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(AF-41: dp. 7,435; 1. 338'6"; b. 50'; dr. 21'1"; s. 11.5 k.; cpl. 84; a. 1 3", 6 20mm.; cl. Kerstin; T. R1-M-AV3)


An asteroid discovered in 1912. The name, Athanasia, is derived from a Greek word which means immortal.

Athanasia (AF-4l) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2332) on 14 August 1944 at Beaumont, Tex., by the Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc.; launched on 12 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. E. C. Sloat: acquired by the Navy on 13 March 1945; converted for naval service by the Todd Galveston Dry Dock, Inc., Galveston, Tex.; and commissioned at Galveston on 3 April 1945, Lt. James J. Borden in command.

Following brief shakedown training in the Gulf of Mexico, the new cargo ship proceeded to Mobile, Ala., to take on provisions. On 26 April, Athanasia sailed for the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on 3 May and continued on to Hawaii. The vessel reached Pearl Harbor on the 22d and reported to Service Squadron 8 for duty.

Athanasia left Pearl Harbor on 29 May, bound for the Marshall Islands. She arrived at Eniwetok on 4 June and began discharging provisions. Eight days later, the ship got underway for Ulithi. At that atoll, she joined a convoy bound for the Ruykyus. On 26 June, the ships reached Kerama Retto and began discharging dry and frozen provisions to ships of the Fleet. Athanasia then moved to Hagushi Bay, Okinawa, and continued her resupply duties. On 12 July, the cargo ship set out in a convoy for the return voyage to Hawaii.

After a two-day pause en route at Ulithi, Athanasia moored at Pearl Harbor on 4 August and began reloading her holds. Four days later, she shaped a course back to Okinawa via Ulithi. While she was still en route, she received word of the Japanese capitulation. The ship arrived at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on 4 September.

Departing on the 12th, Athanasia joined a convoy for Pearl Harbor. She had a brief layover at Saipan in mid-September, then pressed on toward Hawaii. However, the ship was diverted to Seattle, Wash. During a dense fog encountered off British Columbia, Athanasia grounded on the rocks of Bajo Point, Nootka Island, on 12 October. Salvage operations were conducted, and the ship was refloated on the 21st. She was then towed to Seattle for repairs. On 20 December 1945 the ship was decommissioned and was returned to the War Shipping Administration for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 January 1946.

Athanasia earned one battle star for her World War II service.

Published: Fri Jun 19 08:54:21 EDT 2015