Rotanin AK-108

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This Month in Naval History
Rotanin AK-108


(AK-108: dp. 4,023 (lt.), 1. 441'6", b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4" T 1E3ck.,secli)289; a. 1 5", 4 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. Crater,

Rotanin (AK-108), originally named William Kelly, was laid down 24 July 1943 under Maritime Commission contract (MCE-1872) by the California Shipbuilding Co., Terminal Island, Calif.; launched 18 August 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Andrew R. Bone; and commissioned 23 November 1943, Lt. William L. Howard, USNR, in command.

Completing shakedown 5 December, Rotanin loaded her first combat cargo and embarked her first military passengers at Port Hueneme, Calif. and on the 12th sailed for Noumea. Arriving 5 January 19i4, she carried troops and cargo to Guadaleanal, then, on the 27th, continued on to the Russell Islands. By 2 February, she had discharged all cargo and was underway back to the Guadaleanal-Florida Island area. From then until March, she carried cargo and personnel throughout the Bismarck Arehinelago, the Solomons, the Fijis, and the New Hebrides. In April she completed a run to Auckland, New Zealand, and in May she moved supplies to Manus. She then resumed runs in the Solomons New Hebrides-Fiji area.

In August, Rotanin shifted to the Marshalls-Marianas area and at the end of the month she moved further west, to Ulithi. In October, she carried Army units to the Palaus, embarked marines there, and transported them to the Russells. In November, she returned to operations in the Marianas, extended them to the Carolines, and in January 1945, returned to Noumea. February and Marchtook her back to Mieronesia and New Zealand. In April she was in the Solomons, and, in May, she took on Army supplies and reinforeements for the Okinawa campaign. Arriving off the Hagushi beaches on the 21st she completed offloading by the end of the month and on the 3ist she steamed east.

DurinR June and July, Rotanin again operated in the MarshalJs and Marianas. On 28 July she headed for Hawaii and the west coast. En route when hostilities ceased, she arrived at San Francisco on 17 August. In October she joined the ships assigned to transpacifie operations to ferry occupation troops to Japan and Korea and to return veterans to the United States.

On 2 February 1946, Rotanin arrived at San Franeiso and reported to the Commander, 12th Naval District for inactivation. She was decommissioned on 5 April 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 17 April.

Rotanin earned one battle star during World War II.


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