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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Kerstin

 

An asteroid (No. 842) of 13.7 magnitude discovered in 1916 by Max Wolf in Heidelburg.

 

(AF-34: dp. 3,139; l. 338'6"; b. 50'; dr. 21'1"; s. 12 k; cpl. 83; a. 1 3", 6 20mm.; cl. Adria; T. R1-M-AV3)

 

Keratin (AF-34) was launched 16 July 1944 by Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc., Beaumont, Tex., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. W. B. Towns; acquired by the Navy 22 January 1945; and commissioned 23 February 1945 at Houston, Tex., Lt. H. C. Prichard in command.

 

Departing Galveston, Tex., 14 March, Kerstin loaded cargo at Mobile, Ala., and arrived Pearl Harbor 14 April. Assigned to Service Squadron 8, she took on board 1,680 tons of refrigerated and dry provisions and sailed 20 April, reaching Eniwetok 2 May. For more than 6 months she made supply runs, transporting frozen food to ships and bases at Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Ulithi, Manus, Noumea, and Auckland, New Zealand. While steaming from Saipan to Iwo Jima 13 July, she directed the prompt rescue of nine men from a disabled B-29 bomber, which splashed about 2 miles off her port quarter while returning to Tinian after a raid over Tokyo. Before departing Saipan 29 November for her return to the United States, Kerstin had travelled more than 26,000 miles and delivered over 5.500 tons of refrigerated cargo.

 

Arriving San Pedro 20 December, Kerstin again deployed to the Pacific 1 January 1946 to transport provisions to Wake, Tarawa, Samoa, and the Marshalls before returning to San Francisco 24 May. Departing 29 June for cargo operations in the Far East, Kerstin made 11 voyages to the Pacific between June 1946 and December 1949. Steaming to bases scattered throughout the Pacific, her deployments included four runs to the Far East, three to the Marianas and the Marshalls, and four to Pearl Harbor.

 

Departing Manila Bay 25 November 1949, Kerstin steamed via Guam en route to San Francisco, where she arrived 22 December. After overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, she decommissioned 12 May 1950 and transferred to the Maritime Commission. Her name was struck from the Naval Register 16 June. At present she is in the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet, berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif.