USS Rutilicus (AK-113)

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Rutilicus (AK-113).jpg
USS Rutilicus (AK-113), moored, 13 October 1944 at San Francisco. Her camouflage is Measure 32 Design 11F.
United States
  • Andrew Rowan
  • Rutilicus
Ordered: as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 1643[1]
Builder: California Shipbuilding Corporation, Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California
Yard number: 176[1]
Way number: 10[1]
Laid down: 2 April 1943
Launched: 26 April 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. A. B. Chandler
Acquired: 9 October 1943
Commissioned: 30 October 1943
Decommissioned: 17 December 1945
Struck: 8 January 1946
Honors and
Bronze-service-star-3d.png 2 × battle stars
Fate: Returned to MARCOM, 18 December 1945, laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia
Status: sold for scrapping, 26 October 1971, removed, 23 November 1971
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Crater-class cargo ship
Type: Type EC2-S-C1
  • 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:
Speed: 12.5 kn (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph)
  • 7,800 t (7,700 long tons) DWT
  • 444,206 cu ft (12,578.5 m3) (non-refrigerated)
Complement: 16 officers 190 enlisted

USS Rutilicus (AK-113) was a Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.


Rutilicus was laid down 2 April 1943, under Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull No. 1643, as Liberty ship SS Andrew Rowan, by California Shipbuilding Corporation, Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California; launched on 26 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. A. B. Chandler; and delivered to Waterman Steamship Co. for operation on 8 May 1943. Acquired by the Navy on 9 October 1943, she was commissioned at San Diego, California, on 30 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander Hans O. Matthieson, USNR, in command.[3]

Service history[edit]

Following a short shakedown cruise along the coast, Rutilicus took on a load of general cargo at Port Hueneme, California, and steamed in convoy for the Territory of Hawaii arriving at Pearl Harbor on 21 November. Departing the Hawaiian Islands on 4 December, she continued on to the Gilbert Islands, delivering cargo at both Tarawa and Abemama before returning to Pearl Harbor on 12 January 1944.[3]

Supporting invasion of the Marshall Islands[edit]

She got underway on 25 January 1944, for the invasion of the Marshall Islands. Arriving at Majuro on 3 February, she delivered 150 Marines and general cargo and then returned to Pearl Harbor on 21 February. Her next voyage, 29 February to 28 March, was a run to Baker Island, to pick up Army Air Force advance base equipment for return to Pearl Harbor.[3]

Island-hopping in the South Pacific[edit]

Rutilicus' next operations involved extensive island-hopping. Standing out from Pearl Harbor on 14 April, she steamed in convoy for Kwajalein Atoll, the Marshalls, arriving on 23 April. She then touched at Makin, Tarawa, Abemama, and Makin again, before returning to Pearl Harbor on 20 May.[3]

Tinian invasion operations[edit]

By 14 June, Rutilicus was steaming in convoy for Eniwetok Atoll, arriving there on 25 June. For the next seven weeks, she rode at anchor there, then joined up with a convoy for Tinian, the Marianas. Following offloading at Tinian, she left for Eniwetok 14 August, touching there on 19 August, and then continued on to Pearl Harbor. Then she steamed independently for San Francisco, California, arriving on 8 September. On 12 September, she moved into Amship Corporation Shipyard, Alameda, California, for repairs, alterations, and conversion from a general cargo carrier to a fleet dry provisions issue ship.[3]

Serving the Philippine invasion forces[edit]

Rutilicus moved to the Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, California, on 13 October, took on dry provisions, clothing, small stores, ship's store stock, and medical stores for fleet issue in the forward areas. Thirteen days later, she steamed for Leyte, the Philippines, via Manus, Funafuti, and Hollandia. By 1 December, she was serving units of the fleet in Philippine waters. The next 5 months saw her issuing stores between Hollandia, Nouméa, Espiritu Santo, Manus, Ulithi, and Guam. She was back in San Francisco on 6 May 1945.[3]

Okinawa operations[edit]

Following repairs, she steamed on 12 June, via the Carolines for Okinawan waters. She commenced operations from Buckner Bay on 21 July; and, on 10 September, she steamed with Task Group 55.7 for Nagasaki, Kyūshū, Japan, arriving on 12 September. She shifted to Sasebo on 25 September.[3]

Post-war duties[edit]

After returning to San Francisco, she headed, via the Panama Canal, for Norfolk, Virginia. Arriving at Hampton Roads on 1 December, she reported to the Commandant, 5th Naval District for disposition.[3]

Post-war decommissioning[edit]

Decommissioned on 17 December 1945, and returned to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) the following day, she was struck from the Navy List on 8 January 1946. Rutilicus was placed in the MARCOM National Defense Reserve Fleet, and was laid up in the James River.[3]


On 26 October 1971, she was sold to Hierros Ardes, S.A., of Bilbao, Spain, for $71,520, to be scrapped. She was removed from the fleet 23 November 1971.[4]


Rutilicus received two battle stars for World War II service.[3] Her crew was eligible for the following medals:[2]




Online resources

  • "Rutilicus (AK-113)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • "California Shipbuilding, Los Angeles CA". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  • "USS Rutilicus (AK-113)". 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  • "ANDREW ROWAN". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 15 February 2017.

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Rutilicus (AK-113) at NavSource Naval History