edit]

Decommissioned at Seattle, Washington on 30 July 1946, Caelum was returned to the Maritime Commission the next day.

Military awards and honors[edit]

Caelum received one battle star for World War II service.


  1. ^ "USS Caelum (AK-106)". Retrieved May 16, 2015. 

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