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(AK-109: dp. 14,550; 1. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 209; a. 2 3", 8 20mm.; cl. Crater; T. EC2-S-C1)


Allioth is a star in the constellation Ursa Major.

James Rowan was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1730) on 30 July 1943 by the Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; launched on 20 August 1943; sponsored by Miss Cora Clonts; acquired by the Navy on 3 October 1943; renamed Allioth and designated AK-109 on 6 October 1943; and commissioned at Portland, Oreg., on 25 October 1943, Comdr. George F. Prestwich in command.

Upon her arrival at Pearl Harbor on 5 December 1943, the cargo ship was assigned to Service Squadron 8. During the next 11 months, she operated as a mobile supply source for the Army. Her duties consisted of loading cargo and dispensing it to troops as needed. Among the ports from which she operated were Funafuti, Ellice Islands; Makin and Tarawa, Gilbert Islands; Kwajalein and Eniwetok, Marshall Islands; and Peleliu and Angaur, Palau Islands.

Allioth sailed from Peleliu on 14 November 1944, bound for Pearl Harbor. On the afternoon of the 20th, two Japanese airplanes attacked her, dropping several bombs but scoring no hits.

Later that evening, one aircraft returned and dropped a bomb which exploded near the ship. Ten crewmen were slightly wounded, and the ship suffered minor structural damage from shrapnel. She continued her journey and arrived safely in Hawaiian waters on 11 December 1944.

Two days later, the ship resumed her voyage toward the west coast of the United States, and she entered a shipyard at Alameda, Calif., on the 24th for overhaul and conversion to an aviation supply issue ship. The alterations were completed in early March 1945, and Allioth received the new designation IX-204.

On 10 March, the vessel got underway for Pearl Harbor. After taking on more cargo there, she resumed her westward voyage, dropped anchor at Ulithi on 8 April, and began supplying various units with airplane parts. On 3 May, her designation was changed to AVS-4.

When the fleet moved from Ulithi, Allioth headed for the Philippine Islands, arriving at Leyte Gulf on 27 May. In early June, the ship sailed to Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, to load more spare parts. She returned to Leyte on 29 June and resumed her supply duties.

Allioth moved to Okinawa in mid-September 1945 and remained there into the next year, supporting various airplane squadrons operating in the Ryukyu Islands. On 18 January 1946, the ship got underway to return to the United States. Allioth arrived back at Alameda on 16 February and began discharging cargo. Her crew also began stripping the ship of excess equipment in preparation for her deactivation.

Allioth returned to Pearl Harbor on 15 April and was placed out of commission there on 18 May 1946. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 13 May 1947, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 22 May 1947. Under the Maritime Commission, the ship resumed her first name, James Rowan, and carried it until she disappeared from merchant ship registers in 1956.

Published: Tue Jun 16 12:13:10 EDT 2015