A southern constellation.
(AK-106: dp. 4,356; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 198; a. 1 5", 1 3"; cl. Crater)
Caelum (AK-106) was launched 25 July 1943 as Wyatt Earp by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., 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 Pacific Fleet.
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.
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, P.I., the cargo ship sailed from this and various Chinese ports until clearing for the United States 15 April 1946. Decommissioned at Seattle 30 July 1946, Caelum was returned to the Maritime Commission the next day.
Caelum received one battle star for World War II service.