Stuff You Should Know
USS Cheleb (AK-138) was a cargo ship belonging to the crater class in the service of the US Navy in World War II. The ship’s name comes from a star in the northern hemisphere constellation of Ophiuchus. USS Cheleb was laid down 29 December 1943 as liberty ship “SS Lyman J. Gage” by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond California. The vessel was commissioned 1 January 1944 under Lieutenant Addison E. McKimmey’s command.
Throughout the war, the ship carried cargo intended for use in different assaults such as the assault of Eniwetok, assault of the Marianas, the assault on the Philippines, the invasion of Iwo Jima, the assault on Okinawa and the final air attacks on the Japanese home islands.
After the war, USS Cheleb sailed to Pearl Harbor and remained there until decommissioned, 25 July 1946. Later, it was used for a special explosives test and sold for scrapping on 27 March 1978.