Stuff You Should Know
The USS Celeno (AK-76) was a Crater-class cargo ship that served the US Navy in World War II. Its name is a variant spelling of the Celaeno star in the constellation Pleiades. The Celeno was laid down on 3 November 1942 by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California, sponsored by Mrs. G. G. Sherwood. The ship was commissioned on 2 January the next year under Lieutenant Commander Niles E. Lanphere’s command. The Celeno joined to Pacific Fleet with the mission to support the operations on Guadalcanal and throughout the Solomons with cargo from New Zealand. On 16 June, while unloading cargo, the Celeno was attacked by a swarm of Japanese bombers and sustained heavy damage that put the vessel out of operation temporarily. 15 crew members died in the conflict and 19 more were injured. Once it was repaired, the ship returned to the South Pacific to continue supporting the Solomons Campaign and received three battle stars for its service in World War II. The USS Celeno was decommissioned 1 March 1946 and scrapped on 4 August 1961.