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Arcturus III (AK-12)

(AK-12: dp. 4,800; l. 391'9'/4"; b. 52'0"; dr. 21'4'/2"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 521; a. none)


The principal star of the northern constellation Bootes with a magnitude of .2 and located 36 light years distant from the Earth


The United States Shipping Board originally assigned the name Gold Star to the steamship which would become in Navy hands AK-12 to honor the Gold Star Mothers, women drawn together by the shared tragedy of the loss of sons in action during World War I. Constructed at Wilmington, Del., by the Harlan plant of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Gold Star was renamed Arcturus before the Navy acquired her from the USSB on 8 November 1921. Arcturus was placed in commission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 1 February 1922, Lt. Comdr. Julius C. P. Katterfield, USNRF, in command.

An objection to the name Arcturus, however, soon prompted the Navy to restore the name Gold Star (q.v.) on 6 February 1922, within a week of the ship's commissioning.

Published: Thu Jun 18 10:12:38 EDT 2015