The USS Menkar (AK-123), was a Crater-class cargo ship named after Menkar, the alpha star in constellation Cetus. The ship was laid down as SS John White under Maritime Commission contract by St. Johns River Shipbuilding Co., Jacksonville, Florida 17 November 1943 and launched 31 December 1943. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, the ship was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the war zone. During World War II the USS Menkar (AK-123) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign. The ship was sold for scrapping, on 8 May 1962, to Union Minerals and Alloys Corp., removed, on 22 May 1962, dismantled by Learner Co., at Oakland, CA. The USS Menkar (AK-123) earned one battle star for World War II service. Like other vessels from the World War II era, the USS Menkar (AK-123) was constructed from asbestos-containing materials. The toxic substance was known for its resistance to fire, heat, water, and corrosion, and used to insulate boilers, incinerators, hot water pipes, and steam pipes on ships.